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PhD Fellowship:Sustainable Capacity Building in Veterinary Public Health and Biotechnology in Eastern Africa

Job Description: The Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (VPM) at The Ohio State University (OSU) initiated a collaborative effort on “Sustainable Capacity Building in Veterinary Public Health and Biotechnology in Eastern Africa” in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and three primary Eastern Africa Academic Institutes: Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Nairobi (Kenya) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania) and several affiliate institutions established a “VPH-Biotech Eastern Africa Consortium”. The vision of this program is to establish sustainable research and training capacity in Eastern Africa, create a critical mass and network of professionals in the region that will address key veterinary public health and livestock biotechnology issues to solve the increasing need in food safety and security.

The fellowships: OSU is recruiting three PhD candidates from partner institutes included in the consortium. As this is an initial pilot activity, during this cycle, priority will be given to the three academic institutes identified as primary capacity strengthening partners: Aklilu Lema Institute of Pathobiology (ALIPB), Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology (PHPT), University of Nairobi, Kenya and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. Each institute is expected to announce this call to all academic staff members to maximize quality of the applicant pool. OSU expects a minimum of three potential candidates from each institute. In cases when no candidate is identified from the primary partner by the application deadline indicated below or the applicants do not fulfill the criteria set forth below, qualified applicants from affiliate institutes will be considered.

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Format: This PhD fellowship program will be conducted using a Sandwich format. Stipend will be provided by three collaborating units within OSU. Successful candidates will spend two years period at OSU (Phase I) conducting mentored research and taking course work as needed. During this period, each successful applicant will be assigned to one of the three OSU sponsor units: Infectious Diseases Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (VPM-IDMEL); Food Animal Health Research Program (FAHRP) and Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases (PHPID). At the end of this period, fellows will be reallocated to their home institution (Phase II) and are expected to conduct PhD dissertation research as identified by the candidate together with OSU and regional mentors in the areas of infectious diseases of high public health significance. Fellows must enroll full-time at their home eastern African university throughout the fellowship period and will work in close collaboration with academic advisors from home university; relevant units at The Ohio State University and ILRI (particularly BecA).
Financial support: Successful fellows will receive a full stipend support commensurate to the OSU standards for the first two years period (Phase I). Fellows will receive additional stipend support during the last two years (Phase II) activities in East Africa to supplement their income from home institution. In addition, tuition for courses will be covered through a collaborative student exchange programs between OSU and respective eastern African institutions. Partial dissertation research cost is expected to be covered by the home country sources and extramural funding jointly developed by the candidate and co-mentors. Additional benefits including a roundtrip airfare and other fringe benefits will be covered by OSU for the first two years and home institution thereafter.

Requirements: Interested applicant must fulfill the following primary conditions:

Current academic staff member with MSc and supported by the primary partner institutes from Eastern Africa as part of the capacity building effort. Enrolled in a relevant Ph.D. programs at one of the partner eastern African institutes Committed to work on research project on regional issues as identified by the VPH-Biotech Eastern Africa Consortium Fulfill OSU graduate school admission requirements (mainly GRE and TOEFL). See http://www.gradsch.ohio-state.edu
Additional considerations: relevant publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals have excellent written and oral communication skills and able to work in a multi-institutional and multi-cultural environments
Priority will be given to qualified female applicants.

Selection of candidates will be conducted by a committee composed of OSU, ILRI- CaST and BecA and the three primary partner institute representatives.

Application materials: Interested applicants must submit the following materials:
1) Evidence of enrollment in a relevant PhD program at home institute
2) Curriculum vitae
3) Letter of intent (specific description of short and long-term professional goals- no more than two-pages).
4) Official transcript from MSc program
5) Official report from Educational Testing Services for GRE and TOEFL
6) Three letters of recommendation
7) Official support letter from the employing institution with a commitment to support the trainee as stipulated in this call.
Applications that do not contain all the components by the deadline will not be reviewed.
Terms of fellowship: The fellowships are for a fixed term of a maximum of four years; two years at OSU and two years at home university and/or ILRI BecA on a sandwich basis. Fellows will work very closely with the academic advisors from OSU and eastern African (home) University throughout the four years period. Advisors will be matched based on qualifications and interest. A workshop to identify priority areas and matching of co-mentors is expected to be held in early Summer.
Application deadline: July 1, 2010 at 5:00 PM (Eastern Africa time)
Contact information: Interested applicants should submit complete application material by the deadline to the following address:

Applications from Ethiopia:
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Capacity Strengthening Office (CaST)
Attn: VPH-Biotech PhD Fellowship at OSU
Dr. Dr. P. Ananda/ Dr. Tadele Dessie
P.O. Box 5689
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
e-mail: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ; [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: +1-251-116-172-480

Applications from Kenya:
Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub
Attn: VPH-Biotech PhD Fellowship at OSU
P.O. Box 30709
Nairobi, Kenya,
e-mail: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: +1-254-20 422 3802

Applications from Tanzania:
Attn: VPH-Biotech PhD Fellowship at OSU
To: Prof. Philemon Wambura
Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Morogoro, Tanzania

All application materials from the three countries must be submitted to the OSU-VPM by July 10, 2010 to the following address:
Attn: VPH-Biotech PhD Fellowship at OSU
Dr. Wondwossen A. Gebreyes
OSU, Dept of VPM
1920 Coffey Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43210
Tel: (614) 292-9559

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