The Global Burden of Crop Loss initiative, announces a summer studentship programme providing young scientists with the opportunity to contribute to an exciting and important global effort to develop a global data-driven system to report losses to agricultural crops caused by pests and diseases.

The studentship is providing Bachelor and Masters students with the opportunity to develop their skills by funding short projects related to the Global Burden of Crop Loss. The projects must link to the initiative but the programme is open to proposals from disciplines across natural and social sciences, and the arts and humanities. Projects can cover specific examples, or be general in scope.

As the world tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for evidence-driven systems to help manage and predict devastating outbreaks, impacting on food production, has never been more important, particularly for addressing food security (SDG2 Zero Hunger) and to safeguard the livelihood of the world’s farmers.

The Global Burden of Crop Loss initiative is inspired by the Global Burden of Disease initiative, led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which has transformed the health policy agenda over the past 25 years, providing comprehensive, authoritative data on the impact of hundreds of health problems and risk factors. Consolidating, capturing and analysing disparate data sources enabled IHME (and WHO before them) to provide policymakers with information on their countries’ health and risk factors driving morbidity and mortality. By being comprehensive and comparative, weaknesses and gaps can be highlighted. This has improved health programs, for example, by allocating resources tailored to the national burden of disease, designing appropriate insurance instruments, and demonstrating progress in improving the health of citizens.

The Global Burden of Crop Loss is undertaking the ambitious task of developing a global system to accurately monitor and report losses to agricultural crops. The initiative is led by CABI and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). In this current scoping phase, we are developing a network of collaborators through extensive engagement with experts working in the fields of plant health, data analytics, and policy to ensure that the initiative maximises its potential to produce high-quality outputs. In addition, we are outlining a theoretical framework and iterative implementation strategy through an evaluation of analytical methods and modelling approaches, conducted alongside data inventories and ecosystem mapping.

Find out more about the summer studentship programme and how to submit.

Get involved with Global Burden of Crop Loss

Are you one of the following?

  • Plant health researchers
  • Crop pest and disease modellers
  • Agricultural economists
  • Geospatial analysts
  • Statisticians
  • Other data holders
  • Policymakers
  • Intergovernmental organisations
  • Agriculture and plant health organisations
  • Governments departments
  • Development agencies

Collaborators will be critical in both acquiring the necessary data and developing the analytical methods and metrics that will drive the Global Burden of Crop Loss. They will also play a vital role in ensuring the policy uptake and dissemination of outputs. If you are interested in participating please contact:

The Global Burden of Crop Loss project partners are:

CABI, University of York, N8 AgriFood, University of Exeter and Luma Consulting


  1. zahir2020 on 28th May 2020 at 10:51 am

    Really it is a good opportunity. I am interested. What is the next procedure to apply?

    • Donna Hutchinson on 29th May 2020 at 9:12 am

      Hello! Please visit this link to fill out an application:

      Thank you!

      • Blessing on 10th June 2020 at 6:52 am

        Hello Donna,

        Thanks for sharing the link to this great opportunity.

        But I want to know if the form is to be filled by supervisor or the student.


        Warm regards.

        • Leigh Bard on 10th June 2020 at 2:15 pm

          Hi Blessing, the student should fill in the form, and upload a letter of support from the supervisor. Thanks!

      • Harrison Mburu on 7th July 2020 at 7:45 am

        Hi Donna, Kindly enquiring if the shortlisting has been done and notifications sent out.

        • Donna Hutchinson on 7th July 2020 at 3:30 pm

          Hi Harrison. Thanks for getting in touch. Applications are still being reviewed but decisions should be finalised by the end of the week. All applicants should hear back after that.

  2. Pratheek H P on 10th June 2020 at 7:58 am

    When is the deadline? It’s interesting!!!

  3. Felly on 11th June 2020 at 8:07 am

    Thanks, what if i am not a student currently enrolled in an educational institution but i am willing to work with my supervisor during my master degree, can i still apply?

    • Laura Doughty on 12th June 2020 at 4:05 pm

      Hello, the summer studentship is open to individuals currently enrolled in undergraduate or masters programmes. Please keep an eye on our website ( for future opportunities. Thanks!

  4. Olawale Bada on 11th June 2020 at 8:40 am

    Can a PhD student apply, ma?

    • Laura Doughty on 12th June 2020 at 4:06 pm

      Hello, unfortunately this studentship is only open to undergraduate and masters students. Thanks!

  5. Mastewal Alehegn on 12th June 2020 at 10:15 am

    Dear sir/madam
    I am Mastewal Alehegn From Ethiopia. Curently i am a PhD student in Haramya University, Ethiopia. yet i have been completed the course work and ready to start to my research work under the field and laboratory conditions.Hence. may I participate this summer scholarship opportunity.

    • Laura Doughty on 12th June 2020 at 4:07 pm

      Hello, unfortunately this studentship is only open to undergraduate and masters students. Thanks!

  6. Nehemiah Ongeso on 3rd July 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Has the shortlisting taken place?

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