Long-term Degree Training

Long-term degree training

Legume Innovation Lab degree training is closely linked to research activities and aligned with Innovation Lab project research and outreach objectives. Integrating graduate students into research and outreach activities makes their dissertation research questions relevant and applicable to their chosen host country situation(s), while also contributing to the technical quality of Legume Innovation Lab research activities. Graduate students’ research contributes to the development of technologies and enhances understanding ofthe socioeconomic, agronomic, environmental, political, and cultural realities in host countries. To address the dearth in women scientists, Legume Innovation Lab researchers seek to identify qualified women for degree training programs.  

By design, nearly all graduate students are under the guidance and supervision of Legume Innovation Lab PIs. Depending on the university, a Legume Innovation Lab PI serves as the major professor, a member of the guidance and thesis research committees, or, in a few cases, an external expert contributing to thesis development. When a trainee is pursuing an advanced degree at a university in the host country, the host country PI will typically serve as the major professor, making the research and teaching activities of Legume Innovation Lab trainees an integral part of the annual work plans of each project, helping advance science in the field of interest.  

Key components:

  • Formal degree training based on locally identified needs and trainees
  • Degree programs within overall Legume Innovation Lab strategic objectives
  • Building long-term partnerships through mentoring and research collaboration
  • Host country researchers gain access and familiarity with a broad range of international research during degree programs and Legume Innovation Lab research meetings
  • Interdisciplinary approach of overall Innovation Lab programs links professionals across the sciences while ensuring disciplinary quality of research
  • Degree training designed to facilitate re-integration into host country institutions
  • Focus on identification of qualified women candidates for training

Long-term degree training is not without challenges. Language skills are often a stumbling block for Lusophone and Francophone candidates to U.S. universities. In some cases, host country universities do not have as rigorous a training program in statistics or other fields as U.S. and other universities, such that students need additional studies to bring them to the skill level needed for entry into U.S. programs.  The Legume Innovation Lab has worked to address these challenges through universities outside the United States, such as the University of Pretoria in South Africa and Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil, and by extending degree programs to include additional course work in English and other basic areas. In a few cases, the pool of candidates is limited due to lack of candidates with B.S. or B.A. degrees in the required field; Legume Innovation Lab projects provide some B.S. and B.A. thesis assistance for such students in their respective host country. 

Information on all the degree trainees financially supported by the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP from October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2011 is available from the MO. A total of 60 students were either fully or partially supported in graduate or undergraduate degree programs by FY 2011. A descriptive summary of the degree training activities supported by the Pulse CRSP is provided in Table 1.

An estimated six graduate students at U.S. universities in 2011 were indirectly supported by the Pulse CRSP. These students had research assistantships and were conducting their research in the host countries in collaboration with HC PIs. CRSP funds were only used to compensate them to conduct research activities outlined in the workplans. CRSP funds were not used to cover traditional academic expenses, such as tuition and the purchase of text books and computers. Since these graduate students were not “Participant Trainees,” they are therefore not included in the Pulse CRSP Trainee database. Subcontracted U.S. universities supporting graduate students on research assistantships provided a 25 percent match on their salaries and research expenses because they are viewed as an expense related to completing Phase II and III CRSP research projects.

It is also noteworthy that 20 of the degree students supported by the Pulse CRSP in FY 2011 were enrolled in universities either in host countries or in academically advanced institutions in other countries (e.g., South Africa and Brazil) compared to 15 in the Unites Staters. By supporting graduate training at partner HC universities, HC PIs were able to assume a greater role in the advising and monitoring of the academic formation and research activities of Pulse CRSP trainees.  Moreover, by supporting graduate degree students at HC universities, the CRSP contributed to the ongoing strengthening of academic graduate programs at these institutions. U.S. PIs frequently provide guest lecturers and serve on the guidance committees of graduate students. Finally, economies are achieved by supporting the training of USAID-sponsored students at universities in countries in Africa and Latin America.

Overall, under full and partial funding, there has been one Ph.D. graduate, 16 M.S. graduates, and eight B.S. graduates who have completed their degrees. There are currently 13 students working towards their Ph.D. degrees, with the majority having started their programs in 2009 or later.  Another 19 students are currently active in M.S. degree programs with an additional three in MBA programs.   

For a Summary of Degree Training by the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP as of March 15, 2012, link to Table 1.

List of completed student theses

PhD thesis dissertations

Dannon, E., 2011. Biology and ecology of Apanteles taragamae, a larval parasitoid of the cowpea pod borer Maruca vitrata. PhD thesis dissertation, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands, 188 pp.

MS theses

Chaves, Estevao. 2011.  Interdependência dos Preços de Feijão-Vulgar entre Cinco dos Principais Mercados em Moçambique.  (Interdependence of common bean prices among markets in Mozambique). MS Thesis for University of Vicosa, Brazil.

Chiona, Susan. 2011.  Technical and Allocative Efficiency of Smallholder Maize Farmers in Zambia. M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

David Ndengoloka, Antonio.  2011.  Estudio de la diversidad genética de germoplasma de caupí [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] de Angola y un grupo de germoplasma que representa otras regiones del mundo.  M.S. Thesis.  University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.

Heilig, J.A. 2010. Evaluation of dry bean genotypes for performance under organic production systems; Evaluation of early nitrogen fixation in dry bean. M.S. thesis, Michigan State  University, East Lansing MI. 139pp.

Musaazi, Aisha Nakitto. 2010. “Developing a quick-cooking bean flour.” Final thesis for M.S. degree. Department of Food Science & Technology. Kampala, Uganda: Makerere University.

Mbui Martins, Monica.  2011.  Desarrollo de líneas de frijol (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) con mayores niveles de resistencia a las enfermedades.  M.S. Thesis.  University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.

Okiror, Simon. 2010. “Analysis of Factors affecting market participation of smallholder bean farmers in Kamuli district, Uganda.” Thesis for M.S. degree. Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness. Kampala, Uganda: Makerere University.

BS papers/theses                        

Chilundika, Natasha. 2011. Market Participation of Bean Smallholder Farmers in Zambia: A Gender-Based Approach. B.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

Habanabakize, Telesphore. 2010. “Processing and product development of orange flesh sweet potato and dry beans blended flours for weaning foods.” Final project report for B.S. degree. Department of Food Science & Technology. Kigali, Rwanda:Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Habiyaremye, Idrissa. 2010. “Potential utilization of improved dry bean in the processing of cereal-legume weaning flour.” Final project report for B.S. degree. Department of Food Science & Technology. Kigali, Rwanda: Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Karuhanga, William. 2010. “Processing of extruded snack food products using decalaya and colta varieties of bean based flour.” Final project report for B.S. degree. Department of Food Science & Technology. Kigali, Rwanda: Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Mulinda, Noel Valentin. 2010. “Effects of thermal processing techniques on the functional properties of dry common bean flours.” Final project report for B.S. degree. Department of Food Science & Technology. Kigali, Rwanda: Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Myece, Agness. 2011.  Factors Influencing Cowpea Producers’ Choice of Marketing Channels In Zambia. B.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

Ngoma, Edna. 2011. Supply Chain Participation of Cowpea Producers in Zambia. B.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

Nkundabombi, Marie Grace. 2010. “Processing of cold extruded deep fat fried snack food from bean (RWR22-45 and white variety) based composite flour.” Final project report for B.S. degree. Department of Food Science & Technology. Kigali, Rwanda: Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Samboko, Chimuka. 2011. An Assessment of Factors Influencing the Profitability of Bean Production in Zambian. B.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

Sunga, Chalwe. 2011. Market Information in the Bean and Cowpea Supply Chain in Zambia. B.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

Zulu, Esther. 2011. Profitability of Smallholder Cowpea Production in Zambia. B.Sc. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia.

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