Call for Applications: WASCAL Master Research Program Climate Change and Education 2014/2015

The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (www.wascal.org) appreciates the fact that the capacity to translate scientific evidence on climate change to viable policies comes with the understanding of science by experts, as well as with skills to effectively disseminate climate change science for the understanding of the general public and political decision-makers. Consequently, education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends. It is imperative, therefore, that the students of the MRP get prepared to understand current scientific evidence, policy and ethical discourses on climate change.

WASCAL, therefore, aims to make climate change education a more central and visible part of the West African response to climate change in order to contribute to the understanding of the impact of global warming and to increase climate literacy. It plans to do this through the two-year “Climate Change and Education” program at The University of The Gambia.

The Master’s Research Program will enable the graduates to work as public educational experts and communication officers with a specialization in climate change. It further prepares the students for a career in Climate change, Education or Communications Sciences.

1. Learning outcomes
After the 2 year program, the graduates of the MRP “Climate Change and Education” are expected to:

• Demonstrate state-of-the-art expertise in climate change education and risk communication
• Have experience in how to plan and conduct an empirical study in the field of climate change education and communication
• Be able to develop and apply research techniques independently
• Demonstrate skills to translate knowledge of complex physical, biological and political processes for diverse audiences
• Understand and apply new academic and political concepts as they emerge
• Translate climate change knowledge into communication campaigns, educational material and policy recommendations
• Show evidence of scholarship by having presented and successfully defended a M.Sc. thesis.

2. Student Eligibility
The entry requirements to the MRP “Climate Change and Education” are as follows:

1. Applicants must be citizens of one of the following member WASCAL countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo;
2. Five O’ Level/WASSCE/NECO credit passes in Mathematics, English, and any four relevant subjects or its equivalent in Francophone countries;
3. First Degree ( B.Sc., BA, B.Ed or others) with a minimum of 2nd Class Upper Degree (Mention Assez Bien) from the University of The Gambia (UTG) or any other Institution recognized by UTG; in any discipline related to the subject.
4. Candidates must provide 3 referees, one of whom must be a Bachelor’s Degree Project Supervisor or Lecturer.
5. Students will also have to meet any additional requirements of The University of The Gambia.

3. Maximum Intake
The WASCAL Master’s program will select ten (10) applicants with the best results, one each from the WASCAL member countries. The WASCAL masters students will be provided with full scholarship by WASCAL.

An additional ten (10) applicants with excellent results may also be selected provided they have evidence of sponsorship and have the ability to complete the program within a period of 2 years.

4. Language Requirements

The language of instruction for the program is English. The following are the language requirements for admission:
1. West African School Certificate (WASCE) credit in English or its equivalent.
2. Candidates from French-speaking countries must have an intermediate level of proficiency in English. In general, a computer-based TOEFL score of 213 (or the equivalent) will satisfy requirement for their entry into the MRP.

Applicants with limited English skills are encouraged to use the time between application submission and in-person interview, to attend English training classes at their own expense.

Please note that a 3 month English Language proficiency course will be provided to the selected French-speaking students prior to enrolment in the MRP, to help meet entry requirements. Students will be required to complete this course satisfactorily in order to be enrolled in the program.

5. Scholarship and Research Support
All scholarship-holding MRP students will receive a scholarship of € 350 (three hundred and fifty euros) per month from WASCAL to cover accommodation and other expenses during their studyperiod of two years. Research support will be made available to students after the approval of their research proposal and budget by the program director, their research supervisor and WASCAL.

6. Curriculum
The duration of the Masters Research Program “Climate Change and Education” is two years, and successful candidates are awarded a MSc. Degree in Climate Change and Education from The University of the Gambia.

Practical and theoretical courses will be offered during the first three semesters of the program. These will be a combination of core courses that emphasize the focus of the program i.e. climate change and education, as well as specialized options that will further help in the achievement of the program’s objectives. The lecturers are selected from experts in specific areas of the curriculum and they come from our partner institutions, from The University of the Gambia, as well as from international partner institutes.

The courses that will be offered by the Masters program will be within the following themes.

Communication Skills; Natural Environment and Climate Ecosystems; The Basics and Applied Science of Climate Change (the physics, biosphere, atmosphere and global warming); Conservation; Climatology and Hydrology; Communication and Climate Change; Curriculum design; Earth-to-Space-based Observing Systems for Climate Change; Environmental Risk Assessment and Disaster Management; Chemistry of Climate Change; Information Systems and Climate Change; Climate Change Impact Assessment, Mitigation & Adaptation; Teaching & Advocacy of Climate Change; Computational Methods & Analysis of Climate Change; Emerging Topics & Issues of Climate Change & Education-Seminars; Curriculum Design & Development of Climate Change; Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development; Regional Climate Systems Dynamics & Modelling in Climate Change Education; Climate Change Education & Human Security; Fundamentals of Economics of Climate Change; Traditional knowledge and literature on climate change

7. Timeline
Deadline for the submission of applications: August 15th, 2014

Sending out letters of acceptance to selected students: from September 1, 2014

Only successful candidates will be contacted.

8. Application Procedure and Contact

To apply to the MRP Climate Change and Education please forward scanned copy of a fully completed application form, accompanied by scanned copes of original documents and all other information required, to both of the two following email addresses:

1) musa_sowe2002@yahoo.com

2) msowe@utg.edu.gm

Note: It is important to send all required materials to both email addresses at the same time.

There may be a need for a selection interview via telephone, Skype or Messenger. The date of the interview will be communicated to eligible candidates where applicable.

Application Deadline: August 15th, 2014

Further Information
www.wascal.org or for the WASCAL brochure