MPhil/PhD Studentship: Promoting Resilience and Food Security through Weather Risk-Contingent Credit in Africa

University of Greenwich - Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, Natural Resources Institute

Weather related agricultural risks and limited access to credit are serious impediments to agricultural productivity and growth in Africa. Without financial innovations that can be adapted to climate change, it is unlikely that the necessary technical innovations to combat climate change will improve agricultural productivity and economic conditions. The main objective of this research is to develop weather risk financing approaches and to assess their impacts on promoting resilience and food security for smallholder farmers. This can include;

  1. a) Development of high quality weather index by integrating key environmental variables such as rainfall, vegetation and soil moisture data based on state-of-the-art remote sensors. High quality weather index not only minimizes basis risk but also helps develop an insurance linked credit model for balancing business and credit risks for farm households. Then the research will aim to develop a risk-contingent credit model that transfers weather risk related perils from borrower to lender via insurance mechanism.
  2. b) Development of high quality evidence on the impacts of the innovative risk financing mechanism on agricultural productivity, resilience and farm household nutrition. It is important to test if this innovative product can increase the uptake of agricultural risk management instruments and determine if it contributes to resilience in a meaningful and economically viable way.

The successful candidate will become part of a growing team around climate resilience and innovative financing in agriculture based at the award-winning Natural Resources Institute (   

For further information please contact the supervisor: Dr Apurba Shee,

Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):

Year 1: £14,777

Year 2: In line with RCUK rate

Year 3: In line with RCUK rate

The successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home/EU rate, currently £4,260, for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee, currently £9,240, for the duration of their scholarship. This fee is subject to an annual increase. Scholarships are available for three years, full-time study, from the date scholars first register as an MPhil/PhD student with the university. Applicants must meet the programme entry requirements. 

Please read this information before making an application. Applications need to be made online via  No other form of application will be considered.

All applications must include the following information.  Applications not containing these documents will not be considered.

  • Scholarship Reference Number (Ref) – included in the personal statement section together with your personal statement as to why you are applying
  • a research proposal *
  • a CV including 2 referees *
  • academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency *

*upload to the qualification section of the application form. Attachments need to be in PDF format.

The closing date for applications is midnight (UTC) on 3 May 2018.

The scholarship must commence before 31 October 2018.

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