Escalating PhD training in Africa: RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship Programme

Escalating PhD training in Africa: RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship Programme

Application Deadline: 30th December, 2015

About the Call / Scholarship
This is to announce a Call for Applications for students registered in the RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship Programme (GTA) to support their doctoral research over two years. The research supported through these scholarships should contribute to the RUFORUM mission of linking universities closely with rural communities and with research, extension, development and policy-making agencies. However, other research areas will also be considered.


Applicants must be RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistants at member universities.

The Award

The scholarships are for a maximum of US$15,000 over a period of two years, and are meant to provide funds for student research ($10,000), Students travel ($1,000); Conference Participation ($2,300); Students supervision ($1,000); Thesis Publication ($200); Journal Paper Publication ($500).

Proposal preparation guidelines

For an understanding of the RUFORUM mission and the emphasis which underpins selections, and general information and guidelines on Doctoral Scholarships, you are referred to the RUFORUM website and to the Competitive Scholarships Scheme manual which also details RUFORUM policies applicable to copyright, ethics and related Issues ( To assist with their research proposals, applicants are referred to GEAR (Graduate Environment and Agriculture Research: A guide to effective and relevant agricultural research
in Africa).

Applicants are required to work with their supervisor(s) to submit their research proposal that clearly articulates the justification, objectives, hypotheses, activities and methodology, detailed budget and the final outputs. The proposal must have a plan for disseminating findings from the research. The entire proposal should be a maximum of 10 pages (A4) with 1.5 line spacing.

Application/Proposal Review Process

Submitted proposals will be screened by the RUFORUM Secretariat to ensure that they meet the compliance criteria provided in this call and the guidelines in the CGS Manual. Noncompliant proposals will be rejected. Compliant proposals will be sent out by the Secretariat for external review before subsequently being submitted, together with the review reports, to the Technical Committee for selection.
External Review

RUFORUM relies on the professional expertise, experience and judgment of external reviewers. All proposals will be reviewed by at least two external reviewers. Reviewers will be objectively critical while at the same time offering suggestions for improving the proposals, even for those being recommended for major revision or rejection. The emphasis for the reviewers is on the academic and scientific rigor of the proposal.
The external reviewers will mainly use the following criteria to judge/rank proposals;

  1. Overall project design, content and articulation/write-up
  2. Appropriateness/relevance and contribution to RUFORUM objectives
  3. The originality, innovativeness and contribution to science or development
  4. Research activities clearly defined
  5. Clear identification of pertinent research issues, achievable objectives
  6. Evidence of a good understanding of the literature, rationale for the particular
  7. Well-articulated methodological approach with evidence of good understanding of applicable methods
  8. Clearly articulated dissemination of results to communities, academia and, where appropriate, to service agencies, partners and policy-makers
  9. Feasibility: Can the PhD student achieve this in the time available and is it of the expected standard for a PhD?

Criteria for ranking and selection by Technical Committee

It is the responsibility of the RUFORUM Technical Committee to make the final selection of awardees. The main criteria will be the following;

  • Good external reviews.
  • Strong supporting letter from the faculty of the Regional PhD program the student is enrolled in.

Alignment with RUFORUM goals and core values

  • Proposals with recognition and steps to promote women and/or marginalized
    groups will receive some preference
  • Relevance; potential for subsequent internships, promoting sustainability and/or
    scaling up; quality, bringing new dimensions (value addition) etc. will all be taken
    into consideration.

Scholarship Award process
Successful applicants will receive Grant Award letters which specifies the amount of the grant, purpose and responsibility of the grant recipient and the university in monitoring the use of the grant funds and reporting requirements. Scholarships awarded are published in the RUFORUM News and are posted in the RUFORUM website (
Student mentorship
This is an important component of the RUFORUM scholarships and supervisors are encouraged to provide the support required to carry out effective research, good relations with partner communities and agencies and the publication and dissemination of results. Supervisors at both the host and home countries are expected to form consortia and to work closely together. The students will be expected to constitute themselves into groups within respective universities and across universities and become actively involved in RUFORUM activities which include retreats, workshops, seminars and conferences.
Reporting requirements
Grant beneficiaries are required to submit half-yearly progress reports on time, through their supervisors, to allow close monitoring by RUFORUM Secretariat

Time frame
The foreseen time frame for the award process is as follows:

  1. The deadline for receiving applications at RUFORUM Secretariat is 30th September 2015, 5.00 pm Uganda time.
  2. Administrative check/compliance review and feedback to applicants by 15th October 2015.
  3. Accepted proposals sent out for review by Technical Committee by 20th October 2015
  4. Review of Proposals by Technical Committee and selection completed by 20th November 2015
  5. Successful applicants informed electronically by 25th November 2015.
  6. RUFORUM Secretariat sends out Scholarship Award letters by 30th November 2015
    scholarships funds disbursed by 15th December 2015.

Proposal Submission
How to apply for a scholarship via RIMS

  1. Open this website link:
  2. If you don’t have an account you will be asked to register here:
  3. After registering successfully you will be taken to your dashboard. What you see on your dashboard depends on the permissions that you have been assigned by the RIMS Administrator.
  4. If you happen to have captured your email in RIMS, the system might tell you that your account already exists. If this is the case then follow the steps related to resetting your password/forgotten your password

What to do if you have forgotten your password or need to reset your password

  1. Open this website link:
  2. Instead of logging in, Click “Forgot Password”
  3. You will be asked to enter your email address and then click reset password
  4. The link to enable you reset your password will be sent to your email address. Please also check for this link in your spam folder in case it is delivered to your spam. Follow the instructions to reset your password
  5. Use your email and the new password to log into RIMS
  6. After successfully logging on you will be taken to your dashboard. What you see on your dashboard depends on the permissions that you have been assigned by the RIMS Administrator

How to log on if you have an existing account

  1. Open this website link:
  2. Click to log into RIMS by entering your email as the username and your password

After successfully logging on you will be taken to your dashboard. What you see on your dashboard depends on the permissions that you have been assigned by the RIMS Administrator.

How to submit a scholarship application via RIMS

  1. After successfully logging on click ‘Apply for a Scholarship’
  2. Choose correct call ID which is RU/2015/GTA/DRG/01
  3. Complete the online application form

Help Line

For help during online submission and more information please contact Mrs Sylvia Mkandawire at, or Mr. Brian Mukwaya at or Dr Solange Uwituze at

One Comment on “Call For Proposals Doctoral Regional Research Scholarships Call : RU/2015/GTA/DRG/01

  1. Pingback: Enhancing Staff Mobilities: 13 Graduate Teaching Assistants Placed | RUFORUM

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: