Call for Applications CLIFF-GRADS Training & Research Grants


Call for student Applications

Deadline: 30 September 2019

The CLIFF-GRADS program invites applications for short-term (4-6 month) scientific training and research on the measurement and management of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage in agricultural systems. Students from developing countries1 who are currently enrolled in research related to agricultural greenhouse gas quantification or mitigation are eligible to apply. Research will be conducted in association with CCAFS and GRA scientists’ projects. Applications are requested on either of two themes:

  1. Measurement and mitigation of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions or carbon storage in agricultural systems in developing countries, including in the context of enhancing food security;
  2. Quantification and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from reduced food loss in high emission supply chains (e.g. dairy, beef, vegetables, fruits) in developing countries, including estimation of costs and constraints to mitigation.

Selected students will be sponsored in the amount of 10,000 -12,000 USD.

The grants can be used to support living and research costs at the host institution and the grant amounts have been determined based on living costs estimated by the institution. Grants may not be used for tuition, university fees or unrelated personal expenses.

Read out recently published evaluation of the CLIFF-GRADS program: 

Outcome evaluation of the Climate, Food and Farming – Global Research Alliance Development Scholarship (CLIFF-GRADS) program


CLIFF-GRADS is a joint initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security’s (CCAFS) Low Emissions Development Flagship and the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA). CLIFF-GRADS integrates the Global Research Alliance Development and the Climate Food and Farming Research Network with the common goal of providing grants to PhD students in developing countries to expand their knowledge and experience in quantification of agricultural greenhouse gases. Research projects are hosted by CCAFS and GRA members and partners. Funding for CLIFF-GRADS is provided by the Government of New Zealand, USAID and by the CGIAR Trust Fund and bilateral agreements in support of CCAFS.

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Application requirements

To have their application reviewed, applicants must complete the CLIFF-GRADS Student Application online survey and submit the necessary documentation as described below to [email protected].

Applications must be in English and include the following documents merged into one PDF file:

  • 1-2 page motivation letter (described below)
  • 1-page curriculum vitae that includes your contact details
  • Letter of support from your PhD supervisor at your current host university

Motivation letter

The motivation letter, which must be no more than two A4 pages, must include the following:

  1. Your name, citizenship and the country where you are conducting your graduate study 
  2. The objectives of your graduate research 
  3. The specific research opportunity (number and title) to which you are applying (see list below). If you are interested in more than one research opportunity, please list your preferred research opportunities (up to 3) in order of preference. 
  4. Your qualifications to conduct research on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture or soil carbon storage in agricultural systems, as relevant to the research opportunity for which you are applying 
  5. A description of how scientific training with CCAFS/GRA scientists will improve your graduate research and contribute to your career. 

Submission and process for selection

The deadline for applications is September 30, 2019.  You may submit your application by email to [email protected]. Please also contact this email address for any questions regarding the CLIFF-GRADS scholarship .

Applicants will be selected based on three criteria:

  1. overall research qualifications,
  2. relevance of thesis topic or other research experience to the research opportunity to which the student is applying, and
  3. clear description of how the CLIFF-GRADS experience will improve the student’s scientific capacity.
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Successful applicants will be matched with a project and notified by email by late November, 2019.


  • Applicants must be currently enrolled PhD students in a field related to quantification of greenhouse gas emissions or carbon sequestration in agricultural systems. 
  • Applicants must be students from a developing country.1
  • Previous CLIFF-GRADS grantees are not eligible to apply.

Requirements of grant recipients

  • Grant money should be used to finance the short-term scientific visit, including living and research costs at the host institution and any costs associated with that research, including travel, housing, meals, and research materials and services. Funding is not to be used for tuition, university fees, or unrelated personal costs.
  • Scientific visits must take place during 2020.
  • Each CLIFF-GRADS recipient will work directly with a research supervisor at the host institute. The activities to be conducted by the student and a budget for the scientific visit will be agreed upon between the student and research supervisor in a Managed Contract.
  • The research supervisors will assess the quality of the CLIFF-GRADS recipient’s science performance and monitor the achievement of milestones and deliverables set out in the Managed Contract.
  • At the end of the research stay, the CLIFF-GRADS student will submit a final report describing the activities undertaken. Final payment to the CLIFF-GRADS recipient is dependent on this final report being approved by CCAFS and GRA.
  • At the end of the research stay, the CLIFF-GRADS student will submit a final report describing the activities undertaken. Final payment to the CLIFF-GRADS recipient is dependent on this final report being approved by CCAFS and GRA.
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More information

Please visit these websites before preparing your application.

1 – Includes all countries listed as “low-income economies’’, “lower-middle-income economies”, “upper-middle income economies” and “Latin America and the Caribbean” by the World Bank:

Official Link

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