The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for a Ph.D. Fellowship under the project, “Institutionalization of quality assurance mechanism and dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase crop yields and improve food security of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa – COMPRO-II.” However, priority will be given to Uganda citizens. The research fellow will particularly conduct process research to understand the mechanism underlying the effectiveness of commercial products under an integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) framework. Precisely, the study would lead to a better understanding of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) mechanisms/mode of action to improve growth parameters and yields of banana and yam in both greenhouse and field conditions.
The Ph.D. student will participate in laboratory, greenhouse and field screenings of selected commercially-available products. More specifically, he/she will:
1) conduct laboratory testing and characterization of commercial products known to contain AMF.
2) conduct greenhouse screening (i.e. effectiveness testing) of commercial products which meet the quality control based on the laboratory testing (i.e. analysis in item 1).
3) conduct field testing (i.e. effectiveness testing) of at least 20% of the commercial products which will have shown better plant growth or crop yields than the remaining ones based on the greenhouse screening (i.e. screening in item 2), for a minimum of three commercial products.
4) identify factors that positively or negatively affect the effectiveness of AMF under field conditions.
5) identify crop-responses to AMF treatment under specific field conditions.
6) identify the mode/mechanisms of action of AMF to improve the growth parameters and yields of banana and yam.
7) identify the AMF strains that can improve the growth parameters and yields of banana and yam.
8) analyze, report, and publish data generated during the above activities (i.e. items 1 to 7).
- A master degree in soil microbiology or soil fertility.
- Demonstrated experience of work in microbiology and genetic laboratories.
- Practical experience with soil science and soil fertility-related tools and approaches.
- Practical experience with fertilizer regulatory systems or quality assurance and quality control institutions.
- Strong oral and written communication skills in English.
- Team player with personality traits that enable him/her to motivate and communicate with all levels of the professional and support staff.
- Self-starting and energetic working style.
- Ability to exercise good judgment.
- The application package include at least: (i) a cover letter, (ii) a curriculum vitae, (iii) three reference letters including names and addresses of the referees, and (iv) a proof of the M Sc. degree
The Position is for three years. The student will be paid a monthly stipend, and applicable allowances as per IITA standards. The Ph.D. student will be based at Makerere University (MU), Kampala, Uganda. However, in addition to the activities in Uganda, he/she may also have to conduct similar activities in Nigeria.
The deadline for application to IITA is September 28th, 2012. Thereafter, the selected candidates by IITA will have to send their application (including all the information required by the university) for enrollment to MU. Successful candidates will be informed by MU following the university regulations.
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates. All applications will be acknowledged, but only short listed candidates will be contacted.
For more information about IITA, visit: www.iita.org