Le programme de bourses STAARS (Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces), une collaboration multi-institutionnelle gérée par l'Université Cornell avec le soutien du programme de recherche du CGIAR sur les politiques, les institutions et les marchés (PIM), annonce son appel annuel à propositions de recherche. Les chercheurs africains en début de carrière sélectionnés comme boursiers STAARS en 2021 font avancer une recherche rigoureuse et orientée vers les politiques sur les déterminants causaux de la croissance de la productivité et des revenus, l'accumulation d'actifs, l'emploi rural et la gestion des risques dans l'agriculture et les espaces ruraux africains.

La bourse couvre les frais de voyage et de formation. Les boursiers STAARS seront jumelés avec des mentors de l'université Cornell avec lesquels ils rédigeront conjointement un article sur un sujet d'intérêt mutuel relatif à la transformation structurelle en Afrique au sud du Sahara. Le programme vise à publier les résultats de la recherche dans des revues de haute qualité et sous forme de documents de travail. En outre, PIM et Cornell faciliteront la participation des boursiers à des conférences scientifiques et politiques.

La bourse STAARS a débuté en 2016 et a jusqu'à présent soutenu 22 boursiers de divers horizons.


Scope of Research and Geographic Focus

Prospective STAARS fellows are invited to develop proposals in the following thematic areas.


Dynamics of agriculture input use, technological change, and productivity growth in Africa south of the Sahara.

Rural factor market performance, labor exits and productivity in Africa south of the Sahara.

Food security, nutrition and health linkages in Africa south of the Sahara.

Poverty dynamics and resilience against shocks in Africa south of the Sahara.

STAARS Fellows’ rigorous policy analysis should use existing data, such as the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS–ISA), Demographic and Health Surveys or similar high-quality datasets from Africa south of the Sahara.


Select STAARS Fellows' Publications

"Locus of Control and Technology Adoption in Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia." Kibrom A. Abay, Garrick Blalock, Guush Berhane.

"Do Safety Net Transfers Improve Diets and Reduce Undernutrition? Evidence from Rural Ethiopia"” Tagel Gebrehiwot, Carolina Castilla.


Eligibility

The call is open for early career African researchers, either Ph.D. students in their final year prior to degree completion or those who completed their Ph.D. no earlier than 2016. Priority is given to researchers who are African nationals based and working in – or soon returning to – Africa, with proposals relating to the research themes indicated above. Qualified female researchers are particularly encouraged to apply. STAARS welcomes applications from fresh Ph.D. graduates who can benefit from mentorship and additional training to become internationally respected and recognized researchers. Fellows are expected to complete the proposed project by submitting findings as a complete working paper by December 15, 2021 and proceeding to submit the paper to a peer-reviewed journal and conferences in early 2022.

Researchers are expected to be familiar with existing data sets and have a strong working knowledge of appropriate software, typically Stata and/or R, and an interest in econometric analysis of high-quality data sets. Knowledge of Stata and/or R will be assessed at the finalist stage.


Funding

The selected applicants will receive funds to cover travel and participation in a three-week mentorship program at Cornell University. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel may not be possible in 2021. The 2021 program will begin online and we will evaluate the feasibility of travel in mid-2021.

The proposed research and capacity development activities are expected to be undertaken as part of an ongoing effort by the scholar. No salary support is available; STAARS will not cover the scholar’s time allocated to this research. A letter of support from the candidate’s supervisor is required. The program cannot support costs for any new data collection.


Application Process

The STAARS Fellowship application process is managed by Cornell University, in collaboration with PIM. Applicants must prepare a maximum 2500-word research proposal, which motivates the selected research issues and objectives, outlines data sources and proposed methodology, and contains a convincing plan for completing the project by December 15, 2021. Projects that propose to use data that are not publicly available must provide documentation that they have access to those data. All proposals shall be prepared in English. All proposals will be peer-reviewed by experts from Cornell University and/or PIM.

The deadline to submit a research proposal is January 31, 2021. Applicants should submit their completed proposals via email to staars@cornell.edu. Accepted applicants will be notified by early March 2021 and are expected to begin remote collaboration with their mentor immediately upon acceptance.


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