Tailored opportunities: PhD position in Development of innovative data-processing tools for health and welfare monitoring in dairy cows


Supported by improved genetics and management practices, the cows’ milk production almost doubled over the last 50 years. Just like top athletes, these animals need a lot of care and attention to maintain a good health and welfare and achieve maximum production levels with minimal environmental impact. On the other hand, the high volatility of the milk price forces the dairy sector to focus on profitability and risk management by upscaling their business. Therefore, to better manage their expanding herds, dairy farmers require reliable technology to monitor the health, production, behavior, welfare and environmental impact of individual animals.
Sensor technology is already well-integrated in dairy farming with applications in measuring milk production, milk quality, feed intake, animal behavior and condition, etc. Nevertheless, most of these systems produce an overload of data, rather than clear, useful and accurate information ready to use by the farmer to optimize its animal management. The essence of precision livestock farming is about correctly interpreting the collected data and extracting reliable information using advanced data-processing techniques. Ideally, these intelligent algorithms provide explicit information on the cow’s health and welfare status by combining different sources of sensor data and relying on physiology-based knowledge.In this project, data-based tools to monitor the udder health and energy balance of dairy cows will be developed, validated and implemented. To this end, both data obtained from sensors already widely available on modern dairy farms as well as innovative technologies will be involved. At the end of this 4-year PhD project, the practical implementation of the obtained models and knowledge will help dairy farmers to increase animal health and welfare, make more efficient use of labor and medicines, improve profitability and create a wider social support for sustainable dairy farming.


o perform this practice-oriented research, the Livestock Technology group of KU Leuven is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate.
If you:

  • hold a MSc degree (with minimal distinction and obtained in the last 3 years at a university in the EEA) in biosciences, bioscience-engineering, bioinformatics, biostatistics, veterinary medicine or equivalent
  • have a creative, critical, analytical and innovative mindset
  • have excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • are eager to work in a multidisciplinary team of national and international researchers and learn and explore innovative technologies
  • have strong interest in dairy farming, technology and scientific research
  • are interested in building a career in data science


Deadline for application is 23/12/2019 23:59 – Europe/Brussels


Make online application here.

More details on this opportunity are also available here.

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Tailored Opportunities: Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program for those who live in United States and Canada


The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) is a scholar fellowship program for educational projects at African higher education institutions. Offered by IIE in collaboration with the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), the program is funded by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). A total of 395 African Diaspora Fellowships have been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013. CADFP exemplifies CCNY’s enduring commitment to higher education in Africa. IIE manages and administers the program, including applications, project requests and fellowships. USIU-Africa provides strategic direction through the Advisory Council.

Who? 

An applicant should be born in any African country as evidenced by passport bio page and live in the United States or Canada.  An applicant should hold a terminal degree and be employed at an accredited college or University.  Applicants can hold any academic rank; however, postdocs are not eligible


The deadline of the application is 9th of December 2019. Applications from African institutions and Diaspora scholars are now being accepted in the Fall 2019 competition until December 9, 2019. The Spring 2020 competition will run April 1-June 30, 2020.


Applicants should submit personal statements and information about their academic qualifications, disciplinary expertise and administrative experience. A letter of recommendation from a Dean (or from an administrator of equal or higher level) from the scholar’s current institution is required.


African Diaspora fellows receive $150/day stipend  Visa costs (if required), supplemental health insurance coverage  round-trip international air travel and ground transportation costs to and from the scholar’s home to the North American airport  Potential opportunities to apply for supplemental funding to cover knowledge production activities and workshop attendance.

For more information, please visit Review Process and Criteria and How to Apply for African Institutions for more information on how the program operates.https://www.iie.org/programs/carnegie-african-diaspora-fellowship-program

Please email africandiaspora@iie.org with questions.

This interesting Opportunity was shared by our sister Dr. Mahlet Mesfin. “Dr. Mahlet Mesfin, Ph.D, is the Deputy Director of the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy and former Assistant Director for International Science and Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She is an alumna of the AAAS Science & Technology Fellowship Program and co-founder of the Science Diplomacy Fellows Affinity Group.”

Tailored opportunities: Research fellowships on assessment of gender responsive resilience to climate change of biophysical and socio-economic systems


Fellowships will be awarded to undertake in-depth studies using appropriate methodology to assess, in selected countries, measures on how to increase the resilience of biophysical and social-economic systems, taking into account relevant gender and marginalized groups interests. The research tasks will be developed within the following context:

1. Gender-sensitive resilience and adaptation measures and/or strategies to adverse effects of climate change and variability on forests, trees outside forests and people who depend on them. The following are some key research questions to consider in this regard: a. What kind of livelihoods, disaggregated by gender and marginalized groups, are obtained from different biophysical and socio-economic systems in the selected study sites? b. How vulnerable are the sources (forests and trees outside forests) that supply the identified livelihood support identified in (a) to climate change and climate variability? c. What are gender-sensitive resilience and adaptation measures and/or strategies employed and/or could be employed to address the adverse effects of climate change on the forest and tree resources that women, youth and marginalized groups depend on in the selected study sites? d. What conditions enable or constrain the enhancement of adaptive capacity of women, men, youth and other marginalized groups who depend on forests and trees outside forests in the selected study sites?

2. Developing and/or strengthening existing capacity for implementing gendersensitive resilience measures in selected biophysical and socio-economic systems. Key research questions could include the following: a. What are the capacity needs in the study sites, disaggregated by gender, for co-designing, planning and implementation of measures and/or strategies to increase adaptation and resilience of women, youth and marginalized groups, to adverse effects of climate change on the forest and tree resources they depend on? b. What is the level of engagement and institutional arrangement of different partners in the selected country, and more specifically in the study sites, in implementing relevant adaptation and resilience measures? c. What are the benefits (to who?) and challenges associated with the engagement of identified partners in the implementation of the measures and/or strategies? d. What are the promising forest-based resilience and adaptation measures for each gender groups in selected biophysical and socio-economic systems?

3. What are the promising institutional frameworks to support effective implementation of gender-sensitive resilience and adaptation measures to adverse effects of climate change and variability that are also relevant to other marginalized groups.

Research fellowships will be provided to a total of 6 postgraduate students (4 PhD and 2 MSc), at least one for each forest type and from 6 countries who are based in African institutions as well as those working in relevant forestry-based research institutions to support their doctoral or master’s studies at an African university.


a) Applicant must be a citizen of an African nation. b) Proposed fellowship project and activities must be clearly related to, and likely to advance people and forest adaptation to climate change in Africa within the thematic focus area selected. c) All application materials must be complete and received by the AFF Secretariat on or before the application deadline. d) All applicants must be supervised by a faculty member with expertise in the thematic focus of the fellowship.

Specific eligibility criteria

Prospective research fellows must: a) Have a master’s degree for PhD studies or bachelor’s degree for MSc studies, plus 2 or more years of professional experience related to forest management, climate change or environmental policy and planning. b) Be enrolled in a university as a graduate student and must have completed course work in a relevant field at the time of application.

The application package: a) An institutional support form or letter that confirms the applicant’s university/college formal endorsement of his or her ability to participate in the research fellowship with the name of a potential main research supervisor indicating his/her willingness to supervise and guide the student research from inception to completion. b) A research proposal description with clearly defined research questions/objectives, methodology on the research area and targeted tasks that can be completed within the fellowship period and explaining how the supported research activities will contribute in achieving the overall study’s outputs as well as how the results will support the resilience and adaptation capacity of different gender groups. results. Evidence must be provided that the proposal has been accepted for that level of study by the university/college. c) A budget estimate showing the approximate cost related to each research activity.


Applications must be received by the Secretariat before or by 06 December 2019


Applications must be submitted as follows: a) Complete the AFF Fellowship application form “Assessment of gender responsive resilience to climate Change of biophysical and socio-economic systems with particular emphasis on gender responsiveness and marginalized groups depending on critical ecosystems for their livelihood”. b) Attach all the supporting documents and submit by email to: d.mutta@cgiar.org, h.bouda@cgiar.org and v.oeba@cgiar.org with a copy to exec.sec@afforum.org

Detailed information on this opportunity is available here.

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“Transforming the African research landscape Through Networking” ConnectUs Future Africa with several clicks. Miss it Not!

Project background

ConnectUs is a visualised network of researchers and research expertise across Africa.

ConnectUs is an initiative of ASLP fellows to connect African scholars and their institutions, with the aim of creating a platform for them to work together to re-shape Research in Africa.

Why join?

Become part of the network committed to transforming the African research landscape, with whom you can interact. Become visible to other researchers and funders through the website and our communication channels. Receive information about transformational opportunities in science development.

Search the map by Country or Expertise

How to join ConnectUs

1) use this link https://www.futureafrica.science/index.php/profile/connectus and use Mekonen, Dawit Gebregziabher as ConnectUs Referee rather than the default Smeetha Singh, Just click of Smeetha Singh and you will find space just below it where you can type the first few alphabets and it pop up and click that as referee  2) Complete the form and submit 3) Await approval of your profile and log-in details for access to your profile

For more information about the Future Africa please visit this link


Sharing our experiences from the “Science Advice and Science Leadership Workshop for Early Career Scientists and Policy Makers” held in Addis Ababa from October 31 to 2 November, 2019

The aforementioned opportunity was posted as one of the “Tailored Opportunities” in “The African Academic/Researcher” blog By Dr. Mulubrhan Balehegn. Hailekiros Shibhato (Ph.D.) and Dawit Gebregziabher (Ph.D.) were among the many applicants for this opportunity. Finally, we were fortunate enough to be informed that we are selected for the workshop. We have confirmed to participate and attended the workshop. As a result, we are glad to share our experiences with our wider network.

The future scientific development in Africa requires interdisciplinary, interconnected and international teams to contribute to evidence-informed policy formulation and implementation. Cognizant of this fact this workshop was organized to gather international teams with diverse fields of studies from Africa and the rest of the world. The main theme of the workshop was to “ensure effective and efficient policy formulation and implementation, providing scientific evidence with policy decision making”. This workshop was organized by “The Ethiopian Young Academy of Sciences (EtYAS), the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS), the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), Global Young Academy (GYA) and the African Science Leadership Program (ASLP) of Future Africa, University of Pretoria”

From this workshop, we have clearly understood that science development capacity in Africa will be achieved not only through the technical training of people but also through the leadership quality fit for leading the dynamic and ever-changing environment. We have gained the leadership role that we can play in the science advice space and personal strategy for our continued engagement. The resource persons for this workshop were leading experts from around the world. Some of the panel discussions were: • Transitioning from careers at the bench, science policy, and science diplomacy • The Use of Scientific Evidence in Developing Teacher Policies in Africa • How can Science Advice to Governments Help Unlock Research for Development in the Global South? and • Experiences in Language Policy Making in Ethiopia

We had also a number of activities shared by the facilitators such as how to become an active listener, how to generate divergent ideas and how to converge them. How to develop one idea and develop the project accordingly. Receiving feedback for your group project and provide feedback for projects of other groups. Finally, after considering the comments from the participants from the other group, the group will develop an action plan to address one issue by mentioning that sub-activities (what), when it will be implemented and who will be responsible to address this action. Moreover, it was also a great opportunity to share peer-to-peer experiences and continued networking among the participants, who represented Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, South Sudan, and Canada.

Tailored Opportunities: African Science Leadership Programme (ASLP) Call for applications 2020


The programme is an initiative of the University of Pretoria in partnership with the Global Young Academy, funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. It serves early- to mid-career researchers in range of fields of science. This programme is designed to enhance leadership skills; team development, engagement and collaboration of early to mid-career researchers to enable them solve complex issues that Africa and the global community are facing at the grass root level in the era of changing climate. This programme argues that speed and quality of science development capacity in Africa and other developing countries depend not only on technical training of individuals but also on their quality of leadership to lead change. ASLP will focus on collective leadership skills that will help fellows contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Applicants should have PhD degree or equivalent qualification; • A faculty or a continuing research position at a research institution; • Active in research and teaching at an African institution of higher education or research; a sustained record of outstanding scientific outputs; • Interested in translating or communicating their research results for impact in society; demonstrate leadership ability in research and beyond; • Interest in role of research in addressing complex issues affecting society • Interest in collaborations across disciplines and sectors (e.g Industry, government etc) • Commitment to participate in all the activities of the fellowship; and intent to share what is learned in the programme with their broader networks


The deadline of the application is 20 December 2019, 01 February 2020 outcome letters sent to applicants. 19 March 2020 Arrival of fellows, to begin training on the 20th


All applicants have to provide two support letters by academic referees. One of the two referees has to commit to be involved in future communications and mentorship in case of selection of the applicant into the programme. This referee will be informed about the progress of the fellow and should be willing to support the fellow if he or she requires it.


The programme will cover the costs incurred during the workshop (training, relevant travel, meals and accommodation). However, it does not cover visa, vaccination & local travel expenses. For more information, please visit this link: