Pan African Soil Challenge: Journalistic Scholarship in Germany and Ghana

Forschungszentrum Jülich has won one of the main prizes in this year’s International Research Marketing ideas competition run by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The project on the pan-African challenge of soil as a resource will build a scientific bridge between Forschungszentrum Jülich and African partners. Against the background of the rapid population growth and climate change and its consequences, it aims to support Africa to implement methods to make food production sustainable and secure.


In order to make the project known in the African scientific community as well as in the public we offer a scholarship for an African journalist. The scholarship will take place in June/July 2018 and is organised by Forschungszentrum Jülich and the International Journalists’ Programmes (IJP) which regularly offers a bursary to Southern African journalists. The programme includes an invitation to a two-weeks stay at Forschungszentrum Jülich, one of Europe’s biggest research centers in the fields of information, energy and bioeconomy (

The programme in detail:
1st week: Introductory Conference
2nd and 3rd week: German language course
4th week: round trip through Germany
5th and 6th week: stay at Forschungszentrum Jülich
7th week: internship in the science section of a German media house

The scholarship also covers the costs for a one-week trip to Accra, Ghana, where the core activities of the project take place from 26th November 2018 to 30th November 2018.


Core activities of the project will be a supercomputing training at a fall school and a so-called Hackathon in Accra for excellent young (and senior) geo-scientists. A Hackathon is a gathering of scientists to work on specific software applications. Here it will focus on data modeling for soil-related food security. High performance computing (HPC) technologies, applied to hydrological and atmospheric simulations within terrestrial systems, may contribute to tackle the challenge of food production for the African continent and also improve agricultural management under challenging conditions on a local scale. Therefore these two hands-on workshops offer African scientists an opportunity to get in contact with the latest methods of geoscientific research and to meet leading German science partners.


If you are an African journalist (print, TV, radio or Social Media, for instance Blogs) who is devoted to the possibilities of modern science to tackle great societal challenges it would be a pleasure for us to receive your application. During your two-weeks stay in Jülich, you will work with the press office and support the communication’s team to initiate first project activities already. You will also get close insight into our geoscientific research, meet scientists who organize the Pan African Soil Challenge project and get in contact with colleagues of international relations. On the other hand, we expect you to cover the project via your home medium, especially during the fall school and the Hackathon in Accra.


Please provide the following documents with your application: letter of intent, CV, letter of recommendation, and two to three examples of your journalistic work.

Please upload your application here:

The deadline for applications is April, 30th 2018. We are looking forward to your mail.


Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions.