Call for Applications for PhD Scholarship


The School of Natural Sciences of the University of Zambia is seeking to recruit a PhD candidate. This project is a collaboration between UNZA and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The project is funded through FoodShot Global and Wageningen University. 

The project

In this project, we aim to study the endosphere microbes of Zambian plant species that are used in the fermentation of cooked grains into the fermented non-alcoholic Zambian beverage Munkoyo. We also aim to elucidate the role of grain quality, linked to soil health management, and the role of Munkoyo plant species-specific endosphere microbes in co-determining the nutritious quality of the Munkoyo beverage.

Fields of interest: (soil) microbial ecology/evolution, plant ecology, functional microbiology, food fermentation. 
Supervisors and collaborators: Dr. Agripina Banda, Dr. David Chuba (UNZA); Prof. Gerlinde De Deyn, Dr. Sijmen Schoustra, Prof. Eddy Smid (Wageningen University). 


General information and application procedure for the PhD position.
For this position, a Master's degree in a relevant field is required. PhD projects have a duration of four years and are aimed at a Zambian PhD candidate. The PhD candidate will perform half of the PhD work at UNZA and half the work in Wageningen and will graduate from Wageningen University. A stipend will cover your stay and all expenses when in Wageningen and some expenses when in Zambia.

To apply, submit (a) a cover letter (max 2 pages) outlining your motivation and suitability for the project, (b) your CV (max 4 pages) including names and contact details of two potential references, and (c) scans of your academic bachelor and master transcripts. All these materials should be submitted by email to the contact email addresses in Wageningen ( and in Zambia ( The deadline for applications is Thursday 29 February 2024. Interviews are planned for the week of 18 March 2024 for which shortlisted candidates will be contacted. These interviews will be held in Lusaka. PhD projects are planned to start in September 2024.