Type of position: International

Duration of contract:            3.5-years with possibility of renewal

Are you passionate about preserving our planet’s biodiversity? Do you have a strong interest in scientific research and conservation efforts? We are thrilled to announce an exceptional opportunity for a young scientist to join the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) as a PhD fellow in the field of Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring. This fellowship is awarded within the COINS project (Co-developing innovations for sustainable land management in West African smallholder farming systems) and offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in West Africa while advancing your academic and research career.


WASCAL is a research and capacity-building institution committed to enhancing the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and related challenges in West Africa. Our multidisciplinary approach, state-of-the-art facilities, and collaborative network provide an ideal platform for conducting impactful research.

About the COINS project

The COINS project is funded by the BMBF within the framework of its FONA (Research for Sustainable Development) programme and is being implemented under the coordination of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In addition to WASCAL, the project is being implemented over a period of 4 years (2022 – 2026) by eight (8) other African partners (including universities, non-profit organizations, and enterprises) and six (6) German partners. The overarching goal of COINS is to incentivize and enable sustainable farming and land use measures and associated governance mechanisms to improve livelihoods and food security while increasing natural capital by reversing land degradation and increasing resource use efficiencies. COINS builds on existing, promising agricultural management and land restoration practices for mixed crop-livestock systems in northern Senegal and northern Ghana.

PhD Research Focus: Biodiversity Monitoring in West Africa

We invite applications from motivated candidates interested in pursuing a PhD fellowship focused on Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring in the West African region. Your research will contribute to understanding the dynamic relationships between biodiversity and sustainable farming and land use measures, ultimately supporting effective conservation strategies.

Fellowship Benefits

  • Full funding for the 3.5-year duration of the PhD program, including stipends and research expenses
  • Access to cutting-edge research facilities and resources
  • Mentorship from leading experts in biodiversity, land management, agriculture, remote sensing, and related fields
  • Collaborative research opportunities within the WASCAL and COINS networks
  • Professional development and networking events

Application Process

  1. Prepare a one-page motivation letter/statement about your suitability for the fellowship. Your letter should capture any previous experience in biodiversity assessment and monitoring including field experimentation, data processing and analysis.
  2. Compile a comprehensive CV, including academic background, research experience, and any relevant publications.
  3. Include certified copies of academic transcripts and certificates or degrees.
  4. Provide at least two academic or professional references.
  5. Submit your application via email to hackman.k@wascal.org with a copy to codjia.k@wascal.org.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field
  • Strong academic record and a passion for biodiversity conservation and monitoring
  • Demonstrated research potential and innovative thinking
  • Excellent English and French communication skills
  • Knowledge of GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Citizenship of one of the 13 member countries of WASCAL is preferred

Important Dates

📅 Application Deadline: Friday 15th September 2023

Fellowship Commencement: 1st November 2023

Join us in our mission to advance knowledge and promote sustainable practices for a resilient West Africa. If you are a dedicated and forward-thinking researcher, eager to contribute to biodiversity monitoring and conservation efforts, we encourage you to apply.

Help us spread the word by sharing this call. Together, let’s contribute to a more sustainable and biodiverse future! 🌎🦋🌱