ILRI – DAAD PhD Graduate fellowship (Social networks, risk management and uptake of improved dairy technologies)

ILRI – DAAD PhD Graduate fellowship: – Social networks, risk management and uptake of improved dairy technologies

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in partnership with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) In-Country/In-Region Scholarships Programme invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for PhD scholarships seeks to recruit a PhD graduate fellow to undertake a research study on Social networks, risk management and uptake of improved dairy technologies.

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock.

It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

DAAD is a German Academic Exchange service which is a publicly funded, self-governing organization of the institutions of higher education in Germany. DAAD promotes international academic exchange as well as educational co-operation with developing countries through a variety of funding and scholarship programs.

The Position:

Much recent work on uptake of technologies in low and middle-income countries has tended to focus on farm level characteristics with little appreciation of how social capital influences technology uptake in small holder systems.

Technological growth is often inhibited by risk aversion and productivity gains are often under realized. Collaborative ventures, through farmer social networks, have the potential to diffuse the risk associated with uptake of new technologies.

Taking a network approach would provide more holistic understanding of risk management and technological uptake, than from a purely smallholder farm problem explored in the past.

This PhD will extend understanding of technology adoption within LMICs by augmenting farm level economic analysis with social networks for a range of dairy farmers operating in Kenya and possibly extending to Malawi and Rwanda.

This will be conducted through collection of primary data and application of novel analytical methods. In addition, attitudes to and experiences of risk management, as well as uptake of technologies and techniques will be explored in these data collection exercises.

Network analysis and risk diffusion is a novel approach to understanding and, ultimately, increasing technology uptake for small holder farmers; and, as such, the funded student will help identify key network characteristics – degree, closeness and “betweenness” – that influence adoption.

Matched funds for this proposal have already been secured from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) component would be put alongside to allow a fully funded PhD. SRUC funding is contingent on securing this matched funding.

ILRI Program: Policy Institutions and Livelihoods

Main ILRI Project Title: Kenya Crops & Dairy Market Systems Development (KCDMSD) – Dairy Value Chain

Graduate fellows project title: – Social networks, risk management and uptake of improved dairy technologies

CGIAR Research Program (CRP) linkage: Livestock

Key responsibilities:

  • Develop detailed research proposal within the parameters outlined above
  • Conduct farm and community level research using quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore how social connectedness influences willingness to innovate
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Write reports and journal articles
  • Interact with the wider project team


  • MSc in a relevant discipline
  • Understanding and experience of smallholder systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Ability to produce written work of high quality
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams
  • Willingness to spend considerable periods in challenging rural locations for field work
  • Evidence of initiative and ability to work independently
  • An effective and energetic team player with the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
  • Ability to work independently, multi-task and meet tight deadlines.
  • The applicant must be a citizen of a country in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Master’s degree must have been completed less than six years ago at the time of application

Location: – Kenya (and Rwanda/Malawi)

Duration of contract: The period for this project/fellowship will be 3 years, commencing September 2018

Terms of appointment and stipend: ILRI will offer a competitive stipend to cover living expenses in the project location. The successful candidate will be supervised jointly by an ILRI scientist and the university/academic supervisor.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit the following documents:

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in the scholarship position, what you can bring to ILRI. The graduate fellowship project title and reference number should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter
  2. Names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about your professional qualifications and work experience
  3. Signed curriculum vitae scanned in PDF; please use the Europass CV template available on (
  4. Certified scanned copies of all university degree certificates
  5. Certified scanned PDF copies of all university transcripts
  6. A temporary admission letter including fee structure of respective course or an official letter assuring admission (scanned PDF copy). This will be provided to you in soft by your institution upon shortlisting. If this is not available by the closing date for application; please include with the application a commitment letter that you will have obtained this by 1st September 2017 as this is a mandatory requirement before commencing the fellowship program
  7. PhD research proposal including a work plan (10 to 15 pages); plagiarism tests will be checked! The proposal has to be in line with the above outlined ILRI’s research project
  8. One page abstract of the proposal (please include name and title of proposal)
  9. Confirmation of study leave from your institution or university/ Confirmation of teaching release (if applicable; scanned PDF copy)

Applications should be made to the Director, People and Organizational Development by CLICKING HERE before 11th February 2018. The position title and reference number REF: PIL/PHD/03/2018 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI, visit our websites at

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

Agriculture and Agribusiness, NGO and UN
Updated: January 27, 2018 — 8:29 am