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A $30,000 award for Master's, doctoral, or post-doctoral African students - The Bentley Cropping Systems Fellowship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Damaris Foping   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 05:43

Africa_1Deadline: October 1st,

Funding Source: IDRC

Host Country: Canada or the developing nation


Type of Scholarship

See website


See website


IDRC offers this Fellowship (a bequest from Helen S. Bentley and C. Fred Bentley) every second year in October to graduate students who wish to undertake applied, on-farm research with cooperating farmers in one or more developing countries.
Learn more about the bequest.

The Fellowship provides funding for field research aimed at increasing the yield of food crops, improving farmers’ livelihoods, and enhancing soil fertility. In particular, the research should evaluate and/or promote the use of fertility-enhancing plants — such as leguminous forages, shrubs, cover crops, and grain legumes — on small farms.

If you wish to apply, your research should seek cropping-system changes that will lead to some of these results:

  • sustainable and increased crop yields
  • more abundant and improved animal-feed production
  • improved soil and water conservation
  • better weed control
  • increased biological fixation of nitrogen
Projects should be planned and executed in cooperation with an international agricultural research centre, or with a developing-country institution involved in agricultural research that has an applied, on-farm orientation. 

Proposals must present plans for on-farm experiments on smallholder farms that have potential to improve the lives of farming households and to preserve or improve crops yields.

Eligible African Countries 

Any African country


In principle, IDRC supports research in all developing countries. However, IDRC must approve field research proposed in the following countries or territories prior to issuing the award:

Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Eritrea,  Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Liberia, Libya, Papua New Guinea, Small Island States [including Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Timor-Leste and Oceania (Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Palau, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna)], Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan (Republic of China), West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Field of Research

  • sustainable and increased crop yields
  • more abundant and improved animal-feed production
  • improved soil and water conservation
  • better weed control
  • increased biological fixation of nitrogen


Key Selection Criteria
a) Focus of the Research
Proposals must focus on very simple cropping-systems research that can benefit smallholder farmers in developing countries, especially rural women farmers.
b) Participatory Research
Your research must involve simple experiments to be carried out by cooperating farmers under guidance of the researchers (see details about the location of individual on-farm experiments). Both male and female farmers should participate actively. They should be involved in all stages of the experiment on their land, including land preparation, seeding, and harvesting.
Who can apply
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a citizen of a developing country;
  • be enrolled full-time at a recognized university at the master's, doctoral, or post-doctoral level in Canada or in a developing country for the duration of the award period;
  • have a university degree in agriculture, forestry, or biology;
  • submit a research proposal focusing on very simple cropping-systems research that can benefit smallholder farmers in developing countries, especially rural women farmers;
  • provide evidence that you will be supported by local institutions that have a good working relationship with target communities, farmers, and/or extension agencies;
  • indicate that you will seek cooperation, help, and support from the local "extension officers" and/or NGOs in the identification of individual farmers who are likely to be suitable and cooperative;
  • provide evidence that a large part or all of the research will be carried out on the farms of resource-poor or smallholder farmers. The award will not support research carried out on the farms of large landholders or on research stations;
  • provide evidence that farmers will actively participate in the experiments. Thus, it is essential to develop simple on-farm experimental designs with appropriate controls to determine the practicality and profitability of introducing a leguminous crop or other fertility-enhancing plant in the farmers’ cropping systems.
(You have up to 12 months to start your field research from the date on the letter of offer.)

Application Procedure

Guidelines for proposals
Make comparisons between traditional and alternative cropping practices
Your proposal must include details of the comparisons you envision between the traditional cropping practice used by farmers in the region and the side-by-side alternative cropping practice you wish to introduce. Experiments must compare crop yields from traditional unicrop practice with yields of the same crop combined with some kind of fertility-enhancing plant  grown either simultaneously with the traditional crop, or in some cases, grown before the traditional crop is planted.
Please consult this diagram (PDF) showing how a simple on-farm experiment might be compared to either one or two alternative cropping systems.
Similar experiments executed in rural school gardens — conducted with the help and advice of the Fellowship holder and with the participation of both students and teachers — are also encouraged.


Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 06:01

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0 # Rambinintsoa 2014-10-02 07:18
je voudrais une bourse d'étude pour étudier la médecine, plus précisément, je voudrais me spécialiser sur la pédiatrie pour aider les pays sous-développés comme le mien. je viens d'avoir mon bac en série C avec une mention bien et si possible, je voudrais étudier dans des pays anglophones. vos conseils me seront très utile et merci d'avance.
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BAKA Armand
0 # BAKA Armand 2014-09-27 04:48
Madame, Monsieur,
Par la présente, je vous adresse une demande de bourse d'étude en sciences naturelles. Pour l'année universitaire 3ans
J’ai nouvellement obtenue mon BACLAUREA en série D en Cote d’Ivoire et j’aimerais vraiment avoir une bourse d’étude en sciences naturelles pour le Canada
et souhaite mener à bien mes études jusqu'à 3 ans pour, à terme, travailler dans la recherche scientifique Mes ressources et celles de mes parents ne me permettent malheureusement pas de suivre ce cursus et de travailler dans de bonnes conditions. Ne souhaitant pas que cette instabilité financière vienne entraver ma volonté d'obtenir mes diplômes, je sollicite auprès de vos services cette aide qui m'est aujourd'hui indispensable.
Vous trouverez ci-joint mon dossier dûment rempli ainsi que tous les documents demandés pour l'obtention de cette bourse.
je vous en su-plis
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0 # Nadege-HAS 2014-11-30 16:36
Cher Baka,
Pour ce qui est des bourses, consultez l'adresse web /.../
Nous recommandons vivement que vous lisiez cet article sur l’art de postuler aux bourses /... /.../
Nous espérons que votre choix de votre filière présente a été bien réfléchi; nous espérons aussi que vous avez un plan professionnel clair. Notez-le manque de plan professionnel a mené bien d’étudiant au chômage après leurs études /...
Bonne chance
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0 # HAIMANOT WUDU 2014-02-06 08:12
Application Letter
ear madam this letter is to explain something about me. I have got my B.Sc. Degree from Haramaya University in Plant Science Department and M.Sc. Degree from Bahir Dar University in Plant Breeding Department. I have more than six and half years (6+) professional experience on crop production and Development expert (Agronomist).
As an expert I would like to prove that I have been very capable, responsible and I am always been an intelligent, confident, efficient, innovative, genuine, dynamic and hard worker appreciated by my colleagues.
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abayomi kilby
0 # abayomi kilby 2013-07-10 05:46
I will like to give my thanks and appreciation to the scholarship award if am accepted to go for further studies to help my country.
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0 # H.A.S. 2013-07-26 13:45
Hello there
This post only goes to the H.A.S. site. Go ahead and contact the scholarship sponsor directly and start working on your application.
Be sure you read this article over and over: /...
Good luck!
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Bayou Adlane
+1 # Bayou Adlane 2012-11-23 07:53
[fv]Bayou Adlane[/fv] i'm adlane from Algeria,,i have a degree in water and envirenment sciences,,and a master in hydrogeology,,n ow i'm preparing an other master in integrated planing for rural area and envirenment managemant,, i would like apply for a phd scholarship , know more abour your program;;i want to
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0 # Avalenche 2012-11-26 15:25
Hello dear Bayou

Contact them directly for more info. Another thing. Note this compare to others those looking for an opportunity to get into a PhD program abroad have a better chance to find something. Many governmental/NG O scholarship target them which is great but added to that, universities around the world heavily rely on PhD students to carry various research project. As a consequence research assistantship positions become available every day in universities across Europe, America, and Asia. It is important to note that many of these opportunities are never publicized over the internet so the best way to go about it is to prepare a nice CV and cover letter and start visiting website of universities in your targeted field and country looking for openings and also collecting the emails of faculty whose research interest coincide with yours. After this is done send them an email many reply you know and if you have done great things research –wise in the pass you can get lucky; what more there is little to no competition at times
How do you find faculty more likely to hire? Those with NIH grant money are listed here:
Another option: /.../
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+1 # MULUEBA KIBAMBE YANN 2012-10-10 12:48
Demande de bourse pour le master
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+1 # H.A.S. 2012-10-14 03:19
Using the search engine, you can look for scholarships that
fit your specific profile. Remember to make your search as broad as
possible. What this means is limit your criteria to 2 or 3 if your initial search yield not much results. Here is the address of our search engine: /.../

once you locate one or more scholarships that suits your needs, feel
free to ask us for advice/support on the application steps (CV, letter
of motivation etc....)
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