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For FY 2012

On-the-Job Research Capacity Building for Sustainable Agriculture in Developing Countries (OJCB)


Application Guidelines for 2012

UNU-ISP is pleased to announce that applications are now available for On-the-Job Research Capacity Building for Sustainable Agriculture in Developing Countries (OJCB).

This programme is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, and coordinated by UNU-ISP.

Outline of the programme

UNU-ISP will support capacity building projects proposed and implemented by leading scientists (host scientists) who are engaged in research related to sustainable agriculture (including forestry and fisheries) in developing countries, under the responsibility of a host institution. The programme mainly consists of capacity building through on-the-job training (OJT) for young researchers in developing countries (trainees).

The purpose of this programme is to:

  • Develop capacity for agricultural research in developing countries.
  • Disseminate new agricultural technologies that are adaptable by local farmers and to local conditions, and
  • Ultimately contribute towards increasing global food production by promoting sustainable agriculture in developing countries.

Each capacity building project is planned and implemented by a leading scientist (host scientist) who is engaged in research related to sustainable agriculture in developing countries.

Each project supported by this programme must include all of the following:

  • OJT for young researchers in developing countries under a host scientist,.
  • Guidance for developing an action plan to be implemented by the trainee after the OJT, and
  • Follow-up guidance by the host scientist for the action plan implemented by the trainee.

The on-the job training, which is the main component of the projects, should be conducted for 1 to 3 months in principle, but it is extendable within the limit of the budget, depending on the proposed project.

Details of supported projects

OJT for trainees under the host scientist

The host scientist supervises the trainees to achieve the research target defined in the project proposal submitted to UNU-ISP. Each project may include more than one trainee, as long as the total cost does not exceed the upper limit of the project budget, and the host scientist ensures an adequate standard of living for the trainees. When more than two trainees are under the same host scientist, the period of training for each trainee can be different. An assistant instructor may contribute to the OJT if necessary.

Guidance for developing the action plan to be implemented by the trainee after the OJT

The host scientist guides the trainees to develop action plans during the OJT. After the OJT, trainees implement these plans, making use of what they have learned.

Follow-up guidance

The host scientist visits the trainees after the OJT to give advice on implementation of the action plan and to monitor the on-site dissemination of the technologies acquired by the trainees during the training course.

Budgetary limitations for supported projects

The upper budgetary limit for a capacity building project is $19,000 USD. This is estimated based on an upper limit of approximately $2,800 USD per trainee per month, considering the duration of the OJT and the cost of follow-up guidance.

Please note that the actual amount of funding provided for a project will be decided after a thorough review of the proposal. For example, the total funding which can be received by a host scientist who trains 2 trainees for 3 months OJT is as follows:

OJT:  $2,800 x 3 months x 2 trainees = $16,800
Follow-up guidance: $2,200
Total:   $19,000


Deadline for submissions of applications
20 July, 2012
Notification of selection results to the host institutions and applicants*1 Late August 2012
Launch and implementation of capacity building projects, including follow-up guidance by the host scientist October 2012
Submission of the final report by host scientist to UNU-ISP

15 Jun, 2e013

*1 Funds are remitted by bank transfer after Institutional Contractual Agreements have been signed with the host institutions.

Eligibility requirements

Only host scientists are eligible to apply. A person other than a host scientist (such as a potential trainee) cannot apply. This programme is not a scholarship. 

a) The host scientist/applicant must:

  • In principle, be a scientist belonging to a research organization under CGIAR or UNU, or an agricultural research organization, a university, etc., in a developing country.
  • be presently conducting research related to sustainable agriculture in developing countries, and must be able to train the trainee(s) based on his/her current research.
  • be physically present at the host institution throughout the OJT period. If an assistant instructor employed by the host institute is assigned to the OJT, the host scientist may be away from the host institution for up to half of the duration of the OJT period.
  • undertake capacity building with the full consent of the host institution (a letter of support signed by the head of the host institution must be provided).
  • provide evidence of the consent of the selected trainee(s).
  • obtain consent from the assistant instructor, where applicable;
  • be able to write his/her application form and reports in English; and
  • enable the trainee(s) to recognize the challenges of sustainable agriculture in his/her own country, guide trainees to develop their action plans, and assist and confirm the trainees to engage in technology dissemination and/or research activities based on his/her action plans after the OJT.

b) The trainee(s) must:

  • be less than 45 years of age and be a national of a developing country (in principle, those countries included in the OECD’s DAC list of ODA recipients). However, trainees who are less than 40 years of age will be given priority in the selection;
  • belong to a national or public agricultural research institute, university, etc., in a developing country and return to his/her institute after the OJT;
  • hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a university or be recognized by the selection committee as possessing equivalent academic qualifications;
  • obtain consent on participating in the project from his/her institute;
  • not be the recipient of any funds from other sources for similar programs;
  • be able to communicate in the same language with the host scientist; and
  • recognize the challenges of sustainable agriculture in his/her own country, develop an action plan and be willing to implement technology dissemination and/or research activities based on his/her action plan immediately after the OJT.

c) The assistant instructor must:

  • be currently conducting research together with the host scientist or under his/her supervision on research related to sustainable agriculture in developing countries; and
  • be qualified to assist training based on his/her research background. A post-doctoral fellow can be considered as an assistant instructor.

The applicant is responsible for:

  1. ensuring a successful capacity building project by liaising with the administrative staff of the host institution and the assistant instructor;
  2. ensuring the development of an action plan by the trainee(s) and its implementation through on-site visits to the workplace of the trainee(s), and providing guidance as appropriate;
  3. submitting a final report to UNU-ISP upon completion of the capacity building project. The report must include capacity building results, an accounting report and reports from the trainee(s) and host institution(s); and
  4. manage the allocated funds in a diligent and responsible manner.

Costs covered by the programme

The programme will cover costs for the following items:

a) OJT for the trainee(s) under the host scientist and guidance for action plan development to be implemented by the trainee(s) after the OJT:

  1. a discounted round-trip economy-class air ticket and related expenses for travel by the trainee(s) from his/her institute to the host institution(s) where the OJT will take place;
  2. subsistence allowance for the trainee(s) to cover accommodation and other living expenses during the OJT period;
  3. an allowance to cover basic medical and accident insurance for the trainee(s) during the OJT period;
  4. research and capacity building funds including supplies. The purchase of durable equipment (scientific equipment, computers, cameras, projectors and microscope, etc.) to a cost of less than 100,000 Japanese yen per item;
  5. the assistant instructor’s remuneration (paid on an as-needed basis) and travel costs; and
  6. indirect costs charged by the host institution.
    This programme does not cover salaries or regular allowances for host scientists. Only those travel costs and travel allowances necessary for the OJT and follow-up guidance are provided.

b) Follow-up guidance.

  1. travel allowance for the host scientist;
  2. office supplies necessary for guidance; and
  3. communication expenses (telephone calls, postage costs, etc.).

Please note the following:

  • Funds will be remitted by bank transfer to the designated bank accounts of host institutions.
  • The funds referred to in a).1 ~ 3 and b).will be calculated based on the policies in place at the host institutions.
  • The funds referred to in a).2 will be paid directly to the trainee, and the other funds will be paid to the institute to be used for implementation of OJT, follow-up guidance, etc., under the supervision of the host institute.

Application procedures and deadlines for host scientists

Applicants (host scientists) must submit the application documents listed below by no later than 20 July, 2012. Completed application documents should be sent to UNU-ISP by email to:

Application Documents

Form 1. Application form cover

Word file (29KB)

Form 2.Capacity building and research plan/ Budget plan

Word file (93KB)

Form 3. Outline of host institution

Word file (36KB)

Form 4. Curriculum vitae for applicant, host scientist

Word file (59KB)

Form 5.Curriculum vitae for assistant instructor (only if assistant instructor is employed)

Word file (19KB)

Form 6.Curriculum vitae for trainee

Word file (61KB)

Letter of recommendation by host institute

Free format


Word file (18KB)

» Download all files (zip, 87KB)

Selection and notification of results

Selection Committee
All applications will be reviewed by an independent and experienced selection committee. The committee will examine and select those best qualified for the programme.

Priority for APEC and ASEAN developing economies
Since this programme qualifies as a contribution to APEC, priority is placed on projects which receive trainees from APEC and ASEAN developing countries.

Evaluation criteria for selection

Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

1. a thorough understanding of the purpose of the program; and
2. the suitability of the capacity building project, including:

  • the relevance of the research project proposed by the host scientist (applicant);
  • the relevance to the project of the research achievements of the host scientist;,
  • the relevance to the project of the research activities of the trainee(s);
  • the suitability of the capacity building plan, including the concept of
  • the action plan and planning of follow-up guidance;
  • the adequacy of the budget plan, e.g., air ticket, subsistence allowance, research and capacity building funds, overheads, etc.; and
  • the sustainability of, and potential to further develop, the capacity building results.

The number of programme to be selected

Approximately 13 projects (in the case of 2 trainees per project) will be selected. The amount of funds provided to each institute may be adjusted based on the total funds available. A host scientist may submit two or more applications, but only one can be approved.

Implementation of capacity building

UNU-ISP will enter into an Institutional Contractual Agreement with the host institution of each selected host scientist as early as possible after the notification of selection results and before the initiation of the capacity building projects. The selected host scientist must provide UNU-ISP with the required bank account information in order for UNU-ISP to remit the funds through bank transfer in a timely manner.

Final Report of capacity building results

The final report will contain three separate sections as follows:

  1. Section by trainee: Each trainee must write his/her section in English and submit it to the host scientist.
  2. Section by host institution: Each host institution must write an evaluation and achievement report of the capacity building project, and submit it to the host scientist.
  3. Section by host scientist: Each host scientist must submit to UNU-ISP a final report comprising the capacity building result (including the action plan by the trainee) and accounting report, along with a summary after completion of the capacity building, by 15 June, 2013, together with 1 and 2.


Please address your correspondence to:

United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace
5-53-70 Jingumae. Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925 JAPAN

TEL: +81-3-5467-1242 FAX: +81-3-3406-7347