Facilities & Eligibility

The ACCI programme is specifically for full-time, professional plant breeders who will make their careers breeding new cultivars of food crops. It is not suitable for academics or biodiversity scientists. For students to be eligible for this programme, they must already have:

  • An MSc in Plant Breeding, Plant Genetics, Plant Pathology, Horticulture, Crop Science, Applied Entomology and Applied Nematology or equivalent degree
  • An existing position as an agricultural research scientist in a national research institute in the potential student's home country is also essential, so that the student can return to his/her home country to conduct the field research for the PhD thesis
  • Applicants should be under the age of 40.

Once accepted for the programme the student will also have to provide written confirmation that they are aware of, and accept that:

  • The ACCI will pay a non-negotiable stipend that will cover only reasonable personal living expenses for the duration of the degree (5 years)
  • Neither the ACCI, nor the donor agency ,is responsible for supporting the familiy of the student at any stage while he/she is studying for his/her PhD
  • All students will complete two study years in South Africa and that, during that time, they will study and pass the equivalent of 128 credits in accredited University of KwaZulu-Natal modules in the first, and the second year
  • As a University of KwaZulu-Natal student, he/she is subject to all the rules governing all students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Students will not enter into correspondence with the donor organization except with the knowledge and consent of the Director of the ACCI

Application can be made directly to the ACCI:

1. Your CV

2. A certified copy of your passport (or identity document if you do not possess a passport)

3. Written proof of one of the following must be sent with your application:

  • A pass in English Language in Cambridge A-level or O-level (C symbol or higher) or the International Baccalaureate or equivalent examination. (This may vary for different countries)
  • An overall band score of 7.0 on the International English Testing System (IELTS): For information on the IELTS, contact the British Council at the British Embassy or Consulate in your home country or the British Council in Johannesburg, tel: +27 11 403 3316, Fax: +27 11 339 7806 or Durban 031 305 735
  • A test score of at least 550(paper test) or 213(computer test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more information on the TOEFL test, please contact the United States Information Service. (USIS) at the USA Embassy or Consulate in your home country or contact TOEFL directly at PO Box 6155, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541.6155, U.S.A. E-mail: Website:
  • A pass in an examination equivalent to English at the Higher grade (First or second language) at the South African senior certificate level (matriculation)

There will be no exemptions to the English language requirement.

  • A certified copy of your school leaving or matriculation certificate.
  • A certified copy of your undergraduate academic record (what courses you took and what marks you achieved) from your university.
  • Certified copies of your MSc certificate and MSc academic record.
  • A letter from your employers in which they agree to release you for two years of study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and then upon return to your station, will continue to employ and actively support you, whilst you are carrying out dedicated full-time, research breeding for three years at your station.
  • A letter of application from you, which includes a brief outline of your plant breeding interests.
  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses of 3 references, one of which should be your supervisor for your MSc thesis.

ACCI is currently accepting applications for January 2010. 

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