Special Call for Applications: Ten RUFORUM Community-Based Field Attachment Programme Awards

Proposal submission to RUFORUM Secretariat by 30th November 2017

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is working for strengthening capacities of students to contribute to sustainable agricultural development, building resilience of small-scale agriculture, improving livelihoods and reduction of rural poverty in Africa. The goal is to ensure that the next generation of agriculture specialists and scientists from Africa are innovative, understand rural realities and have the commitment to improve the conditions of the poor.

RUFORUM invites eligible applicants to apply for undertaking short-term placements in community – based field attachment projects linked to agriculture and rural development and enhance the RUFORUM students’ practical skills necessary to work with agriculture and rural development. The initiative will provide an opportunity to engage with local communities in these thematic areas namely: Rural income-generation, Best practices for sustainable agriculture, Gender and Agri-entrepreneurship for rural youth for improving livelihoods and reducing rural poverty. The purpose is to strengthen interactions between young scientists and rural communities, promote knowledge exchange and build peaceful societies by harvesting the potential of agriculture. The initiative is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of  the United Nations (FAO) for promoting youth support for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and in particular, SDG2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

The RUFORUM Community- Based Field Attachment Programme Award (CFAPA)

The Community-Based Field Attachment Program Award (CFAPA) is a competitive grants program designed as graduate student placement in rural community to apply, scale-out and disseminate thesis research findings which can contribute to the increasing of the sustainability and resilience of small-scale agriculture, improving livelihoods and reducing rural poverty. The purpose is:

  1. To provide an opportunity for the student to link academic work with the experience of rural community and engage in knowledge exchanges with local farmers;
  2. To provide a local implementing agency (local government, rural institutions, farmers groups, NGOs etc) with the specialized knowledge of the student to scale out the research findings and promote new approaches for improving livelihoods and reducing rural poverty;
  3. To provide the student with practical skills to apply research findings in development-related field projects, engage with local communities and generate innovative solutions.

Call for RUFORUM CFAPA Application  

There are ten awards available to MSc and PhD students who have recently graduated, or who have submitted their theses and are awaiting results.  These grants are for a maximum of $4000 over a period of six months, and is meant to provide support for dissemination activities, materials, transport, and up keep during the attachment. For the preparation of submissions, all applicants should refer to the Competitive Grants Manual (Competitive Grants System (CGS) Grants Manual General Information and Guidelines).

Submission of proposal  

All CFAPA applications are received on-line using the RUFORUM Information Management System (RIMS). The CFAPA applicants should open an account on http://rims.ruforum.org. Remember to select the correct CALL ID: RU/2017/FAPA. Before you go on-line to apply, please make sure you have read the guidelines for application and online submission instructions (Annex 1).


RUFORUM will invite students to send their applications with project proposals. The placements will be selected based on the quality of their project proposals. Academic merits and relevant previous experiences will also be taken into account. The submitted project proposals have to be linked to one or more of these themes: Rural income-generation, Best practices for sustainable agriculture, Gender and Agri-entrepreneurship for rural youth for reducing rural poverty. All projects have to take place in rural communities, preferably where the student may have done the initial research for his/her thesis, and offer strategies and approaches to bring benefits at the community level. Provision of supervision should be included in the proposals.

What is expected from the Applicant?

  1. The Call is open to all RUFORUM sponsored MSc and PhD students who have recently graduated, or who have submitted their thesis for examination
  2. The attachment must be linked to one or more of four themes indicated above, and related to the dissemination, application and/or scaling out the research results carried out during the MSc and PhD studies,
  3. The University, through the Dean, must provide a letter of support to the application
  4. There must be proof of acceptance of the attachment by the host organisation or a representative of the local implementing agency
  5. Evidence of demand for this attachment from the local rural community will be an added advantage


Please refer to the Competitive Grants System (CGS) Grants Manual (Competitive Grants System (CGS) Grants Manual General Information and Guidelines), especially Appendix 1 for general information and guidelines. The key requirements are:

  • Evidence of recent degree award or a letter from the Dean confirming that the thesis has been submitted and the student is awaiting the examination process.
  • Completed an on-line Application Form that includes a summary of the applicant’s research work, a short motivation of why they should receive the award and an outline of what they propose to achieve during their attachment.

Application Review Process

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis by the RUFORUM Technical Committee.  Proposals will go through a compliance review and the Technical Committee selection procedure. Criteria for selection and ranking by Technical Committee:

  1. Clear articulation of the purpose of the project proposal
  2. Realistic timeline and achievable objectives
  1. Clearly identified benefits for the rural community where the project will take place
  1. Participatory and innovative approaches for reducing rural poverty and improving sustainable livelihoods will be prioritised
  2. Alignment with RUFORUM goals and core values. Proposals that are gender sensitive in their approach with recognition and steps to promote women or marginalised groups will receive some preference

Grant Award Process

Letters will be sent to the student advising them of success and establishing banking details. The stipend is paid in two tranches directly to the student, with the second payment dependent upon successful delivery of outputs.

Reporting Requirements

The Awardee is expected to provide:

  1. Monthly progress reports to the host institution/University Supervisor.
  2. A brief biodata with outline of career record of awardee for the RUFORUM and FAO Newsletter at the end of second month of the attachment.
  3. A one page write-up of their experiences for the RUFORUM/FAO newsletters at the end of the attachment.
  4. A policy brief generated from the implementation of activities during the CFAPA and submitted to the University and RUFORUM.
  5. A CFAPA final report submitted at the end of the six months attachment to RUFORUM- highlighting the experiences of the field attachment and potential areas for further research and action and the CFAPA outcome.
  6. Ten minutes videos prepared by each student on the activities delivered under the community-based field placements and their impacts for local community.

Time Frame for Call ID RU/2017/CFAPA

  1. Deadline for Proposal submission to RUFORUM Secretariat by 30th November 2017
  2. Compliance Review finalized 3rd December 2017
  3. Secretariat to compile proposals for review by Technical Committee by 10th December 2017
  4. Technical Committee meeting to be held 14th December 2017
  5. Results from the selection will be communicated to applicants by end of December 2017

Inquiries and more Information

For inquiries and more information email h.massa@ruforum.org copy p.nampala@ruforum.org and cgs@ruforum.org


The RUFORUM Online Grants Submission system is now available for use online. Kindly see the guidelines for access the system below:

  • Go to this online link on the RUFORUM Information Management System (RIMS): http://rims.ruforum.org and create a new account or log in with your existing account.
  • If the system tells you that your account already exists then choose to reset your password and follow the instructions
  • Log in with your email address and chosen password
  • You will be taken to a view where you will see a link called “Apply for a Grant” Click on this link and begin the application process
  • You can begin the application process, save and return to it at a later date / time.
  • As you work online please remember to save your work. You will also be reminded to save if you take time without saving your work.
  • Remember to choose the right call: CALL ID: RU/2017/FAPA
  • You need to download the following templates from the online system. You can fill them in and re-attach them when they are ready:
    1. Application Form_CFAPA.docx
    2. Budget Template_CFAPA.xls
    3. Project Timeline_CFAPA.docx
  • The first part requires you to enter your profile / personal information
  • The second part requires you to capture Project Information; Research Focus; Collaborator Information; Attach Letter from your university; Attach your project budget, Attach your project timeline; Attach your main application form
  • Please note that the letter of support from your university must be written by Head of Department and/ or Faculty/College. This letter must certify the following:
    1. You the applicant is a postgraduate student attached to the named Department/College;
    2. You the applicant have finalized (or is in the process) your coursework and thesis research/write-up and have submitted (or about to submit) for external examination (Applicants are advised to provide evidence)
    3. That the Head of Department and/ or Faculty/College has read this application in its entirety
  • There is no need to attach the Support Letters from the collaborating institutions.
  • Please remember to download the full Competitive Grants Manual to guide you as you prepare your proposal. It is found here: http://repository.ruforum.org/documents/ruforum-competitive-grants-system-manual
  • You can also download the CFAPA call from the online system
  • If you face problems with the online application system please email the Grants Unit on h.massa@ruforum.org and p.nampala@ruorum.org

Download the call. RUFORUM-CFAPA Call-311017_Final

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