IITA Research Fellowships

About the International Fund of Agricultural Development

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was founded under the United Nations, as part of a decision made that was based on the 1974 World Food Conference. This was established as part of a response towards the food crises of the early 1970s. During that period of time, global food shortages were rampant throughout the world, and it results in widespread famine and malnutrition towards the Sahelian countries of Africa. It was then realized that all of these food-related problems were not resulted by the failures of food production, but more so int the structural problems that have a lot to do with the problems of poverty, especially with the existing reality that a lot of the poor people in the world originate from rural areas where food production is scarce due to poverty in rural areas.

About the IITA Research Fellowships

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has been awarded with a three-year research grant courtesy of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Through this research grant, the establishment holds a specific mission, which is “Enhancing capacity to apply research evidence in policy for youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa”. Under this specific research framework, IITA is currently offering 30 research fellowships for the following year of 2020. The research fellowship will require all of the selected candidates to be active in the art of research, and young academics and professionals will be pushed to their limits as they  contribute to policy development in youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa. Through the power of evidence-based research and powerful decision making, the programme committee hopes that the IITA Research Fellowships will inspire all youths to improve the availability and use of evidence for youth policies and decision-making related to youth participation in agribusiness and rural economic activities. In an effort to support this initiative, the establishment helps by funding, support, and the expertise of IITA’s scientists; skills and competencies in social and economic research; and a community of other fellows with whom to exchange ideas.

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Program Value

Selected candidates of the IITA Research Fellowships will receive generous benefits. All IITA Research Fellowships grantees will receive Research Grants are up to $10,000, supervision by one IITA scientist in collabaration with their national/university supervisor, professional mentorship on research methodology, data management, and scientific writing, as well as training on production of research evidence for policy-making.

Eligibility Criteria

Willing to try out for the IITA Research Fellowships? First things first, you will have to make sure that you are eligible for the programme itself. All candidates are strictly required to follow these set of criteria in order to proceed with the applications. Not being able to meet one of these criteria means that unfortunately, you are unable to register for the programme. Therefore, take a look at the criteria and double check whether you’re able to register for the programme or not:

  • Be able to conduct their research in these following countries: Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Senegal, and Zambia.
  • Must be below 40 years old at the time of application.
  • Is an admitted scholar at a research institute or university in Africa.
  • Or, must be a  student registered in a PhD or Master’s program in recognized universities in Africa, majoring in any of these following fields:
    • Agricultural Economics
    • Agribusiness
    • Economics or a related social science
    • Note: must have completed their university course work.
  • Be able to conduct their research at a maximum period of 6 months.


After checking off the eligibility criteria, you will then be requested to have these set of qualifications as per required by the IITA Research Fellowships. All of these aforementioned criteria are key to making sure that you land a spot within the scholarship programme. Though not being able to meet all of these requirements will not result you in getting immediately dismissed from applications, these qualifications will indeed strengthen your chance of earning yourself the IITA Research Fellowships. The requirements are as follows:

  • Has filled in the application form with their personal information (download application form here).
  • Has a valid copy of their citizenship identification of their passports.
  • Be able to provide their latest Curriculum Vitae (CV), work history and education. Please make sure that your Curriculum Vitaes are at a maximum of two pages.
  • Be able to provide proof of registration or a letter of admission at an accredited university for MSc and PhD programs.
  • Be able to provide any valid proof of employment at a research institute or university in Africa.
  • Be able to write up a solid, organized research proposal. Submit your documents’in this format: LastName_FirstInitial_Document.pdf (example:Smith_K_proposal.pdf). The Research proposal must include the following components in one PDF document.

How to Apply

In order to apply for the IITA Research Fellowships, all candidates must send in their applications electronically. All applications must be in either the English language or the French language. Once you have all of the application forms filled in, as well as the required documents all gathered up, candidates must sent them to this provided e-mail: IITATrainingUnit@cgiar.org. All of their personal details and information will be written down in the application text boxes, and all documents that are asked of the programme must be submitted in using PDF format. Please be noted that in terms of the evaluation process, there are several other key items that will be considered as well. This will include the the importance of the proposed policy issue and how clearly it is defined, the strength of the methodological model, and proposed analysis of the study. On top of it all, there will be preference provided based on a gender basis as well.

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Closing Date

Are you all set for the IITA Research Fellowships? Now’s your chance to sign up! However, before your get your applications forms and documents all ready, be sure to jot down the closing date. Remember – the program will not be responsible for any candidates’ failed application due to not meeting the deadline. The official closing date of the IITA Research Fellowships is on 19 December 2019. Only applications send before this deadline will be accepted. Any applications that are sent after the closing date will not be accepted and candidates will automatically be disqualified from the application procedure. In addition, only short-listed cnaidates whose applications have passed will be notified. If you have not heard back from the committee after a long period of time, we regret to inform you that you application has been considered to be unsuccessful.

Official Contact

We here understand that different candidates may required different kinds of information. While others have small minor questions that can be answered within a flash, others might have heavier inquiries or concerns that requires elaborate explanations. However, you don’t have to worry! Need more information about the IITA Research Fellowships? Don’t sweat, we’ve got you all covered! Check out these official contact information below if you need to ask more about the scholarship programs. Always ask questions you need the answers to. Whether it’s a simple question or an elaborate one, they’re all important. Happy applying, and we wish you all the best future scholars!

  • Official E-mail: IITA-TrainingUnit@cgiar.orgif
  • Official PDF File: Download link.

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4 thoughts on “IITA Research Fellowships

  1. Dear sir/madam first I want to apperciate IITA for giving this amount of award for young and energetic researcher to accomplish their research work.I am Asnake Beshah from Ethiopia I have completed my first year PhD course and now I am preparing proposal for my research. Since I am a soil microbiologist I intend to do my PhD research on Isolation and Molecular characterization of Rhizobia that nodulate groundnut and PGPR that enhance the growth and serves as a biocontrol for groundnut by tolerating any stress environment. At the end formulating and producing bioinoculant by using the isolated effective microorganisms and selling to the farmers who grow ground nut

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