VLIR-UOS in Belgium is offering scholarships for an International Training Programme (ITP): “Modern breeding techniques for potato improvement” in 2019.

International Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO) at UGent, in cooperation with the International Potato Center (CIP), organizes a short term course for students, scientists and professionals from the public and industrial sector, who are involved in the local crop (potato) improvement or genetic manipulation regulatory programs.

The course proposes fundamental background sessions on potato breeding, the use of molecular techniques in plant breeding, plant biotechnology, genetic transformation and new breeding techniques for potato. Experts from Europe and Africa will further give an overview of important biotic and abiotic stresses affecting the growth of potato and possible solutions to overcome these threats. In these sessions, special emphasis will be given on the effects of pests, diseases, fungal contamination, drought and climate change on the growth and yield of potato.

The course will continue with both theory and exercises for the understanding of the basic principles and methodologies of crop safety, risk assessment and science communication. The sessions will be interactive, including group work, presentations and discussions. The program also includes visits to a potato field trial and the processing industry.

Worth of Award

  • A number of scholarships with support from VLIR-UOS for registration, accommodation and travel expenses are available for applicants from the VLIR country list.
  • Preference will be given to participants from the public sector in Africa who are professionally involved in the topic.


  • STI-scholars must be nationals and residents in one of the 31 countries with which VLIR-UOS cooperates in its scholarship programme. The 31 countries include:
  • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
  • VLIR-UOS targets applicants from research institutes, higher education institutes, the government sector (national/subnational), the sector of social economy, an international organization or an NGO, with expertise in matters relevant to development. Applicants from the commercial profit-sector without expertise in matters relevant to the development of a country are not eligible.
  • Previous applications and scholarships
    A candidate can only receive 1 VLIR-UOS-scholarship per year
    A candidate who was awarded a VLIR-UOS-scholarship before to participate in an ICP, ITP or STI can only be awarded a scholarship to participate in the STI if the STI has a thematical connection with the previously followed program.
  • The holder of at least a Bachelor (or equivalent) in Science, Plant Biotechnology, Agricultural or Bioengineering Sciences
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Preference will be given to participants from Africa involved in potato breeding
  • A balance between male and female participants will be achieved

How to Apply

The Application form should be downloaded following the link below, completed, signed and returned to [email protected])


Deadline: Application for a scholarship deadline February 22, 2019.


Click here for more details and to apply

Click here to download the application form (docx)


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