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PhD Scholarship on Land-use Scenario Development for African Wetlands

One fully-funded PhD fellowship is available for a highly talented candidate to investigate effects of land-use planning and management scenarios on natural capital and economic and social wellbeing of stakeholders of inland valley systems in Africa.


The Africa Rice Center coordinates a research project entitled “Capitalizing the inland valley potential for food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers in West Africa (CIPA)”. The project aims to test and promote an integrated best-bet and best-fit land-use planning, natural resource management (NRM) and crop production system approach in wetlands (so-called inland valleys — IVs) to achieve sustainable food and nutrition security in West Africa. 

The PhD candidate focusing on land-use scenario development for African wetlands will investigate the expected effects and possible risks of different land-use scenarios on natural capital and economic and social wellbeing of stakeholders of inland valley systems in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. It is envisaged that the student will follow a natural and agricultural capital accounting approach, whereby different types of ecosystem services (including agriculture) provided by inland valleys will be identified, valued and analyzed in order to develop different scenarios for inland valley use and management. Scenario development will make use of information obtained from multi-stakeholder platforms, and assessments of the (potential) social benefits and costs of natural and agricultural resource use and management strategies. It is expected that such work will result in innovative methodologies, an in-depth understanding of and recommendations contributing to sustainable crop and natural resource management of tropical wetland systems in Africa. The PhD student will work in close collaboration with another PhD student —focusing on integrated rice and natural resource management (IRM and NRM)— and with a Post-doctoral fellow —working on the mapping, site selection and land-use planning of IVs in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.


A 4-year PhD scholarship is comprehensive and will cover stipend (for 48 months), research costs, tuition fees, international and regional travel, and insurance. The student will enroll in a PhD program of one of the Graduate Schools of Wageningen University and Research (WU&R) in the Netherlands, preferably the Graduate School ‘Wageningen School of Social Sciences’ (WASS) or the ‘Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK). The student will be hosted by the

Environmental Economics and Natural Resources group (ENR) of WU during research and training in The Netherlands, and by AfricaRice in Côte d’Ivoire during field work in Africa. The candidate will be supervised by Prof. Ekko van Ierland and Dr Silke Gabbert of Wageningen University – ENR, and by Dr Jonne Rodenburg of AfricaRice. The successful candidate is expected to start 1 September, 2017.


  • MSc degree with excellent grades in Environmental Economics or closely related fields, obtained less than 5 years ago;
  • Proven qualifications in socio-economic surveying methods, stakeholder participatory approaches, the use of statistical methods and/or modeling;
  • Excellent analytical skills preferably demonstrated through previous research or work experience (e.g. MSc thesis, peer-reviewed papers, reports);
  • Proficient in English (proven by a TOEFL score of 90 or more or an MSc degree with English as the language of instruction) and working knowledge of French for field work and day to day communication
  • Ability and willingness to work in an international team of researchers.

Candidates should submit the following documents complied in one single PDF document:

  • Application letter, stipulating the motivation for pursuing a PhD degree and elaborating on the candidate’s experience in relation to the requirements;
  • Curriculum vitae, concise and focusing on academic training, relevant work experience, publications and scientific engagement;
  • The names, affiliations and e-mail address of two senior scientists (candidate’s thesis supervisor, main professor or current employer)
  • University certificates and academic transcripts, detailing BSc and MSc degrees.Applications should be sent directly to

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