SLU news

Call for Applications for PhD Scholarships in Forestry

Published: 09 June 2020
Students in Africa

Regional Research School in Forest Sciences (REFOREST) is a new, innovative, interdisciplinary and unique regional PhD degree programme for training future generation forest scientists in Africa. The programme is hosted at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and is anchored in partnerships where universities in the region in collaboration with SLU support PhD training in forest sciences.


The College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, is coordinating a research programme, Regional research school in forest sciences (REFOREST). Under the programme the college is announcing calls for applicants for PhD scholarships in forestry.

The PhD programme is organised in partnership with Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – SLU (Sweden), Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), National University of Rwanda (Rwanda), Wondo Genet College of Foresty and Natural Resources (Hawassa University -Ethiopia) and Makerere University (Uganda). The programme is financed by Sida.

Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in forestry or allied sciences. Eligible candidates are from Eastern and Southern Africa. In the year 2020-2024 citisens of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda Tanzania and Uganda will be prioritised for sponsorships, female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will be admitted and registered at Sokoine University of Agriculture. The programme comprises one year of course work and three years of research and thesis writing. Students are encouraged to carry out the PhD research in their home countries.

The PhD students will be supervised by a joint team of senior academics from the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism, SLU and their home university. The sponsorship covers a maximum of four years, and will commence in October, 2020.

Research Themes

Students will undertake research in one of the following thematic areas:

  1. Commercial forestry and bio-economy – tree growing as business, tree improvement and silviculture, forest health and protection, forest products development, marketing, forest products value chains, sustainable forest management;
  2. Natural forests management – Ecological and socio-economic aspects, biodiversity conservation, bio-energy, climate change, REDD+, Payment for Ecosystem Services, forest land policy and ownership as well as forest-land-water relations; and
  3. Agroforestry, forest-agriculture interactions and synergies, and conflict management.

Cross-cutting areas for all the themes include gender, policy, livelihoods, forest governance, forest sector modeling, environmental and economic sustainability. Particular attention are placed on areas requiring more interdisciplinary research approaches, e.g. climate-forest issues, land use conflicts, market system analyses, poverty alleviation potentials of various forest/tree products and services, economic/social/ecological aspects of forestry, food and nutrition security.

How to apply

Submit a letter indicating the theme of interest (Theme 1, 2 or 3 above), and attach the following:

1. Research concept note of maximum 2,000 words (covering introduction, knowledge gap(s), research objectives, research methodology and expected outcomes)

2. Endorsed copies of certificates and academic transcripts

3. Your Curriculum Vitae

4. Names of two academic referees.

Send your application electronically to
Deadline for application is 2nd July 2020 at 15.30 East Africa Time (EAT).

For further clarification, contact Programme coordinator at e-mail: Short-listed candidates will be notified by 1st August, 2020, and where applicable they will be required to improve their concept note. Subsequently they will all be required to present themselves for an interview session conducted from 17th to 21st of August, 2020 at their respective partner universities.

Successful scholarship candidates will apply for PhD admission at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)

Download call for applications 20 PhD scholarships in forestry

About REFOREST Programme