Fully-Funded Two-year Master Fellowships in
Plant Biotechnology with a special focus on
GM crop regulation

Introduction to Biosafety

The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) is an international, intergovernmental organisation conceived as a centre of excellence for research and training in genetic engineering and biotechnology with special regard to the needs of the developing world, and implements a comprehensive programme on biosafety centred on capacity building and the dissemination of scientific information.

The Centre has entered a second phase of a capacity building project directed at enhancing biosafety regulatory decision-making capacity in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A key activity of the project is the support of a limited number of African regulators and scientific advisers in undertaking a 2-year Master programme in Plant Biotechnology, focusing on GM crop regulation, which has been specially tailored for the project by the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine of the University of Adelaide, Australia (http://agwine.adelaide.edu.au/), commencing in late February 2014.  

 The Master programme has been designed to provide the fellows with advanced academic training in GM crop regulation and the underpinning science, whilst also being especially relevant to establishing functional regulatory systems in SSA. Fellows will be exposed not only to the current issues in GM crop regulation but also to those pertaining to products developed through other cutting-edge molecular techniques. Fellows will also be provided with the practical experience of the processes involved in compiling and evaluating a range of risk assessment dossiers across different geographic regions and with different GM crops exhibiting divergent risk profiles, and how to access, evaluate and compile data from the scientific literature for inclusion in authorisation dossiers. Core courses of the programme will include: Foundations of Plant Biotechnology, Molecular Plant Breeding, Plant Genomics, Techniques in Plant Biotechnology, and Applications of Plant Biotechnology in Production, Preparing the Products of Plant Biotechnology for Regulatory Approval, and Principles and Practice of GM Crop Regulation. Further details can be found at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/degree-finder/2013/mbiot_mbiotechpb.html#intl_equiv.
In order to ensure that the programme is relevant to GMO regulation in SSA, provision has been made for the fellows to return to their home country for the second year to conduct the research projects required for their dissertation, the focus of which will be directly relevant in helping to resolve outstanding scientific and technical issues in their national regulation. In addition, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator will input into the programme, by providing mentors and by hosting short visits by the fellows. 

 The fully-funded fellowships will be for a period of 2 years and will each provide: 1) a stipend calculated to cover the cost of normal local living expenses for a single person for the duration of the fellowship; 2) flight tickets between the fellow’s country of origin and Adelaide; 3) medical insurance for the duration of the fellowship; and 4) programme registration fee. 

 Eligibility requirements

 The ideal applicants will:

·      be nationals of the following sub-Saharan African countries - Burkina Faso, Ethiopia Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania or Uganda;

·      hold a relevant university degree with a high level of academic achievement in, for example, Plant Science, Biotechnology, Science and Agriculture. Please note that the fellowships are considered vocational in nature, and thus applicants with academic awards higher than degree-level are not discriminated against;

·      hold an English Language Proficiency Certificate with a minimal proficiency equivalent to an IELTS Complete Score of 6 (Individual Requirements: Reading 5.5; Listening 5.5; Speaking 6; Writing 6). Not required for those applicants for whom their scholastic education was conducted in English;

·      have at least three years of experience in a field of direct relevance to GMO biosafety;

·      be directly involved in international, national or local GMO regulatory processes in government, industry, academia or NGOs, for example regulators, officers and scientists working in National Biosafety Authorities, National Competent Authorities, Scientific Advisory Committees, institutional biosafety committees, and phytosanitary services, or be people who are regularly called upon to advise such entities in a biosafety capacity.

The National Biosafety Authority/Committee (NBA/NBC) or National Competent Authority (NCA) is requested to nominate a maximum of five individuals from which a selection will be made for this programme. The nominated individuals will then be expected to download the fellowship application forms from www.icgeb.org/biosafety/MScFellowships.html, to be completed and submitted to the address below on or before 9 August 2013. Early submissions are appreciated.

Only applicants supported by their NBA/NBC or NCA are eligible for a Fellowship.

Nomination of female applicants is particularly encouraged.

 How to apply

 All applications must comprise: a completed application form; a letter of nomination from the respective NBC/NBA/NCA; as well as copies of the relevant university degree and English language proficiency certificates, and; be sent in a single Email communication to the ICGEB Project Manager (africabu@icgeb.org - subject line: Masters Fellowship). Only complete applications adhering to these simple instructions will be considered.

Applicants are requested not to attach any unrequested documentation.


Word version

PDF version

Should you experience problems in downloading the documents, please contact us at africabu@icgeb.org


Biosafety in Member States
In House Publications
ICGEB Biosafety Unit
Padriciano, 99
34149 Trieste, Italy
Tel.: +39-040-3757320
Fax: +39-040-226555
Email: biosafe@icgeb.org