Careers & Calls


CLIFF-GRADS scholarships for short-term scientific training and research stays on topics related to emissions and carbon storage in agriculture

Call for proposals

The CLIFF-GRADS program invites applications from students from developing countries[1] currently enrolled in PhD programs for short-term scientific training and research stays on topics related to the measurement and management of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage in agricultural systems.

Applicants should have a background in agriculture and climate change research and be pursuing graduate research related to agricultural greenhouse gas quantification. 

Selected students will be sponsored in the amount of 10,00012,000 USD for short-term (46 month) scientific training and research stays to collaborate with projects associated with CCAFS and GRA. Specific topics will depend on student and host institution scientist interests. A list of projects seeking to host students is included in the attached call for proposals under “List of research opportunities.”

The grants will be used to support travel to and living and research costs at the host institution. Grants may not be used for tuition or unrelated personal expenses.


CLIFF-GRADS is a joint initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change (CCAFS) Low Emissions Development Flagship and the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA). CLIFF-GRADS aims to build the capability of early career agriculture students in developing countries to conduct applied research on climate change mitigation in agriculture. CLIFF-GRADS integrates the GRA’s new Development Scholarship and the CCAFS Climate Food and Farming Research Network with the common goal of providing grants to graduate students to expand their knowledge and experience in quantification of agricultural greenhouse gases. Research projects are hosted by CCAFS and GRA members and partners. Funding for CLIFF-GRADS is provided by the Government of New Zealand and by the CGIAR Trust Fund and bilateral agreements in support of CCAFS.

Application requirements 

The application must include the following documents merged into one pdf file:

  • 1-2 page motivation letter (described below)
  • 1-page curriculum vitae that includes your contact details
  • Letter of support from your university supervisor
  • All applications must be in English

The motivation letter, which must be no more than two A4 pages, must include the following: 

  1. Your name, citizenship and the country where you are conducting your graduate study
  2. The objectives of your graduate research
  3. The specific research opportunity (number and title) to which you are applying (see list). If you are interested in more than one research opportunity, please list your preferred research opportunities (up to 3) in order of preference. 
  4. Your research experience with greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture or soil carbon storage in agricultural systems, as relevant to the research opportunity for which you are applying 
  5. A description of how scientific training with CCAFS/GRA scientists will improve your graduate research

Submission and process for selection

  • Deadline for applications: September 30, 2018
  • Please submit your application by email to Julianna White, Program Manager for CCAFS Low Emissions Development at
  • Please also contact Julianna with questions
  • Applicants will be selected based on three criteria: (1) overall level of research experience, (2) relevance of thesis topic or other research experience to the research opportunity to which the student is applying, and (3) clear description of how the CLIFF-GRADS experience will improve the student’s scientific training
  • Successful applicants will be matched with a project and notified by email by November 30, 2018


  • Applicants must be currently enrolled PhD students in a field related to quantification of greenhouse gas emissions or carbon sequestration in agricultural systems
  • Applicants must be students from a developing country1

Requirements of grant recipients

  • Grant money should be used to finance the short-term scientific visit, including living and research costs at the host institution and all costs associated with that research, including travel, housing, meals, and research materials and services. Funding is not to be used for tuition, fees, or unrelated personal costs
  • Scientific visits must take place during 2019
  • Each CLIFF-GRADS recipient will work directly with a research supervisor at the host institute. The activities to be conducted by the student and a budget for the scientific visit will be agreed upon between the student and research supervisor in a Managed Contract
  • The research supervisors will assess the quality of the CLIFF-GRADS recipient’s science performance and monitor the achievement of milestones and deliverables set out in the Managed Contract
  • At the end of the research stay, the CLIFF-GRADS student will submit a Final Report describing the activities undertaken. Final payment to the CLIFF-GRADS recipient is dependent on this Final Report being approved by CCAFS and GRA.

More information

Call for proposals, including list of research opportunities.




Please visit these websites before preparing your application.

[1] Includes all countries listed as "low-income economies," "lower-middle-income economies," "upper-middle-income economies" and "Latin America and the Caribbean" by the World Bank:

Photo: 2018 CLIFF-GRADS recipient Banira Lombardi measuring greenhouse gas emissions from manure applied to crops at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia.