Scientific Research Paper Writing and Science Communication Training Workshops - 2017

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks to strengthen the capacity of African National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) to drive agricultural research and innovation in Africa for Africa. Through strategic partnerships with NARS, the Hub also acts as an accelerator for priority research conducted at the national level. The Hub’s primary delivery mechanism is the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) Program. A full prospectus can be accessed here.

Communication of research findings in peer-reviewed journals and to non-expert audience is a major part of the ABCF program impact pathway. The program recognizes that skills in scientific writing and science communication are not an innate talent, but must be developed and honed through active and continued engagement in research and writing / journal publication, public engagement and training. The dynamic nature of today’s scientific world and the associated societal demands for addressing agricultural challenges places research scientists in a tight spot that requires them to acquire effective communication skills for engaging a wide spectrum of actors. Research scientists are increasingly expected to play a strong facilitative role with respect to scientific information exchange and utilization in addressing development challenges. In Africa particularly, researchers within NARS are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their contribution towards solving Africa’s agricultural challenges through research, dissemination and application of findings for policy influence. 


The Training Workshops:

As part of the ABCF program, the BecA-ILRI Hub in partnership with the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) will hold two hands-on training workshops on scientific research paper writing, each followed by a four-day science communication training (communicating science to non-experts). The training workshops will be delivered in two separate but identical modular sessions as follows;

Module 1:

  • Scientific Research Paper Writing Training Workshop 1: 20th – 25th November 2017
  • Science Communication Workshop 1: 27th – 30th November 2017

Module 2:

  • Scientific Research Paper Writing Training Workshop 2: 27th November – 2nd December 2017
  • Science Communication Workshop 2: 4th – 7th December 2017


Training Approach:

A team of highly experienced internationally sourced trainers will conduct the training workshops. 

Scientific writing: Selected participants will benefit from intensive, interactive hands-on training during which they will develop their own manuscripts with the goal of submitting to a journal for publication within three to six months of completing the workshop. Participants will be expected to bring along a project report for conversion into a paper, and/or figures and tables and any other illustrative material that have been generated from data analysis. To fully benefit from this workshop, bringing a manuscript at advanced stage of preparation is highly discouraged.


Science Communication:

Effective science communication is increasingly becoming an essential component of technology development-research-acceptance discourse. As well, technological advancements and dramatic changes in the socio-political environment and consumer sophistication are demanding for new approaches to science communication. The science communication training will acquaint scientists with communication approaches, skills and tools that promote public understanding of their research, effective mass and social media engagement and how to contribute towards evidence-based decisions and choices of products from bioscience research.


Eligibility / Applicants requirements:

The workshops are open to NARS researchers with a strong interest in improving their scientific writing and communication skills. More specific applicant requirements include the following:

  • Currently conducting agricultural biosciences research within an African NARS. 
  • The courses have a major focus on applicants from BecA countries (Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda), however, eligible applicants from other African countries will also be considered.
  • Special preference will be given to ABCF program alumni.
  • Must have a research / project report for conversion to a paper, and / or analyzed research data through figures and tables.
  • Fluent in English (written and spoken)
  • Women candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.


How to apply: 

Interested eligible NARS research scientists should apply by completing the online application form.


Key dates:

Call for applications release: 1st September 2017

  • Application deadline: 30th September 2017. Late and / or incomplete applications will NOT be considered.
  • Communication to applicants: 6th October 2017


There are several fully funded places for this workshops. However, eligible applicants who can fully or partially fund their participation (at least 50%) have an added advantage. The cost of workshop is approximately $1600, excluding flights and accommodation.


About the partners:

International Foundation for Science: The IFS aims to support excellent individual and collaborative research, to build capability of early-career scientists in the developing world, and to contribute innovation to the sustainable management of biological and water resources. In particular, to enable young scientists to contribute to a global research community that is aiming to reduce poverty and supporting sustainable development. The primary focus remains the promotion of excellent science through early-career research grants and capability enhancing support to individual researchers in developing countries. More information is available at: 


International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications: ISAAA is a not-for-profit international organization that shares the benefits of crop biotechnology to various stakeholders, particularly resource-poor farmers in developing countries, through knowledge sharing initiatives and the transfer and delivery of proprietary biotechnology applications. ISAAA's global knowledge sharing network and partnerships in the research and development continuum, provide a powerful combination of science-based information and appropriate technology to those who need to make informed decisions about their acceptance and use. ISAAA’s services include capacity building for policy makers and scientists; regulatory oversight on such issues as biosafety and food safety; impact assessment, and science communication. More information is available at:


Training Venue:

All workshops will be  hosted at the BecA-ILRI Hub, a shared agricultural biosciences platform located at and managed by ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya. The platform increases access to world class bioscience facilities for African and international scientists conducting research on African agricultural challenges. The BecA-ILRI Hub was established as part of the African Union/ New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AU/NEPAD) African Biosciences Initiative (ABI). It was developed within the framework of NEPAD’s Centers of Excellence for Science and Technology and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP). The BecA-ILRI Hub’s mission is mobilizing bioscience for Africa’s development, by providing a centre for excellence in agricultural biosciences. This enables research, capacity building and product incubation, conducted by scientists in Africa and for Africa. The Hub empowers African institutions to harness innovations for regional impacts in improved agricultural productivity, income, and food and nutritional security.

For comprehensive information about the BecA-ILRI Hub visit:


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