Under the recently launched Vice Chancellor’s Challenge Research Fund, The University of Zimbabwe invites applications for 5 DPhil and 8 MPhil fellowships within the framework of a research project “Development of food, beverage and feed products to promote the production and consumption of future grain cereals for food and nutrition security in the face of climate change using a value chain approach”. The project is funded by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development and responds to the University of Zimbabwe Strategic Plan 2019-2025 and the Government of Zimbabwe’s heritage-based Education 5.0 philosophy.
Scope of the project
The purpose of the project is to develop novel products (food, feed, non-food products) from Finger millet, Pearl millet and Sorghum (the future grains for Africa) as a way to promote the production and consumption of these cereals for food and nutrition security, and diversified business and income opportunities for industry and communities towards climate resilient livelihoods. The project focuses on:
- Product development – The project aims to develop and produce food, feed and other potential economic by-products from the future grain cereals (Finger millet, Pearl millet and Sorghum), and associated legumes, focussing on both humans (consumer needs) and livestock (to help boost the livestock industry). Positions: 2 DPhil and 2 MPhil. Focal departments - Department of Food, Nutrition and Family Sciences; Department of Biochemistry both in the Faculty of Science and Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture
- Processing – Focus here will be on developing small to medium scale processing plants and commercial systems tailor-made to increase supply and utilisation of the future grain cereals and legumes in Zimbabwe. Position – 2 MPhil – Focal department - Department of Soil Science & Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture.
- Production – This component will explore the development and promotion of future grain cereals and legume field production models to out scale output and increase productivity/profitability on farms in Zimbabwe. Positions – 1 DPhil, 1 MPhil. Focal department - Department of Soil Science & Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture.
- Crop improvement – Focus will be on characterizing Finger millet, Pearl millet and Sorghum germplasm for suitability in specific food, drink and feed formulation including identification of gene action governing the inheritance of those traits. Positions – 2 DPhil, 1 MPhil. Focal department - Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture.
- Business development and marketing - The research will focus on evaluating the future cereal grain cereals and legume value chain development and market linkages between farmers and players in the agro-industry. Positions – 2 MPhil. Focal department - Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture.
General information and application procedure
For the DPhil positions, a Masters or MPhil degree in a relevant field is required. DPhil has a duration of 4 years full time. For the MPhil positions, a Bachelor degree in a relevant field is required and duration is 2.5 years. The positions are fully funded for the duration of the registration period. Applicants are expected to: (1) submit a cover letter (maximum 1 page, font size 12) outlining your motivation and suitability for the research project being applied for and why; (2) A CV (max. 4 pages) including names and contact details of two referees and (3) Certified copies of academic certificates and transcripts. All applications should be submitted to:
The Executive Director, Research and Innovation
Office of The Vice Chancellor
University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167,
Mount Pleasant, HARARE, ZIMBABWE
Tel +263 242 303211 ext 11242.
The closing date for receipt of applications is 26 November 2019.