Doctor of Philosophy Degree Plant Pathology

Overview

Philosophy of the Programme

The Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology is designed to train world-class University doctorate graduates who will provide research leadership in plant diseases and their management through development of technologies and innovations for sustainable food and nutritional security. The programme will provide quality training that embodies the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through creation, preservation, integration, transmission and utilization of knowledge. The hallmark of the training will be innovation, creativity, freedom of thought and expression and excellence, taking into account the prevailing national and international policies.

Rationale of the Programme

Intensification of agriculture and climate change has led to emergence of new diseases that have devastating effects on crops resulting in reduced productivity, decline in household incomes and negative effects on food and nutritional security. This is because climate change and globalization have created conditions that are conducive to development and spread of diseases and their vectors. However, approaches to plant disease management is dictated by food safety requirements at the local and export markets and presence of pesticide residues in agricultural produce is a major hindrance to accessibility of markets. In addition, some of the traditional approaches to plant disease management has adverse effect on non-target organisms, natural biodiversity and trigger emergence of more virulent plant pathogens. Development of acceptable but effective management strategies calls for designing of new technologies to detect and understand the disease causal agents and their interaction with the crop plant and the environment. This requires specialized and well-trained plant pathologists who are needed at universities offering agriculture, national and international research institutions where their number has been declining.  

The PhD in Plant Pathology degree programme is designed to integrate research with entrepreneurial skills through linkage to the industry to ensure that plant disease detection and management innovations developed are taken up by the market and address the client needs. The programme will build capacity of plant pathology researchers and professionals in public, private and higher education sectors who will support development of disease detection and management innovations for sustainable agricultural production and food security. The curriculum is also compliant with the national and international policies such the Big Four Agenda, Vision 2030, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) No.1, 2, 9 and 13 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Innovation and Climate Action) and the African Union Agenda 2063. It is also in line with Kenyan Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) and CAADP objectives of increased agricultural productivity and commercialization, promoting private sector participation, promoting sustainable land and natural resources management. The PhD curriculum will stimulate cutting edge research to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition and sustainable management of natural resources. It will also promote linkage to national and international research agenda and collaboration with national research institutions and CGIAR centres including ICIPE, ILRI, CIMMYT and CIAT for optimum exploitation of world class research facilities and human resource.

Objectives and Expected Learning Outcomes of the programme

The goal of the PhD in Plant Pathology is to train world class plant pathologists with relevant skills to develop plant disease detection and management innovations to mitigate against the current and emerging crop diseases for improved foods safety, food and nutrition security and enhanced international agricultural trade while ensuring sustainable management of natural resources.

This objective is to train competent, highly skilled and specialized graduates who should be able to:

  1. Design high quality research using modern approaches in plant pathology to answer research problems in plant pathology.
  2. Apply knowledge and skills acquired in designing appropriate disease management strategies.
  3. Formulate innovative approaches in developing ideas and products that can be commercialized
  4. Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of key principles and practices in crop protection
  5. Demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking skills using the theoretical knowledge and practical skills acquired during the course
  6. Apply the knowledge and skills acquired to conduct high quality research and translate this to address crop protection challenges
  7. Apply the knowledge and skills acquired to venture into crop protection  business and entrepreneurship in various aspects such as production of biological control agents

Application Information

Online applications are accepted all year round at: https://application.uonbi.ac.ke/index.php

The following documents are required to be uploaded during the online application:

  1. KCSE/ O-level certificate
  2. Certified copies of undergraduate certificate and transcripts
  3. Applicants with KCSE C (plain) to attach certified copies of a diploma from KNEC in addition to those stated in 1&2
  4. Applicants with KCSE C- (minus) to attach certified copies of a certificate and a diploma from KNEC in addition to those stated in 1&2
  5. Certified copies of masters degree and transcripts
  6. PhD proposal

International applicants are required to attach:

  1. Documents certified by the university attended
  2. Evidence of accreditation status of the university attended
  3. Proof of English proficiency
  4. Translated documents into English for applicants from non-English speaking countries

Mode of Delivery

The PhD degree programme in Plant Pathology is delivered through face-to-face, blended learning and Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) modes of delivery. The ODeL mode of delivery shall only apply for the taught course units, except the Graduate seminars. The main modes of instruction will be via face-to-face and electronic interactions as lectures, seminars and guided research. The blended learning mode of delivery combines face-to-face and online learning approaches.

Contacts of Support Persons

  • Contacts of support persons
  1. Prof. A. W. Mwang'ombe – Programme Leader

          Cell phone: 0722-788995; e-mail:  mwangombe@uonbi.ac.ke

  1. Prof. James Muthomi

         Chairman, Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection

         Cell phone +254 722984179; e-mail: james.muthomi@uonbi.ac.ke

                  

Notable alumni

Prof. Daniel M. Mukunya – Retired Professor, University of Nairobi

Prof. Agnes W. Mwangómbe – Professor, University of Nairobi

Prof. Rama D. Narla         - Retired Professor, University of Nairobi

Prof. Eunice W. Mutitu    - Retired Professor, University of Nairobi

Dr. Robin Buruchara - CIAT Regional Director in Africa CIAT

Prof. Ezekiel Kiprop – Professor, University of Eldoret

Prof. John W. Kimenju - Professor, University of Nairobi

Prof. Isabel Wagara – Associate Professor, Egerton University

Dr. William Maina Muiru – Senior Lecturer, University of Nairobi

  1. The programme shall take a minimum of three academic years and a maximum of six academic years.
  1. Each academic year shall consist of two (2) semesters of 15 weeks each.
  1. The Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology shall be offered by course work, research, examination and a thesis.
  2. The programme shall consist of five (5) compulsory taught course units and a thesis.
  3. A course unit shall be defined as 60 instructional hours comprising lectures, seminars, term papers and independent research.
  4. The research and thesis component of the programme shall be equivalent to 18 course units which is equivalent to 1080 Hours.
  1. A candidate shall carry out supervised thesis research, for a minimum period of two academic years, and a maximum of four academic years, culminating in a Doctoral thesis
  1. The common regulations for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the University of Nairobi shall apply.
  1. Holders of a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology or related sciences from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by Senate
  1. In addition, the applicant shall hold a Bachelor of Science degree in any of the following: Agriculture, Biotechnology, Agricultural Extension Education, Soil Science, Seed Science and Technology, Botany and Zoology, Environmental Sciences, Forestry, Bachelor of Education in Science with botany and Zoology option and any other agriculture related disciplines from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by Senate.
  2. The applicant must produce evidence of adequate academic background in the discipline and capacity to carry out original research by submitting a research concept note on the proposed topic of study.
  3. The concept note shall include a brief statement of the problem, research objectives, research hypothesis, brief literature review, summary of proposed methodology, expected outputs, work plan and key references.
  4. Applicants from non-English speaking countries must produce evidence of proficiency in spoken and written English language.

Schedule of intakes

Admission for PhD in Plant Pathology degree programmes is done throughout the year with the course work semesters commencing in September and January.

  • Researchers in national and international research organizations such as KALRO and CGIAR centres
  • Policy makers in government agriculture sector ministries
  • Trainers in Agricultural tertiary technical and academic institutions
    National and international regulatory institutions such as the FAO, IPPC, KEPHIS, KEBS, PCPB
  • Pest and Disease control experts/ consultants
  • Researchers and policy makers in agro-chemical industries/ Pesticide efficacy testing
  • Non-Governmental Organizations

         Entrepreneurial self-employment in agricultural production
 

 

Item

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

TOTAL

1

Registration

4,500

4,500

4,500

9,000

2

Tuition (KES 25,000/ unit)

200,000

225,000

175,000

600,000

3

Examination

6,000

-

 

6,000

4

Thesis Supervision

100,000

100,000

100,000

300,000

5

Thesis Examination

-

-

50,000

50,000

6

Laboratory and field fee

132,000

132,000

132,000

396,000

7

ICT services

7,000

7,000

7,000

21,000

8

Library

5,000

5,000

5,000

15,000

9

ID Card

1,000

1,000

1,000

3,000

10

Caution money (Refundable)

5,000

-

-

5,000

11

Medical fee

6,500

6,500

6,500

19,500

12

Activity Fee

2,000

2,000

2,000

6,000

13

Student organization

1,000

1,000

1,000

3,000

 

Total

470,000

484,000

484,000

1,438,000

 

Application Information