[RUFORUM PhD Experience] Dr. Aloys Fashaho’s Doctoral Studies Experience Under RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship Programme

Dr. Aloys Fashaho is glad to share with you his experience and lessons learnt during his four-year journey (2016 – 2020) of doctoral studies under RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) Programme, and its significance to his career. Aloys is a Rwandese national born on April 16th, 1969. He has been working for the University of Rwanda as an academic staff since 2006 and occupied positions of Academic Secretary of Agroforestry Department and Head of Department of Crop Sciences. As an academic staff, his responsibilities include teaching, conducting research and transferring technologies to the community. Aloys has completed his PhD Programme and will be awarded PhD degree in Soil Science by Egerton University /Kenya on July 31st, 2020. His thesis is entitled “Evaluation of Soil Properties and Response of Maize (Zea mays L.) to Bioslurry and Mineral Fertilizers in Terraced Acrisols and Lixisols of Rwanda”. He holds a Master’s degree in Sanitary Engineering /Agricultural Sciences and Biological Engineering awarded by “Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux /Belgium” in 2008 and a Bachelor’s degree in Soils and Agricultural Engineering awarded by the National University of Rwanda in 2003. His master’s degree programme was sponsored by NUFFIC through the project of Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences for capacity building of the Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (PR-ISAE) in Rwanda.

Aloys started his PhD studies in May 2016. As a Lecturer at University of Rwanda, College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, he received a scholarship under the RUFORUM – GTA programme. The scholarship involved a tripartite agreement where the University of Rwanda (sending University) provided study leave and living allowances, Egerton University, Kenya (host University) provided tuition fee and accommodation waiver and RUFORUM provided research funds. He was admitted into the PhD Programme in Soil Science at the Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils in the Faculty of Agriculture at Egerton University. He was allocated two supervisors from Egerton University and one Supervisor from University of Rwanda. In collaboration with his supervisors, he developed a research proposal which was defended at both Departmental and Faculty levels in 2016. The proposal was approved by the Board of Post Graduate Studies, and the PhD student was then allowed to commence research. Trials were conducted in fields belonging to farmer cooperatives, in three cropping seasons, between 2017 and 2018. The research involved testing effects of bioslurry and mineral fertilizers on physical, chemical and biological properties of soils (terraced Acrisols in high altitude and Lixisols in medium altitude) and maize (Zea mays L.) crop performance.

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