The MUST-IUC Partnership titled “University as a Facilitator for Community-Based Sustainable Solutions to Demographic Challenges in South-Western Uganda” hereafter referred to as UCoBS is a 10-year (2022-2032) collaborative partnership project between Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and other Flemish Higher Education Institutions funded by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR UOS) with a strong niche of improving the household livelihoods of the Most at Risk Populations (MARPs) in South Western Uganda.
There are two sub-projects under the MUST-IUC UCoBS partnership that seek to support 02 PhD candidates in various disciplines of environment/conservation and renewable energy. Preference will be given to candidates that are already members of staff (or collaborators) of Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) scholarship Scope
The selected PhD candidate will be funded within the stipulated training period for not more than 4 years duration. The candidate will also benefit from funding for short research stays of 3-6 months annually in a Flemish University.
The full PhD funding is conditional on the successful defense of a PhD proposal and obtaining sufficient course credits at MUST and during the first months of stay in Belgium. The candidate will receive support for the PhD research activities and fieldwork.
The selected candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary and international research project and will contribute to addressing development-relevant issues in collaboration with Ugandan stakeholders.
The scholarship funding will be compliant with the official scholarship schemes of VLIR-UOS and the existing policy guidelines of MUST and implementing institutions.
The PhD candidate will be supervised and or promoted by a team of Flemish and Ugandan faculty and defend the thesis at Mbarara University of Science and Technology or a Flemish institution where the candidate is registered. The PhD candidate will interact with other PhD students from Uganda and Belgium. The candidate may have his/her PhD registered at two Universities for a Dual or Joint PhD if interested.
Scholarships under Sub-Project One
PhD Project Theme: Theory and Praxis of Governance Principles as Conservation Tradeoffs for Alternative Livelihoods and Sustainable Conservation Outcomes
PhD Focus and activities
This PhD position is embedded in the context of the sub-project titled ‘Improved Conservation Practices for the Environment and Natural Resources’. Specifically, the sub-project focuses on improved conservation practices, environmental restoration and natural resource governance which are central in stimulating sustainable demographic dividends in SWU.
This Phase 1, the sub-project will focus on River Rwizi and River Ruhezamyenda for the river systems, Bwindi Impenetrable and Lake Mburo National Park for the Protected Areas (PAs) and integration of Batwa and Bahima indigenous knowledge. The PhD theme aims at addressing objective 1 that focuses on integrating governance principles into natural resource and environmental conservation.
The aims and objectives are framed under three domains (capacity building, knowledge generation and community impact. The sub-project will use the multi-stakeholder engagement, participatory mapping and policy arrangements approaches such as key informant interviews, stakeholder dialogues and citizen science.
For objective I, the project will use; Innovative research using participatory mapping method to engage local people in data collection and reporting on human wildlife conflicts. Participatory approaches such as narrative inquiries will be undertaken.
Dialogues and negotiations between indigenous people and conservation managers will be facilitated to inform the integration of cultural values and indigenous knowledge in the management and conservation of natural resources. The PhD project will be conducted under the guidance and supervision of professors from MUST and Flemish Partner Institutions.
The PhD applicant’s Profile
We welcome applicants who are:
- Aged between 20-40 years
- Hold at least an honors Bachelor’s and Masters degree in Natural resource Management, Environmental Science, Conservation Science, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Public Administration or any related scientific discipline;
- Have experience in both qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques;
- Highly motivated to undertake academic research in an international context and commit to quality research outputs;
- Hard-working and able to manage a project independently, taking initiatives and meeting deadlines and finish the PhD training within the stipulated time;
- Able to develop a detailed concept note (pre-proposal) and demonstrate his/her ability to finish it and produce a fully researchable and competitive proposal;
- Demonstrate creativity, uncovering hidden issues that will benefit the project, science and local livelihood in general;
- Frank and willing to respect agreements; believe in project confidentiality and proper data handling and processing;
- Demonstrate willingness to contribute to the administrative management of the project;
- Demonstrate academic leadership and willingness to supervise Masters students;
- Demonstrate good interpersonal skills to interact with other project partners and stakeholders;
- Willing to develop the research at Mbarara University of Science and Technology and continue to contribute to the teaching and research mission of MUST beyond the project’s lifetime
Sub-Project Three: Increased access and utilization of affordable Energy Technologies
This PhD position is framed in the context of the sub-project titled “Increased access and utilization of affordable Energy Technologies”. The project specific objectives are to; (i) develop and adapt affordable and environmentally friendly energy technologies for gender responsive outcomes; and (ii) transfer and up-scale new low-cost input and affordable energy technologies. This sub-project is part of six sub-projects under the MUST-IUC UCoBS partnership.
PhD Project Theme: Increased Access and Utilization of Affordable Energy Technologies (Socio-Economic Option)- (1 candidate)
PhD Focus and activities
The sub-project focuses on the development of affordable and cost-effective energy technologies that include; solar cooking technologies, improving the energy content and distribution of briquettes and investigating the socioeconomic implications of renewable energy to the local population.
For this year, the PhD focuses on the socio-economic aspect on determining the underlying factors and the socioeconomic implications of renewable energy to the local population that influence the uptake of renewable energy technologies. The data and information collected will inform the development of solar cooking technologies and improving the energy content and distribution of biomass briquettes.
The PhD applicant’s Profile (Socio-economic option)
The ideal candidate should have a background in social sciences and/or humanities
- The applicant should be aged between 20-40 years
- Should hold at least an honors degree in Social Sciences, economics, Business administration, Development Studies, or any related discipline.
- Have a master’s degree in the above mentioned or related disciplines
- Have research experience in the field of renewable energy research and/or applications.
- We require highly motivated candidates to undertake academic research in an international context and commit to quality research outputs;
- Should be hard-working and able to manage a project independently, taking initiatives and meeting deadlines and finish the PhD training within the stipulated time;
- Should be able to develop a detailed concept note (pre-proposal) and demonstrate his/her ability to finish it and produce a fully researchable and competitive proposal;
- Should demonstrate creativity, uncovering hidden issues that will benefit the project, science and local livelihood in general;
- The candidate is expected to be frank and willing to respect agreements; believe in project confidentiality and proper data handling and processing;
- Should demonstrate willing to contribute to the administrative management of the project;
- Should demonstrate academic leadership and willingness to supervise Masters students;
- Should demonstrate good interpersonal skills to interact with other project partners and stakeholders;
- Should be willing to develop the research at Mbarara University of Science and Technology and continue to contribute to the teaching and research mission of MUST beyond the project’s lifetime
The application should include:
- A concept (no more than 5 pages) is mandatory. The Concept note must include a title for the proposed study, brief background highlighting key literature, research problem, main research question(s)/objectives, methodology and list of key references.
- A CV (2 pages)
- Certified copies of academic degrees’ documents and transcript of records.
- A statement of motivation – why you think you are the best candidate for the PhD position (1 page).
- A letter of recommendation from the current employer/immediate supervisor (1 page) – if applicable.
- A letter from an academic referee supporting your application (1 page).
- A digital copy of your master thesis;
General Submission Procedure
Sub project One;
The applications should be addressed (and submitted) to Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +256751892953) and Prof. Dr. Stefaan Smis, (Email: email@example.com) MUST-IUC UCoBS Programme Support Unit offices at MUST Town Campus. For more information, contact Ms. Annah Amwikirize, (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +256 775888001).
Sub Project Three; The applications should be addressed and submitted to Dr. Johnes Obungoloch email@example.com; Tel +256775646496), Prof. Dr. Ir. Maarten Vanierschot (maarten.vanierschot@kuleuven) and Annah Amwikirize (firstname.lastname@example.org). Hard copies should be submitted to the MUST-IUC UCoBS Programme Support Unit offices at MUST Town Campus. For more information, contact Ms Annah Amwikirize,(email@example.com; Tel +256775888001
The selection process will involve two stages – a pre-selection phase between 1st- and 10th October 2022. Pre-selected candidates will be contacted for an interview between 10th and 15th October, 2022. The successful candidate should be ready to start on his/her PhD studies by mid October 2022. All applications should be submitted by 30th September 2022, 5:00 pm.