Call for Research Proposals _Second Round


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26 October, 2015

Building Ethiopian’s Research Capacity in Economics and Agribusiness (BERCEA)is one of the research capacity building programs at Haramaya University supported by the Global Development Network (GDN) under the grant scheme named ‘Building Research Capacity in Least Developed Countries’. The program is starting its second year of operation in the University. The general objective of BERCEA program is to contribute for producing outstanding researchers in economics/agricultural economics (at least 25% female). The Program is specifically designed to improve the quality of MSc/MA theses and PhD dissertations; enhance skills of students in problem-solving research; improve mentoring skill of academic staff; improve research skills and expertise of staff; and improve networking and collaborations nationally and internationally.

 BERCEA includes three research capacity building interventions: small research grants, training workshops, and staff exchange programs for mentoring skills. Under its small research grant component, it intends to partially alleviate the research budget constraints of graduate students in undertaking quality thesis and dissertation research. The Program grants each MSc/MA student a maximum of $2000 based on applicants’ research proposals related to one or more of the pre-identified research thematic areas of the program. The extra money above what the University allows will be spent for follow up, organizational, and other student costs that are meant for improving the quality of the thesis. Grant awardees will also participate in training workshops to be organized on selected analytical and applied courses.

Under this second-round call, seven MSc/MA research proposals will be selected. The expected research proposals should lie under one or more of the pre-identified research thematic areas deemed to be related to agricultural economics/economics/ agribusiness. The thematic focus will include, but not limited to, the following list:

  • Multidimensional poverty and inequality;
  • Food and nutrition security;
  • Efficiency and productivity analysis;
  • Agricultural technology adoption and dissemination;
  • Empirical demand analysis and revealed preferences;
  • Economic valuation and stated preferences;
  • Supply response and smallholder commercialization;
  • Market and price dynamics;
  • Impact evaluation of policy and program interventions;
  • Sectoral growth linkages and policy options;
  • Dynamics of structural transformation;
  • Gender and employment dynamics;
  • Food and agricultural value chains; and
  • Economics of climate change and adaption strategies.


  1. Year of registration: MSc/MA students registered in Haramaya University since 2013/14 academic year.
  2. Study program:
  • Agricultural economics,
  • Agribusiness and value chain management,
  • Applied and Agricultural Economics,
  • Economics,
  • Econometrics and related disciplines.
  1. New and original research proposals:Research proposals shall be new and original. Research proposals similar to previous studies in terms of thematic area, commodity, and/or study area will not be acceptable.
  2. Gender: Female applicants are encouraged to apply for the grant.This is in line with the University’s policy to encourage involvement of female members in all academic exercises.
  3. Eligibility of expenses: applicants can include expenses for human resources, travels, purchase of supplies, printing and duplication, etc. Purchase of equipment is not allowed.

Selection Criteria:

Applicants will be selected by a set of objective criteria including the following:

  1. Quality of the research proposal (60%):

The quality of research proposals will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Introduction (15%)
  • Relevance and depth of treatment of the literature review (15%)
  • Research methodology (20%)
  • Work plan and budget (5%)
  • Relevance and accuracy of citation and reference list (5%)
  1. Previous qualification (20%)
  • Direct related disciples (20%): These disciplines include Agricultural economics, Agribusiness and value chain management, Applied and Agricultural Economics, Econometrics, and Economics.
  • More related disciples (17%): These disciplines include Resource economics, Environmental economics, Applied and Agricultural Economics, Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, and fields related to these.
  • Less related disciples (14%): These disciplines include Accounting, Management, Business administration, and fields related to these.
  • Other disciplines (11%).
  1. Cumulative GPA in previous degree (20%)

The cumulative GPA (CGPA) of applicants shall be evaluated as follows:

  • CGPA above 3.7 (20%)
  • 3.4< CGPA < 3.7 (18%)
  • 3.1 < CGPA < 3.39 (16%)
  • 2.8 < CGPA < 3.09 (14%)
  • 2.5 < CGPA < 2.79 (12%)
  • CGPA below 2.5 (10%).
  1. Gender (5%): Female applicants will have 5 percentage points.

 Template of Research Proposals:

Students shall strictly follow the following major chapters of the proposals with adequate treatment of the subtopics as depicted in the latest guidelines of proposal write-up of Haramaya University:

  1. Introduction (maximum 1500 words)
  2. Review of Literature (maximum 7000 words)
  3. Research Methodology (maximum 5000 words)
  4. Work Plan and Budget (maximum 400 words)
  5. References.

 Applicants should submit the following documents:

  • Full thesis research proposal  (prepared according to the latest proposal and thesis write-up guidelines of Haramaya University)
  • Latest CV
  • Copy of student ID, and
  • Previous academic records (degree and student copy).

 All application documents shall be submitted to the following addresses:

Deadline of Application:

The deadline for applications is 31 December, 2015. Grant awardees will be announced within 20 days after the deadline of application.

 Note: In order to apply for this call, applicants should not have other additional research funds to undertake the same research. They are also expected to finish and submit their final and approved thesis research reports to the BERCEA program the latest by October 2016.

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