Call for Applications for CRISPR Class II
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 (CIFOR-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. Applicants from the same institutions represented in CRISPR Class I are encouraged to apply, and women are especially encouraged to apply.
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 II are:
- Session 1: January 22 – February 2, 2024
- Session 2: April 15 – May 1, 2024
- Session 3: September 30 - October 11, 2024
To apply to the AfPBA CRISPR Course, complete the online Call for Applications 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 the institute’s commitment to establishing a gene editing program, if one has not already been initiated at the Institute, or expanding current gene editing capacity. This is expected to include a pledge to apply for and obtain Biosafety Level II Certification to conduct gene editing R&D in at least one lab in the institute, particularly the lab in which the current applicant works. Furthermore, the institute must commit to availing the course follow-up in support of the course graduate and their specific program, in whatever other forms may be required.
• Letter 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.
Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2023. Only complete applications will be considered.