Call for Applications: PhD Interns for UNU-INRA Green Economy Project

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  • August 13, 2015     Accra

    The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), with funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, is undertaking a three-year project entitled “Unleashing the Potential of African Rural Economies through Green Growth”. The project aims to provide empirical evidence on how green growth strategies can influence employment, income generation, innovation, competitiveness and social inclusion for rural Africa under four thematic areas:

    1. Green business opportunities in rural Africa
    2. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and resource efficiency, productivity and resilience in rural Africa
    3. Rural SMEs and ecosystem services
    4. Institutions and governance for environmentally-friendly business practices

    Thirteen PhD interns will be selected to be on the project. Three exceptional PhD interns will receive a two-year scholarship, which will require them to spend one year at UNU-INRA headquarters in Accra, Ghana, and another year at their affiliated universities. The other 10 PhD interns will spend 3–4 consecutive months at UNU-INRA headquarters in Accra, Ghana or at one of UNU-INRA’s operating units based in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, Senegal and Zambia.

    Who should apply?

    Applicants should be African nationals and must be enrolled in a doctoral programme, most preferably at the later stage of the PhD programme. They should be able to conduct high-quality research. UNU-INRA accepts applications from both Anglophone and Francophone applicants. But candidates should be fluent in oral and written English or French. While there are no restrictions with respect to the applicant’s area of study, this must be clearly linked to addressing the critical issues related to green growth in rural Africa.

    The PhD internship programme does not make provision for primary data collection or a PhD advisor’s honorarium, except for successful applicants under the two-year scholarship. Specific research questions may be proposed to a selected candidate, but priority will be given to those candidates who already have research questions that overlap with our current priority areas within green growth themes. For examples of research questions that the project would like to address, see the attached files.

    Contract Terms:


    UNU-INRA will provide two types of financial support. A monthly stipend of around USD 1,000.00 will be provided to a successful applicant spending a maximum of four months on the programme. The stipend is a contribution towards accommodation, subsistence, medical and other expenses.

    For a successful applicant under the two-year scholarship, a monthly stipend of about USD 600.00 will be provided. The stipend is a contribution towards subsistence, medical and other expenses. Also for this category of interns, the programme will make a provision for allowance, not exceeding USD 5,000.00 for collection of primary data when necessary, and also allowance for their PhD advisors, not exceeding USD 2,000.00. For all successful applicants, the Institute will provide a round trip ticket to and from the location of the programme.

    Duration of contract

    The successful candidate shall work at UNU-INRA Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, or at one of its Operating Units  in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, Senegal and Zambia, for a fixed period of four (4) months for the above-mentioned programme.

    Application Procedure:

    Interested applicants should submit their applications, preferably by e-mail to and must include the following:

    •   A completed application form (which is attached to this call);
    •   A curriculum vitae;
    •  A proof of enrolment in a PhD programme.

    As part of the application, your PhD supervisor will need to provide UNU-INRA with a reference letter.

    Application Deadline

    30th September, 2015.

  • Application Form-Formulaire d'application

    (134.0 KB PDF)

    PhD Interns Programme

    (138.0 KB PDF)

    Programme de Stage de Doctorat

    (222.4 KB PDF)

    Questions de Recherche en Économie Verte pour l'Afrique Rurale

    (67.7 KB PDF)

    Research Questions in Green Economy for Rural Africa

    (64.8 KB PDF)