FOSC Graduate Student Research Fellowship
Food Systems and Climate (FOSC) is the European Research Area Network (ERA-Net) Cofund action on Food Systems and Climate. FOSC is built upon and supported by the experience from FACCE-JPI and LEAP-Agri. The consortium consists of 28 partners from Europe, Africa and Latin America. FOSC pulls together resources for a joint research programme and is supported by the European Commission (EC) through an ERA-Net Cofund grant.
Maseno University is a beneficiary of FOSC program through the project titled ‘Blue-cycling: Resource Efficient Food Production’, which is a 3-year research project supported by the FOSC program and is being implemented by a consortium that includes Maseno University, Kenya, Gothenburg University, Sweden, Stellenbosch University, SA, Wageningen University, The Nerthelands, University of Greenwich and Central America Technical University.
In the BLUECYCLING project we focus on using existing technologies and innovation in particular aquaponics and use them in a new context to create opportunities for future food production systems that ensure urban communities have access to adequate nutrition. BLUECYCLING responds to food production challenges by working with integrated agri-aquaculture systems to find innovative strategies that can transform aquacultural, agricultural and industrial waste streams into profit. The elegance of aquaponics technology is that it offers a water saving and climate change resilient and water saving solution for meeting ambitious production targets, while at the same time satisfying the needs for food, feed, bio-based products and energy. The overall objective of BLUECYCLING is therefore to provide a climate-change-resilient food production solution that:
Reduces, reuses, and recycles inputs to the food production system to increase nutrient and water use efficiencies, thus valorising side-streams;
- Nutrient Use Efficiency – Recovery of nutrients from the aquaculture (water & sludge) and hydroponic (water & plant waste) components waste-streams by turning them into value (e.g., biofertilizers).
- Water Use Efficiency – Water and nutrients can be extracted from an aquaculture system and delivered to the plants as a highly concentrated hydroponic solution. The water from greenhouses can also be optimised for re-circulation into the aquaculture system utilizing reverse osmosis systems.
- Reduction of climate emissions – Usage of industrial waste-heat streams, avoiding the production and transport of nutrients for fertigation, and replacing industrial produced CO2 for CO2 dosage in closed crop production with natural bio-based CO2, is contributing to a CO2- neutral farming approach.
- Industrial integration – Systems integration regarding external infrastructure for water harvesting, energy, waste management to optimise the systems within various economic contexts and geographical sites.
- Economic feasibility – Price volatility effect of climate-change-driven water stress, droughts etc., on prices and access to food, feed, fertilizer; strategies for integrated production to counteract these stresses.
The fellowship will involve research work leading towards PhD. It will involve: i) data collection (either through field survey or field/laboratory experimentation or simulation), ii) data analysis, iii) thesis writing and iv) dissemination of research results through journal publications and conference presentations. The research fellows may also take part in a short term north - south exchange among project partners.
Consequently, the fellowship will cater for Personnel costs as follows: 1 x PhD student 36 months (EU 16,452)., 1 x Msc. Student 24 months (EU 9,900) as regular stipend and research allowances during the active study period.
Interested candidates should meet the following criteria;
- Be bonafide postgraduate student registered at Maseno University
- Have successfully completed course work (attach transcript)
- Have no other commitments/engagements and is willing to undertake the research for the duration of the project period on full time basis
- Have an evidence-based interest in climate smart agriculture demonstratable through scientific publications
NB: Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Application process
Interested candidates are required to:
- Submit an application letter and current CV via email to email@example.com with subject line as “FOSC’’ research fellowship” indicating clearly which fellowship you are interested in e.g. “Graduate fellow” or “Doctoral fellow”.
- Attach a motivation letter (maximum 300 words) on why you are the suitable candidate for the project, areas of interest and what you will bring on board to ensure project success. The letter should be addressed to, The Principal Investigator, FOSC Project, Department of Animal and Fisheries Sciences, Maseno University.
- For doctoral fellowship applicants, also attach a Concept Note (not more than two pages (Times New Roman font 12, with 1.5 line spacing, normal margins)) of the proposed research work.
- The deadline for application is 30th May 2023.
Best of Luck