Call for Applications for RCMRD-QUIIC Funded MSc Programme

The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development is seeking to engage three MSc through the Quality Index Insurance Certification project. Students in selected research topics. The application deadline is March 19, 2021.


The Quality Index Insurance Certification (QUIIC) project is administered at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in collaboration with the University of California Davis. Through the QUIIC project, RCMRD is seeking to engage three MSc. Students in selected research topics. The research will be conducted in collaboration with the Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), with selected students enrolled under the JKUAT GEGIS (Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Science) department.

This call targets three prospective MSc. Students and is open to new and continuing students in a relevant master’s program. They will be expected to undertake research in one of the following topics during their studies:

  1. In season and out of season crop mapping using AI and machine learning. The student
    is expected to build machine learning/AI models for crop mapping while observing
    their quality degradation out of season and region. For instance, what is the quality
    of the models when transferred to different crop seasons and regions without ground
    reference data using different Earth observation data?
  2. Where can agriculture insurance be feasibility offered? This topic will involve assessing
    variability of crop and livestock productivity in Kenya which in turn will help the determination of insurance risk or demand for a given region.
  3. Evaluate the efficacy of QUIIC certification program. This will require a market
    survey to follow up already certified contracts to establish its successes or failures
    i.e. is there a business case for QUIIC certification or consumer protection?

Educational Qualifications:
The candidate must have the following educational qualifications:

a. Either a holder of at least an upper second-class honours Bachelor’s degree from a
recognised university in Geomatics, Geospatial Engineering, Surveying, Remote
Sensing, Geospatial sciences or relevant fields;

b. Or a holder of at least a lower second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field from
a recognized institution with at least two-year relevant work or research experience.

Core Competencies
The ideal candidate must have demonstratable experience in:

  • Coding in R and/or Python to develop solutions in the agricultural/environmental
  • Working with Google Earth Engine.
  • Significant experience in applied statistics including data analysis and experimental
    design. Proficiency in geospatial statistics is a plus.
  • Spatial data field collection using GPS or relevant devices including customizing open
    data kit for data collection.
  • Previous knowledge of the use and integrating remote sensing data from MODIS, NOAA,
    CHIRPS, Sentinels and Landsat for environmental applications.
  • Experience with programming in teams, and methods to maintain code integrity,
    documentation and standards.
  • Proven capacity in contributing to the documentation of scientific research.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, able to interact with a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary team of professionals and scientist.
  • Proactive and independent problem solver, and an excellent team player.
  • Experience communicating the results of analyses in scientific publication and with science and development audiences and government, public and private clients to influence their strategies. Previous research publications is an added advantage.
  • Experience in conducting research and producing reports.
  • With regard to topic 3, the candidate should have previous experience in
    market-level surveys for products.

The funding only covers tuition and research costs. Accommodation and other costs are not
covered. Successful applicants will undertake the MSC to conduct the research at
JKUAT under the GEGIS Department.

Applications must include a cover letter which should address how the candidate’s
background/experience relates to the specific core competencies, curriculum vitae with names and addresses of three professional referees, and a three- to five-page concept note {covering: (1) introduction (background, motivation and problem statement, and research objectives), (2) Methods, and (3) Expected results} responding to one of the mentioned research topics.

The applications should have the subject title “Application for QUIIC MSC Research”. It should be addressed to and submitted by COB Friday, 19 March 2021. Only Email applications will be considered.

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