Call for applications for a Master thesis on On-farm participatory crop variety trials in Bangladesh


The Centre for Development Research at BOKU in cooperation with Department of Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln - Institute of Biotechnology in Plant Production and CARITAS BANGLADESH is offering the opportunity to write a master thesis on On-farm participatory crop variety trials in an action research and development program in Bangladesh


Smallholder farmers in Bangladesh are facing increasing problems caused by climatic change related adversities. In a jointly conducted action research project BOKU, Caritas Bangladesh and local farming communities are working together to build resilience to climate change by strengthening adaptive small scale farming systems in rural Bangladesh.

Using on-farm participatory trials with strong farmer-led element crop varieties of rice, wheat and mungbean, potentially useful to mitigate the effects of climate change, are tested. This is supported through technical and scientific guidance.


This master thesis will use qualitative research to analyse on-farm participatory variety trials in the project areas in rural Bangladesh. After methodological preparation in Austria the selected master student will conduct qualitative field research in Bangladesh and assess various aspects of participatory variety trials (variety selection, trial establishment, evolution of trials, selection criteria, challenges and learnings)

Analyses by the master candidate will reveal:
How participatory is the process really?
Which varieties are kept and why?
How do farmers’ criteria contrast with scientific/breeders’ criteria)?

What you need to have:

  • you study at a university in Austria (ideally in Vienna) and you can work on the topic as your master thesis
  • you hold a bachelor in a related field and have sound knowledge or interest to learn about qualitative research methods
  • you can work in English (communication and scientific writing)
  • you want to work in rural Bangladesh for 2-3 months and have the ability to secure funds for your travel
  • interest in development processes


What you can expect:

  • theoretical and field supervision by an experienced and motivated team of researchers and technicians
  • guidance in literature research, development of research instruments and field preparation
  • attached to a project, you can write your thesis on latest questions of development practice
  • we cannot cover international travel and accommodation
  • we cannot offer a scholarship, but can assist in application


Interested? Contact: PD Dr. Maria Wurzinger (maria.wurzinger(at)boku.ac.at ), Univ. Prof. Dr. Hermann Bürstmayr (hermann.buerstmayr(at)boku.ac.at ) or Dr. Romana Roschinsky (romana.roschinsky(at)boku.ac.at )


14.10.2014