Nigeria Visiting Scholars 2018-19, Extended Application Deadline

Call for Applications: Extended Submission Deadline (February 28, 2018) and Greater Geographic Scope (open to ALL states in Nigeria)

Background
''The Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project is funded by the Nigeria Mission of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented jointly by Michigan State University (MSU) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The overall project has three principal objectives:

1) Strengthen the national capacity for greater evidence based policy processes in agriculture by increasing the capacity of Nigerian analysts to undertake and make widely available relevant evidence-based policy analysis;

2) Promote and foster informed policy dialogue among all stakeholders in the agricultural sector through an inclusive, transparent, and sustainable process at the country level, building blocks for a well-integrated and developed national policy system;

3) Support federal and state government efforts to improve their capacities to plan and implement effective policy analyses and programs, as well as to demand and absorb policy research in their policy process.

Nigerian Visiting Scholars Program

Toward component 1), the project offers a visiting scholars program. Short-term Project Scholar positions for Nigerian graduate students (studying at an accredited Nigerian university) are offered at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, Michigan, USA, during August 2018–May 2019. FIVE short-term post graduate student scholar positions are on offer for either Master’s or PhD level. The Master’s Level positions are for 1 semester, and the PhD Level, 2 semesters.

Project scholars will enroll in analytical/technical courses such as Statistics, Econometrics and Agricultural Development. The courses will be taken for credit, and depending on the Nigerian University requirements, would count towards the scholars’ Nigerian degree program. Also, while at MSU, the scholar will be expected to continue research work on their selected topic or a topic of interest to project stakeholders in Nigeria in addition to the course work. They will work under the supervision of MSU faculty/IFPRI researchers. The scholars’ tenure will be considered a full-time position with the expectation that the scholar will invest the requisite amount of work, study and time to be successful. Upon return home, scholars will be expected to support project activities (as determined by the project) based on their skills and competencies.

The student’s primary research supervisor (from a Nigerian University) will actively participate in the program. The advisor will be invited (and funded) to visit MSU for up to 30 calendar days and occur within the duration of the residence at MSU of their student, the short-term scholar. The research supervisor invitation has three accompanying obligations:

1) Give at least one presentation in the faculty of agriculture or an African studies research forum
2) Interact with MSU faculty in related areas. This interchange will enhance on-going research collaboration between MSU faculty, IFPRI researchers and Nigerian scholars.
3) Upon return to Nigeria, the professor will organize presentations and seminars for students at department, faculty and university levels at the home institution..

Eligibility

  • Nigerians studying in the area of Agriculture, at Post Graduate level in an accredited higher education institution in Nigeria
  • Good academic standing in their academic institution having the equivalent of a minimum GPA of 3.5 out of 5 (or equivalent for a 2nd class, upper division).
  • Good moral standing and found to be a fit and proper persons and in no way have any pending disciplinary cases before a duly recognized and constituted disciplinary body.
  • Demonstrated interest in an area being studied by researchers working under the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project.
  • Accept the responsibilities attached to participation.

Evaluation Criteria

Candidates will be selected on the basis of their previous research and academic achievements, the short write-up (included in the application packet), GPA, their ability to demonstrate strong commitment to research and their academic advisor’s willingness to participate in the program.

What the Short-Term Visiting Scholars Program Will Cover

  • Travel related costs, lodging and meals. Travel related costs are limited to visa fees, visa procurement, and round trip air tickets from Nigeria to East Lansing, Michigan USA.
  • Monthly stipend of $1,000. Up to 4 months for the Master’s Level, and up to 9 months for the PhD level.
  • Medical insurance for the duration of the Project Scholar’s MSU program.
  • No support whatsoever is provided for dependents.

Items to submit

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  1. A completed expression of interest application form
  2. A short write-up on the role of research in the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Process and how the applicant’s work fits into this (no more than 2 pages double spaced).
  3. A writing sample (e.g. research paper, chapter of University Project/Thesis etc.)
  4. Official Copy of Student’s academic transcripts
  5. Updated CV showing publications and awards
  6. A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s head of department or dean on official letter headed paper
  7. A statement from applicant’s primary academic advisor indicating willingness to support the application and the advisor’s availability to work with the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project and participate under the Academic Advisor segment of the Award.

Submission: e-mail address and deadline

Application documents must be submitted to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by midnight on 28 February 2018. The email should have on the subject line: Application for 2018-2019 FTFNAPP Short-Term Visiting Scholar Program at MSU. All application materials need to be submitted as attachments to a single e-mail, preferably in a “zip” file. Successful applicants who have been shortlisted will receive word of acceptance and details on next steps by April 1, 2018.

All enquiries related to this call should be addressed to: Project Specialist, Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48823 and submitted to:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For your information (not necessary to apply)
Appendix A: Ongoing and likely Research Topics of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project
Appendix B: Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project Short-Term Visiting Scholar Responsibilities
Appendix C: Conditions of Sponsorship for U.S.-Based Activities

PDF DOCUMENT OF THE APPLICATION INFORMATION

VIDEO of the Visiting Scholars Program