Structure & Funding
Desirable Characteristics of ACCI graduates
ACCI graduates should have:
Creative leadership abilities and focused on impact;
Determination to succeed;
Problem-solving ability and dynamism ;
The desire and capacity to "make a difference";
A broad knowledge and understanding of African contextual issues;
The capacity to be role models and good public speakers;
Excellence in scientific English, both in writing and editing.
Description of Studies
1st Year of Study at the ACCI, in Pietermaritzburg
1st Year Activities
Students will take a series of advanced postgraduate courses that will to support their research and future careers. These will be given by a range of both local and international lecturers, presented on a block basis, in a workshop/tutorial format.
2. Development of Project Proposal:
Students will develop a detailed project proposal for their PhD research, together with a research budget (for funding the research at their home research station).
Each student will undertake a mini-project to ensure that all the proposed plant breeding and evaluation techniques are feasible and familiar to the students.
4. Literature Review
Students will write a detailed literature review on their chosen crop and breeding objective, using the excellent library and database facilities available at UKZN..
2nd, 3rd, and 4th Years of Study, Field Studies
In the second, third and fourth year of studies, the students will undertake field research in plant breeding in their home countries, in their previous jobs at their own research stations. They will therefore need to ensure that they are able to return to the field station to undertake the research that will be needed to complete their PhD. Adequate but limited research funds will cover field research costs. Supervision will be provided at a distance and by visits from supervisors and in-country co-supervisors.
4th Year of Study, Completion of Write Up
At the end of the 4th year, students will return to the University of KwaZulu-Natal for a maximum of three months to complete their thesis write up. Note that students will need to have completed the bulk of their thesis writing before they return to the University of KwaZulu-Natal. So they need to complete a 1st draft of their thesis, at least, before returning to UKZN, if they are to hand in the PhD thesis on time, on December 1st.
In Phase I, 2002 -2007, the Rockefeller Foundation funded the operations of the ACCI to train 5 cohorts of 8 students
In Phase II, 2007-2011, the ACCI operations were funded by AGRA, a joint venture of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A further forty students with five cohorts of eight students were trained in this phase.
In Phase III, 2012-2018, funding is being sought from AGRA. THe objectives will be to complete the training of existing students already in training, and to to train at least two more cohorts of students in a new 4 year curriculum.
The Generation Challenge Program (GCP) has also funded biotechnology training of the ACCI students for a 5 year period.
Further funding is being sought from other funding agencies for training of additional cohorts, and for long-term sustainability.
Rockefeller Foundation for initial fund and project support in-country.
AGRA for subsequent funding.
The GCP for funding biotechnology training and support of our students in genomic studies.
Cornell University for internet-based, live lectures and collaboration, and live reviews of our students' project designs.
CGIAR organisations, such as ICRISAT, CIMMYT, IITA, IRRI, WARDA, CIAT, CIP, ICARDA for genetic resources and provision of international lecturers and co-supervisors.
National agricultural research institutions in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zambia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso. Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan.
UOFS, UCT, University of Pretoria, Dept. Science and Technology, EcoBio, PlantBio and BioAfrica.
UN FAO, IPR-Netherlands, Weizmann Institute for international lecturers.