The University of Western Australia hopes two new PhD scholarships in agriculture will help in the long-term rebuilding of Pakistan following last year's devastating floods.
The 2010 floods affected some 20 million people and caused agricultural damage of more than $3.7 billion, including extensive damage to crops over 3.25 million hectares. Pakistan is rapidly repairing the damage with its own funding and with assistance from other countries, including Australia.
The UWA Pakistan Flood Reconstruction Scholarship is a joint initiative between UWA's Vice Chancellor and International Centre and provides two scholarships covering tuition fees and a living allowance of $26,360 per year for up to four years. One scholarship is for a student commencing in 2011 and one for 2012.
Professor Kadambot Siddique, Director of the UWA Institute of Agriculture, said scholarship applicants must show their proposed research would be of demonstrable benefit to the restoration or improvement of agricultural capacity in relation to post-flood reconstruction efforts in affected areas of Pakistan.
The scholarship is open to citizens of Pakistan with preference given to graduates of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, but graduates from other universities in Pakistan will be considered. Faisalabad is also within the flood-ravaged region of Pakistan.
UWA signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in 2008, which initiated cooperative teaching and research in crop and animal improvement, grassland-livestock interaction, biotechnology, natural resource management and agricultural policy research.
Under the above agreement, the universities have established a jointly funded PhD program with five high-quality PhD students from UAF currently undertaking their research at UWA. After completing their PhD program, these students will join UAF Faculties to enhance agricultural teaching and research in Pakistan.