Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PhD fellowship with "Organisational Structures for SMAllholder REsilience” (OSMARE) project

Call for Expressions of Interest for PhD fellowship at:Management Studies Group, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) Sponsored by the project:Understanding and scaling Organizational Structures for SMAllholder REsilience (OSMARE)

Promoter: Prof. Jacques Trienekens
Co-Promoter: Dr. Domenico Dentoni

The Management Studies Group at Wageningen University seeks expressions of interests for a four-year fellowship for a PhD position. The PhD will contribute to the project in collaboration with ICRAF, LUANAR (Malawi), VUNA (South Africa) and Zimbabwe Super Seeds (Zimbabwe); and funded by NWO (Dutch national research institute) in cooperation with CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Based primarily in Malawi during the data collection (with possibility to expand it to Zimbabwe), the PhD student will design and conduct research to understand the organization of business models that/to provide incentives for implementing climate-smart agriculture practices (e.g., selection and adoption of more drought-resistant seeds) and their role in influencing smallholder resilience. The latter will be assessed in terms of entrepreneurial competencies and embeddedness in value networks (see figure below).

In particular, the PhD student will: 
·      Analyze how smallholder farmers develop their competencies and build their networks over time through the business models they are situated in.
·   Develop an assessment of farmers’ and farmer-based group’s entrepreneurial attitudes, intentions and behaviors on the basis of the notions of entrepreneurship, specifically in community-based and subsistence economies.
·      Describe and assess the organization of business models encouraging climate-smart practices by adapting organization and innovation theories to the context of rural farming in emerging economies.
·   Use a diverse set of methods for data collection and analysis (e.g. interviews, surveys, participant observation, action research or focus groups), preceded by a careful research design.
·     Coordinate with the rest of the project team and support all project activities taking place in Malawi and, if needed, also other countries where the project operates (Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and features:
·      A background in business management or a related field, possibly coupled with familiarity to the context of agricultural and food value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa.
·      Proven excellent skills of academic writing, to be demonstrated with a recent output such as a MSc thesis or research publication where the candidate is a major contributor.
·      Proven ability of undertaking academic research, analytical and synthesis skills in both written and oral form.
·      Familiarity with conducting and coordinating research data collection in the Malawian or, more broadly, in the Sub-Saharan context.
·      Professionality and ability to work and communicate with an international team.
·  An ambition to build an academic career in a leading international research institute or university after PhD graduation.

The selected applicant should be available to start the PhD program in January 2018. The fellowship will cover a monthly allowance for a total of four years, including two years in Malawi and two years in the Netherlands (i.e. what is called a “sandwich PhD” construction). The timeline of the travels between Malawi and the Netherlands will be jointly agreed depending on the needs of the funding project. 

Interested candidates please submit your CV, cover letter, certificate of MSc graduation with list of marks, at least one letter of reference and one or two written outputs (MSc thesis and/or publication) via email at Domenico.dentoni@wur.nl by December 14th, 2017.

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