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Financial inclusion to transform food systems in Kenya (DuvendackM_U21DEV)

   School of International Development

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  Dr M Duvendack  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The School of International Development at the University of East Anglia is offering a PhD studentship for research on financial inclusion and high-quality agricultural inputs for helping transform food systems in Kenya. The PhD research will be part of a Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development (NISD) research programme but the candidate will also have opportunity to develop their own research. The NISD harnesses the strengths of the Norwich Research Park, where the UEA is located, for research on sustainable development, particularly in the areas of food security and sustainability.


The project that the successful applicant will join focuses on quality-declared planting material of bio-fortified varieties of sweet potato. These crops benefit female farmers, as well as providing significant nutritional benefits.

The PhD research will co-design an intervention (with stakeholders) that delivers planting material of improved varieties of sweet potato that is guaranteed to be pathogen-free. The intervention will combine the following elements:

·        a credit as well as an insurance component, designed to minimise both the actual and the perceived risk of default;

·        a mechanism that promotes trust that the planting material is pathogen-free;

·        opportunities for storage, processing and marketing.

The intervention will be evaluated as part of the PhD research using both quantitative and qualitative research methods.


The successful candidate must hold an undergraduate and a postgraduate masters degree in agricultural economics or equivalent (i.e., an economics degree with a specialisation in agriculture). They preferably have formal training and/or research experience in using both quantitative and qualitative research methods for evaluating interventions. Affinity with Kenyan food systems, smallholder farming and female farmers’ livelihoods will strengthen the application.


The student will receive a UEA studentship covering tuition fees, a tax-free maintenance grant (£15,609pa 21/22), and a research training support grant (£750 per year).


Applications close Tuesday 20th July 2021 (23:59 UK Time). Late applications cannot be considered. The applicant will need to submit a full application, including an outline of a possible research agenda. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview.


For further information, please contact the project leads: Dr Maren Duvendack ([Email Address Removed]), Prof Arjan Verschoor ([Email Address Removed]), or Post Graduate Admissions Director, Prof Pieter Serneels ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

This project offers a UEA studentship. UEA Studentships cover tuition fees, a tax-free maintenance grant (currently £15,609 per year), and a research training support grant (£750 per year)
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