January 23, 2019
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February 15, 2019
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PhD in Climate Change and Human Habitat


(PhD in Climate Change and Human Habitat)

  • Introduction

The Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT Minna), Niger State, NIGERIA is pleased to call for application for its Doctoral Research Programme in Climate Change and Human Habitat) under the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).  

WASCAL is a wholly West African international organization with focus on academic and transdisciplinary research, building graduate-level scientific capacity and serving policy makers in West Africa with science-based advice on adaptation to climate change impacts and land use management. It cooperates with many agencies and universities in the region, providing a knowledge platform of excellence for its partners. WASCAL is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany and its 11 West African member countries, namely: Benin, Cabo Verde, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia and Togo

WASCAL’s mission is to provide information and knowledge services at the local, national and regional levels to West African member countries to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change. We do this through capacity building support to young West African scholars in fields of climate, natural and social sciences and by strengthening the regional universities deliver climate and environmental services in member countries.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Climate Change and Human Habitat is designed to encourage cross-border collaboration in education and research aimed at addressing the impacts of climate change in West Africa in an integrated, cross-disciplinary and multi-sectoral manner, with specific focus on developing Sustainable Cities, Urban and Rural Settlements, Urban Agriculture, Urban Forestry, among others. This is a call for qualified candidates from the participating countries to apply for the WASCAL DRP (PhD) in Climate Change and Human Habitat for the 2019-2020 Academic Session.

  • Learning Outcomes

At the end of the 43 months programme, the graduates of the DRP in Climate Change and Human Habitat are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate state-of-the-art expertise in their field of specialization;
  2. Independently formulate and execute research in accordance with academic standards within  their field of specialization, thus contributing to the body of knowledge in this field;
  3. Develop and apply research techniques independently;
  4. Convert knowledge of complex physical and biological processes into useful modeling concepts and apply this to real world situations;
  5. Recognize, understand and apply new concepts as they emerge in the various related  fields;
  6. Translate scientific knowledge in their field of specialization into policy recommendations;
  7. Show evidence of scholarship by presenting Ph.D. thesis and publishing at least one (1) article from the research in a reputable journal.
  •  Student Eligibility

Applications are accepted from any of the eleven countries participating in WASCAL. Applicants should have the following requirements:

  • Academic Requirement:
  • Five O’ Level credit passes in Mathematics, English, Physics and any two of the following relevant subjects (Geography, Agricultural Science/Biology, Economics) or its equivalent in Francophone countries (i.e. hold preferably a  Baccalaureat C or D).

(ii)       First Degree (B.Tech. or B.Sc.) with a minimum of 2nd Class Upper Degree (or Assez Bien (B) for the Francophone applicants) from a recognised academic institutions in any discipline related to the environment (most especially geography, agriculture, land resources, water resources, urban planning and climate science).

(iii)     Master’s Degree graduates from any recognised University, but MUST be citizens from countries participating in WASCAL, in any discipline related to the environment (most especially geography, agriculture, land resources, water resources, urban planning and climate science). 

(iv)     Such Master degree must be of an average performance of “B” grade or weighted average of 60% or a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50.

(v)      Applicants MUST possess basic knowledge and skills of GIS and remote sensing   applications, with a minimum of B-grade in the transcript of either the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 

(vi)   Applicants should ensure that academic transcripts from items (ii) and (iii) and research interest/motivation are received before the selection process.

(vii)    Candidates selected into the WASCAL funded PhD programme are on full time basis ONLY.

(viii)   For Nigerian applicants, NYSC Certificate/Exemption is required.

  • Candidates must provide 3 referees, one of whom must be his/her Master’s thesis Supervisor. If it is a WASCAL Alumnus, the Director’s recommendation will be required as top priority;

**Female candidates are encouraged to apply.

  • Programme Duration

The programme duration for WASCAL CC & HH DRPs is 43 months, which comprises the following:

  • 4 months of English/French language course in Ghana/Togo.
  • 6 months of lectures to be completed within the first academic session of the study in FUT Minna (including submission of research proposal to Accra, Ghana), which must include a continuous assessment followed by an examinable component. Students MUST pass these courses. Any student whose CGPA falls below 3.0 at the end of the course, will be required to withdraw from the programme.
  • 28 months of research and scientific field visits. 
  • 6 months preparation for final defense in FUT Minna. The final PhD oral defense takes place in the Postgraduate School.
  • Maximum Intake

The programme gives priority to twelve (12) selected applicants with the best results, one each, from the participating countries and these will be referred to as WASCAL Scholars. WASCAL Scholars will be provided with scholarship from the Federal Government of Germany. An additional eight (8) applicants with excellent results may also be selected provided they have evidence of sponsorship that is similar to WASCAL; and have the ability to complete the programme within a period of 43 months.     

  • Language Requirements

The program will be conducted in English. The following are the language requirements:

  • Basic Certificate in English Language;
  • Functional Certificate in English Language;

The programme would be conducted in English Language. Therefore, it is required that the francophone applicants MUST provide a certificate from a proficiency test in English language such as TOEFL (60% and above) or another well recognised proficiency test.

  • Scholarship and Research Support

The scholarship and research support will normally be provided based on the criteria below:

  • After admission, students will be required to maintain a graduate level Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of B or a minimum of B from the course;
  • During the course curriculum phase, students will be required to develop a detailed research program, including budget;
  • During the project/research stage, students are expected to present their progress reports regularly and will be evaluated accordingly.

All scholarship-holding DRP fellows will receive a stipend  every month to cover accommodation and other expenses for the duration of their study of forty three (43) months. Research support will also be made available to students after approval of their research budget by their advisor/supervisor and WASCAL. The candidates also have the option of spending three (3) to six (6) months is a German university to analyse their data, among others.

  • Outline of the Course

The programme shall run on a modularized system (course unit system); hence, course work is structured in seven (7) modules and shall be examined. Both practical and theoretical courses will be offered for the first six (6) months of the programme. These will be a combination of core courses that emphasize the focus of the program i.e. Climate Change and Human Habitat, as well as specialized options which will be electives selected based on the student’s area of specialization.

The courses to be taken after appropriate documentation is completed include:

  • Core Courses:

Urban and Rural Settlements in Africa, Radiative Transfer, Habitat Informatics I: Skills Development, Advanced Statistical and Geostatistics Techniques for Climate Science, Advanced Geographic Information Systems, Advanced Remote Sensing, Community Based Project (Fieldwork), Habitat Informatics II: Advanced Research Methodology, Applied Micrometeorology, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Settlements Dynamics and Modelling, Regional Climate System Modelling, Technology and Mega City Studio

  • Specialized Options (electives):

Landscape Ecology, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Transport Planning and Sustainable Mobility, Housing and Green Spaces Management, Climate Change, Energy and Settlements,

  • Graduation Requirement

To be awarded a PhD in Climate Change and Human Habitat, candidates are required to pass all courses with a minimum of “B” Grade, being WASCAL standard, made up of the following:

  • Compulsory (Core) courses of 31 credit units
  • Elective courses of 9 credit units
  • Seminar of 2 credit units
  • PhD dissertation of 6 credit units.
  • No candidate shall be permitted to defend his/her dissertation unless all course work requirements are satisfied.
  • At least ONE paper from the dissertation MUST be published in a reputable journal before external examination can take place.
  • The final corrected version of the PhD dissertation MUST be re-submitted within three (3) months (90 days) from the date of oral defense.
  • The candidate who has satisfied these requirements (and others clearly stipulated in the PGS prospectus) and has passed an oral examination within the prescribed period of study shall have his/her work presented through Postgraduate School for Senate approval.
  • Employment Opportunities

Participants graduating from this multidisciplinary and multinational program will gain skills as scientific officers, managers of natural resources or academics. They are expected to be mostly employed, hence adding value to their places of employment such as in a variety of privately or publicly owned organizations and agencies whose principal focus involves agricultural, land, water, economic resources management as well as meteorological agencies; research institutions; overseas aid programmes; international NGOs; environmental protection agencies; Government Ministries, and Departments of Agriculture, Water Resources, Soil, National Planning etc, or Universities. If unemployed, they can also find use their skills in the afore mentioned areas.

  • Application Procedure and Contact

Candidates may apply directly to the DRP Climate Change and Human Habitat by submitting all information requested via e-mail to wascal_cchh@futminna.edu.ng and copy  capacitybp@wascal.org. To download the application form visit the WASCAL website at www.wascal.org or the Federal University of Technology, Minna website at wascal.futminna.edu.ng.  

  • Deadline for Submission of Application:  29th March 2019    
  • Notification of Selected Students

ONLY the shortlisted students will be notified and invited for interview in April 30, 2019. The mode (in-person, skype or telephone call) and actual date of interview will be communicated directly to the candidates, who are also expected to present the original hardcopies of the filled application form and all relevant documents and certificates for the interview.



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