Earning a fellowship does not come easy but through hard work and in-depth conceptualization and critical thinking. Following release the call for postdoctoral fellowship proposals by RUFORUM with Support from Carnegie Corporation of New York in April 2022. The call was seeking proposals from recent doctorate holders to improve their teaching, research, leadership and mentoring skills so as to help strengthen African Universities and research institutions for creating knowledge and prosperity in Africa. This is what I was looking for every other day after my PhD training. I did comprehensive review word by word of the call and a gut feeling whispered to my heart that this was the break through I needed to advance my research after completion of doctoral training. The funding for doctoral research had come to an end and my research career was in slowdown with no resources to continue conducting research for improvement of farmer preferred traits that offer food security, nutrition and resilience to climate change. I spent several nights awake while conceptualizing, researching and writing an impactful proposal, seeking for partnerships and letters of support and finally submitting it to RUFORUM.
After a comprehensive review and response to reviewers’ comments, I was awarded a post doc Fellowship hosted at Makerere University in collaboration with Bishop Stuart University in Uganda. The fellowship proposed implementation multidisciplinary research, training and mentorship programs aimed at developing research outputs with potential for improving food security, nutrition and incomes of small holder farmers in Uganda. Five research activities were proposed including crop improvement research for potato, yams, cowpeas, and rice, plus an investigation of the food storage technologies and agro processing innovations for food security used by small holder farmers to augment resilience to famine in their communities. The fellowship was designed to support mentorship of the fellow in teaching, research planning and management, academic supervision, scientific and grant writing, publication and scientific communication and transferable skills and networks for professional career growth. Besides supporting training and scientific publication of quality research papers by graduate students, making a contribution to the vision of skilling the next generation of African scientists. The fellowship brought together over eight collaborations, two mentors, 2 PhD students, 3 masters students and a postdoctoral Fellow.
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