Form Submission: Opportunities

Call for Applications for student project under ICRAF Fellowship Program 2020
  1. About the World Agroforestry Centre:

The World Agroforestry Centre (also known as the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry or ICRAF) is an independent research institution that generates science-based knowledge about the complex role trees play in agricultural landscapes. The Centre uses its research to inform policies and practices that benefit the poor and the environment– through developing agroforestry and landscape management innovations, tools and policy recommendations, for increased food security and ecosystem health. ICRAF regards MS and PhD fellowships as important means of developing excellent research capacity in developing countries.

The Centre’s headquarters is in Nairobi, Kenya, and research and development activities are conducted in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. ICRAF is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and is a recipient of funding from over 50 different donors.

To learn more about our organization, please visit our website:

ICRAF is inviting applications from qualified candidates to work under the newly formed Transformative partnership platform (TPP)-- Nutri-scapes. Nutri-scapes is seeking interested young researchers from the nutrition or social science fields that want to contribute to the goals of the platform. If you have an idea for a small research project that would contribute to the goals of the platform to solve nutrition challenges in developing countries, please submit a short proposal outlining the idea, the proposed timeline and the required budget up to approximately USD 3,000. The proposal should not exceed 2 pages.

The funds can be used for; a stipend at an approved rate, research costs, field work (where possible), medical and accident insurances, any other costs depending on the type of project proposed.

Due to the current difficulties in conducting field research we are especially interested in ideas that look at existing data or literature and contribute to the theoretical underpinnings or collate existing knowledge. The aim should be a publication.

Please send your proposal along with your CV latest by August 20th, 2020.

Successful proposals will contribute to the following vision and be cognizant of the background outlined below:

CIFOR-ICRAF have generated important evidence over the last several years highlighting the important roles that forests and agroforestry play for food and nutrition as well as income and the environment. The Transformative partnership platform -- Nutri-scapes is a platform for merging and consolidating these advances, continuously bringing in other partners, and raising the profile of the importance of forests and agroforests for food and nutrition. It will build on existing data and evidence to deliver sustainable solutions to the food and nutrition challenges faced in many tropical countries, across multiple scales. Past research has highlighted the contributions and critical roles of forests and trees within the wider food system for supporting availability and access to a greater diversity of nutritious foods. Additionally, income has been identified as a key factor, amongst others, that affects nutritional status (positive as well as negative). Nutri-scapes integrates insights from the fields of ecology (and genetics), agronomy, nutrition and economics to expand this partnership and develop transformative solutions for food and nutrition security challenges from a broad perspective and with a distinct landscape lens - ensuring sustainability at the household level and beyond. Nutri-scapes is designed to support and leverage ongoing initiatives and create a holistic framework across CIFOR-ICRAF as well as those of key partners.

Global food systems that focus on an ever-narrower range of calorie-rich but nutritionally limited crops, degrade ecosystems, and endanger human health. Dietary risk factors are the primary cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, most caused by low consumption of nutrient-dense foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and overconsumption of foods high in fat and simple sugars, including highly processed foods. The need for a profound change of the global food and agriculture system away from simply supplying food, towards providing healthy diets is increasingly recognized in recent global policy frameworks and commitments. Forests, agroforestry systems, and other poly-cultural landscapes, provide a diversity of nutritious foods that support healthy diets, while also providing livelihood opportunities. Tree based landscapes are ideally placed to serve these multiple purposes and support nutrition as well as livelihoods of the people that live in them. 

Tree foods present rich nutrient sources – of minerals, vitamins and other important phytochemicals – from local ecosystems and are traditionally used to complement and diversify typical staple-based diets, thus preventing nutrient deficiencies and contributing to human health. Forests and trees also affect food security and nutrition indirectly through the ecosystem services that they provide to food production. These services include crop pollination, soil nutrient replenishment and recycling, and water retention. Mosaic landscapes characterized by trees and secondary forests with agriculture often result in high overall biodiversity as well as agrobiodiversity and dietary diversity. Forests also provide important habitats for animal source foods including bushmeat, insects, and fish. The associations between food, health, and environment, and their role in better diets, has been discussed for some time. Yet, the recognition of the contributions of tree-based landscapes towards better nutrition has been limited mostly to those that work in this specific field, with evidence and recommendations available on a case study basis. Within the global food system agenda, there is space for bringing greater visibility to, and evidence of, the role that forests and agroforestry play in securing more ecologically sustainable and nutritious diets.

Beyond their direct food contribution, tree-based activities either in forestry or agroforestry, also indirectly affect food and nutrition security through income from employment in these sectors or through sale of self-produced or harvested products. Yet incomes generated from forestry and agroforestry are embedded in a larger portfolio of income generating activities that affect local diets as well as the landscapes in which the activities are taking place. These activities affect not only the producing household’s food choices but also can have impacts on producers and consumers at other points in the food system, while they are in turn affected by decisions at other scales as well. We need to better understand these interactions to ensure that proposed solutions in one space do not have negative consequences at other levels in the food system. This TPP will widen the scope of the work that ICRAF and CIFOR have already done and engage with partners to broaden our work on food systems to explore the solution space to nutritional challenges in order to account for these systemic interactions. The main objective is to work towards sustainable landscapes that at the same time improve nutrition while securing livelihoods.


  1. Qualifications:
  1. A completed Master’s degree in related field of study from an accredited academic institution with above average results; or enrolment in a master program that aligns with the research proposed here
  2. Excellent command of English language (demonstrated through a Master’s level thesis written and defended in English and/or IELTS/TOEFL scores).


Eligible female candidates, candidates from less privileged regions or groups as well as candidates with disabilities meeting required qualifications and conditions will receive preference.


  1. Period of Fellowship

Earliest: September 2020 – December 2020 (this is the maximum period while shorter periods will be considered against the proposal contents). The dates may vary depending on the contractual arrangements and the specifics of the projects proposed.


  1. Terms and conditions
  2. The proposed budgets will be reviewed for compliance with ICRAF standards and their appropriateness for the outputs.
  3. All payments will be made against appropriate receipts
  4. Any attempt to influence the short-listing or selection process at ICRAF will lead to rejection of the applicant.


  1. Application Procedure

Interested candidates should apply electronically by email to cc: by August 20th 2020. The essential documents required for applications are mentioned below. Applications received on or before  August 20th 2020 (23:59 Nairobi time) will be considered. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


6.1 Documents to be submitted with applications:

a. A letter of motivation (1 page or less explaining why you are interested in joining this particular research partnership)

b. Signed curriculum vitae; please use the Europass CV template (  

c. Certified and scanned copies of all university degree certificates

d. Certified and scanned copies of all university transcripts

e. Original. research proposal, budget and a work plan (2 pages excluding the budget and references)

f.  Introduction, the development challenge that this research addresses or contributes to, scientific problem and knowledge gap articulation, and the objectives and research questions of the proposed research

g. Data requirements, research methods proposed to collect the data, and analytical techniques/tools/approaches

 h. Envisaged outputs with tentative titles of the proposed research articles

i.  Proposed Work Plan

j.  Budget / Required resources  

k. References

6.2 Selection Procedure:

ICRAF will shortlist qualified candidates based on quality of the concept note. Up to three short listed candidates will be invited for a virtual (skype/WebEx) or physical interview by an expert pannel.


Note: only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

For further inquiries, please contact by email to

Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 23:45
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