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Box LG 209, Legon, Accra

3rd ASSAR Call for Student Research Funding

19 June 2017


(MPhil and PhD)


Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) PROJECT

Hosted by the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS)



The Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project is examining the barriers and enablers to climate change adaptation in semi-arid Africa and Asia. ASSAR aims to promote climate adaptation policies and practices that are effective, widespread and sustainable and that support wellbeing of marginalized people. In West Africa, ASSAR focuses on the dry sub-humid band that extends from the Upper West Region of northern Ghana through to southern Mali, referred to as the Wa-Bobo-Sikasso transect.

The project is now open to receiving its third cohort of graduate students (M.Phil. and Ph.D.) from the University of Ghana to build on the information gained on climate change adaptation and agricultural intensification in the Upper West region of Ghana. Below are the specific focus areas of ASSAR research for the current call. It is anticipated that these focus areas could be s

tudied alone, in combination with each other, or integrated into an existing research plan.

ASSAR Research Focus Areas

  • Agricultural intensification in the Upper West Region (how do current interventions and plans support future national/regional objectives).
  • Knowledge resources and systems (climatic or related to agriculture intensification) at local and national levels.
  • Implications of current and planned climate change adaptation on vulnerability of different social groups.
  • Adaptive governance at all scales
  • Trends in climate change vulnerability
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation
  • Agricultural value added chains
  • Migration patterns among smallholder farmers

Students would receive support for only field research costs of their academic programme (one year funding for MPhil research, and two years for PhD) and would be expected to be actively involved with meeting ASSAR research goals as well as those of their respective academic departments.

Desired Qualifications:

Students, especially qualified female applicants, who have the following, are encouraged to apply:

Working knowledge of any local languages spoken in the Upper West region of Ghana
Already enrolled in a relevant graduate program in the University of Ghana (e.g., Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), School of Agriculture, Department of Geography and Resource Development, Climate Change and Sustainable Development programmes)
Should have completed all course requirements preceding field research (Course work for MPhil students, and Comprehensive Examinations and confirmation as a PhD Candidate for PhD students)
Willing to stay for an extended period in the study areas to carry out research work.
Willing to actively contribute to the ASSAR project research goals and maintain a relationship with the project as a reference after the completion of fieldwork and submission of final thesis. 

Applicants must submit:

A cover letter that explains in detail the applicant’s qualifications, research area and how these are aligned with the research focus areas put forth in this Call
A CV (3-page max) emailed as part of the application, and also submitted in hard copy.
Names and full contact addresses (including e-mail and telephone numbers) of 3 referees.

All applications must be submitted in hard copy and email form:

Hard Copies:

The Coordinator, ASSAR Project

Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS)

College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana

P. O. Box 209, Legon

Soft copies with the subject heading: “ASSAR Research Funding 2017/2018” to: and copied to 

For additional information visit: ASSAR Project, or IESS website

Or contact the Coordinator, Dr. Adelina Mensah at:

Deadline for Application: Friday July 14, 2017