Mbarara University of Science and Technology Applications for PhD Scholarship

By | September 9, 2022

Background

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 six sub-projects under the MUST-IUC UCoBS partnership that seek to support 03 PhD candidates in various disciplines of environment; climate change and food production; renewable energy; sexual and reproductive health, and innovative business entrepreneurship for youth employability. 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.

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 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 determine the underlying factors and the socioeconomic implications of renewable energy to the local population that influence the uptake of renewable energy technologies. This data and information collected will inform the development of solar cooking technologies, 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

  1. The applicant should be aged between 20-45 years
  2. Should hold at least an honors degree in Social Sciences, economics, Business administration, Development Studies, or any related discipline.
  3. Have a master’s degree in the above mentioned or related disciplines
  4. Have research experience in the field of renewable energy research and/or applications.
  5. We require highly motivated candidates to undertake academic research in an international context and commit to quality research outputs;
  6. 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;
  7. 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;
  8. Should demonstrate creativity, uncovering hidden issues that will benefit the project, science and local livelihood in general;
  9. The candidate is expected to be frank and willing to respect agreements; believe in project confidentiality and proper data handling and processing;
  10. Should demonstrate willing to contribute to the administrative management of the project;
  11. Should demonstrate academic leadership and willingness to supervise Masters students;
  12. Should demonstrate good interpersonal skills to interact with other project partners and stakeholders;
  13. 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

Application Procedure

The application should include:

  1. 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.
  2. A CV (2 pages)
  3. Certified copies of academic degrees’ documents and transcript of records.
  4. A statement of motivation – why you think you are the best candidate for the PhD position (1 page).
  5. A letter of recommendation from the current employer/immediate supervisor (1 page) – if applicable.
  6. A letter from an academic referee supporting your application (1 page).
  7. A digital copy of your master thesis;

Sub-Project Four: Improved sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, children and adolescents

The sub-project focuses on improving sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, children and adolescents. Specific of the sub-project objectives are; (i) to mainstream gender in reproductive health care promotion for MARPs to reduce GBV; (ii) to optimise sexual reproductive health care services and rights for adolescents and; (iii) to strengthen quality improvement initiatives to optimise care and prevent maternal, new born and child related complications.

PhD Project Theme: Family Planning (1 candidate)

PhD Focus and activities

The sub-project focuses on family planning of adolescents and aims to contribute to improving adolescents’ access and utilization of family planning. The sub-project will use clinical and community-based (mixed-methods) research. The PhD project will be conducted under the guidance and supervision of professors from MUST and Flemish Partner Institutions.

The PhD applicant’s Profile

  1. Aged between 20-45 years
  2. Hold at least a Masters Degree of Nursing Sciences.
  3. Have experience in the field of family planning
  4. Highly motivated to undertake academic research in an international context and commit to quality research outputs;
  5. Hard-working and able to manage a project independently, taking initiatives and meeting deadlines and finish the PhD training within the stipulated time;
  6. 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;
  7. Demonstrate creativity, uncovering hidden issues that will benefit the project, science and local livelihood in general;
  8. Frank and willing to respect agreements; believe in project confidentiality and proper data handling and processing;
  9. Demonstrate willingness to contribute to the administrative management of the project;
  10. Demonstrate academic leadership and willingness to supervise Masters students;
  11. Demonstrate good interpersonal skills to interact with other project partners and stakeholders;
  12. 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

PhD Sub-Project Theme: Mainstreaming Gender in the Implementation of Community Based Sustainable Solutions to Demographic Challenges in South Western Uganda (1 candidate)

PhD Focus and activities

This sub-project theme focuses on gender inequality and inequity and aims to contribute to mainstreaming gender in the overall UCoBS project by focusing on 3 fixes: fixing the numbers, fixing the institution and fixing the produced knowledge. The sub-project will involve gender analyses and use participatory mixed-methods research methodologies.

The PhD applicant’s Profile

We welcome applicants who are:

  1. Aged between 20-40 years
  2. Hold at least a Masters Degree in Gender Studies, Development studies, Anthropology, Sociology or any other related field of study.
  3. Have experience in the field of gender studies
  4. Highly motivated to undertake academic research in an international context and commit to quality research outputs;
  5. Hard-working and able to manage a project independently, taking initiatives and meeting deadlines and finish the PhD training within the stipulated time;
  6. 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;
  7. Demonstrate creativity, uncovering hidden issues that will benefit the project, science and local livelihood in general;
  8. Frank and willing to respect agreements; believe in project confidentiality and proper data handling and processing;
  9. Demonstrate willingness to contribute to the administrative management of the project;
  10. Demonstrate academic leadership and willingness to supervise Masters students;
  11. Demonstrate good interpersonal skills to interact with other project partners and stakeholders;
  12. 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

Application Procedure

The application should include:

  1. A concept note of no more than 5 pages. 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.
  2. A CV (2 pages)
  3. Certified copies of academic degrees’ documents and transcript of records.
  4. A statement of motivation – why you think you are the best candidate for the PhD position (1 page).
  5. A letter of recommendation from the current employer/immediate supervisor (1 page) – if applicable.
  6. A letter from an academic referee supporting your application (1 page).
  7. A digital copy of your master thesis

General Submission Procedure

Sub Project Three;

The applications should be addressed and submitted to Dr. Johnes Obungoloch(jobungoloch@must.ac.ug; Tel +256775646496), maarten.vanierschot@kuleuven and Annah Amwikirize (aamwikirize@must.ac.ug). 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,(aamwikirize@must.ac.ug; Tel +256775888001

Sub Project Four; 

The applications should be addressed and submitted to Dr. Joseph Ngonzi, Email(jngonzi@must.ac.ug),  Tel (+256 703 81 83 36) and (Kristien.Roelens@uzgent.be) and Annah Amwikirize (aamwikirize@must.ac.ug). Hard copies should be submitted at MUST-IUC UCoBS Programme Support Unit offices at MUST Town Campus. For more information, contact Ms Annah Amwikirize,(aamwikirize@must.ac.ug; Tel +256775888001

Interviews

The selection process will involve two stages – a pre-selection phase between 12th- 16th September 2022. Pre-selected candidates will be contacted for an interview between 19th and 30th September, 2022. The successful candidate should be ready to start on his/her PhD studies by mid October 2022.  All applications should be submitted by 9th September 2022, 5:00 pm.

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