‘I can continue Paul’s work’
Paul Speijer (Plant Pathology, 1985) spent many years working as a nematologist in Africa until he was killed in an air crash in 2000 at the age of 42. ‘He was totally dedicated to helping African farmers. By training local researchers, he could contribute to their development’, explains his widow Nicole Smit. She decided to set up a fund to help African students study at Wageningen University. ‘It makes me happy that I can continue Paul’s work. While he was in Africa, he helped many students working for their MSc and PhD. When his aircraft crashed, he was actually on his way to see two of his students in Nigeria.’ The compensation that was ultimately awarded to the surviving relatives by the air company forms the basis of the fund. African students can apply to the fund to help finance their plant studies at Wageningen University. Speijer himself conducted research into nematodes in banana cultivation. He studied Plant Pathology at Wageningen University and completed his PhD in 1993 at Bonn University. He then worked for the IITA (Agricultural Research for Development in Africa) in Uganda.
In order to be eligible for a grant from the Paul Speijer Fund, a candidate must fulfil the acceptance criteria of Wageningen University. The fund strives to enable one student per academic year to study in Wageningen. Additional acceptance requirements and information about the application procedure are explained below.
This scholarship is being offered to candidates from Africa, who have completed a BSc in Plant Sciences or Agronomy with outstanding results, who are currently working as a professional in a local research institute and who will use this postgraduate education to become leader in their field. Candidates must be committed to returning home after finishing the MSc study with the aim of contributing to the improvement and further development of the agricultural production of food crops in the home country.
Further requirements for the Paul Speijer scholarship are:
- a GPA of at least 80% of the maximum grade.
- Admission to the Wageningen University MSc programme in Plant Sciences or Plant Biotechnology.
Information about the enrolment procedure and admission requirements can be found at
If you have been admitted to Wageningen University or are in the middle of the admission procedure and are interested in applying for a scholarship through the Paul Speijer Fund, please send by e-mail:
- the Wageningen University admission letter or your file number
- an updated CV specifying your research activities,
- a motivation letter in which you address the specific criteria for this scholarship mentioned
- a letter of recommendation of your professor or employer
to: Mrs. Dr. Anja G.J. Kuipers
Programme Director BSc & MSc Plant Sciences, Plant Biotechnology and Organic Agriculture at Wageningen University
The deadline for applications is 31 March 2011. The selected candidates will start the study in September 2011.
Visit official website.