Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
University of California
Plant Breeding Academy

Call for Applications for AfPBA CRISPR Class I

New AfPBA CRISPR Course for Molecular Biologists


Course Description

The goal of the African Plant Breeding Academy CRISPR Course is to train practicing African molecular biologists in crop improvement, particularly those working in national programs, in gene editing techniques involving CRISPR.  During the 6 weeks of the program, participants will perform steps from plasmid design to validation of desired mutant plants, using banana as a model.  Course instructors are internationally recognized experts in gene editing and crop improvement.  The program is delivered in three sessions over a 1-year period in Nairobi, Kenya, at World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and ILRI/IITA.

Upon completion of the course, graduates will be mentored in establishing productivity at their home institution with crops of national priority and networked with plant breeder alumni of the African Plant Breeding Academy. 


Participant Criteria and Selection

To be eligible for the AfPBA CRISPR Course, applying scientists must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be actively working “at the bench” in crop research conducted in Africa
  • Hold a PhD degree in molecular biology or related field
  • Have proficiency in English language
  • Be currently employed at an African Institute that has established, or plans to establish, a gene editing program directed toward crop improvement
  • Be available to attend all three sessions

Preference in this first cohort given to applicants from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Malawi, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Morocco.  Multiple applicants from the same institution are encouraged to apply, as are women.

Scholarships are available for selected students, which cover costs of tuition and supplies as well as travel for course participation.  Class size is limited to 20 individuals.

Course dates for Class I are:

  • Session 1: January 23 – February 1, 2023
  • Session 2: April 24 – May 10, 2023
  • Session 3: October 2 – 13, 2023


Application Form

To apply to the AfPBA CRISPR Course, complete the form at the link below and upload requested documents which include:

  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter with Position Statement of the Applicant’s Institute regarding Gene Editing, authored by the Institute Director, outlining its commitment to establishing a gene editing program, if one has not already been initiated at the Institute, and to availing the course follow-up in support of the course graduate and their specific program. The Director’s letter should also explain current facilities and institutional capacity to undertake gene editing research as well as what is needed for full operation.
  • etter from Applicant’s Supervisor to include recommendation to this program as well as release from work to attend in-person training in Nairobi for the specified dates of Sessions 1 through 3, and assurance of continuing salary/benefits throughout the six weeks of the course.


CLICK HERE to begin the Application Process


Applications will be accepted through October 30th, 2022.  Only complete applications will be considered.



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