Doctorate Programmes



Since its inception in 1939, Egerton University has been a leading provider of training in agricultural biotechnologies, not only to Kenyans, but also to candidates from all over the sub-Saharan region.

Biotechnology is a powerful discipline that integrates diverse sciences to serve many critical purposes in life. Its impacts in enabling industries and institutions to create new or better products, often with greater speed, efficiency and flexibility, has experienced unprecedented growth since the turn of the Twentieth Century.

The branches encompassing animal biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, food biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, and plant biotechnology, are currently achieving major breakthroughs in tackling some of the recalcitrant issues in nature and life.

Plant biotechnology is a growing sub-discipline within the broad field of biotechnology. Egerton University has developed the critical capacity for advanced training, leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in plant biotechnology.

This level of training shall grant each candidate ample opportunity and time to conduct thorough and sophisticated research on recalcitrant issues in plant biotechnology, which cannot otherwise be tackled in a shorter period of time, or with limited resources.

The increasing population and consumer demand is placing significant pressure on the environment, the few biotechnologists and technologies employed in improvement, production, handling, and marketing of plant products.

Therefore, institutions of higher learning are obligated to train personnel that will meet the challenges involved in generation of plant-based products.

Plant biotechnology is helping solve some of the difficult issues in life and is surpassing some of the ancient technologies in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

It is rapidly expanding in developed countries, whereas similar growth in developing ones is hampered by inadequate scientists, investment, and general recognition of its significance.

Developing countries need to boost training initiatives so as to contribute to the advancement of plant biotechnologies appropriate to their regions and the world at large.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in plant biotechnology shall represent the attainment of a high level of scholarship and achievement in independent research.

It is conceptualized and designed to produce personnel with the highest level of training, who are expected to contribute towards the goal of realizing the full potential of agricultural biotechnology in promoting human living standards.

Programme Objectives

The general objective of this programme is to equip graduates with the highest level of skills necessary for invention and innovation of milestones through pursuance of advanced level research and publication, culminating in effective and efficient mentoring, performance of further research, or management of lucrative plant biotechnology industries.

Upon completion of the training, each Ph.D. in plant biotechnology graduate should be able to accomplish the following specific objectives:

i) Pursue teaching, research, consultancy & managerial careers in plant biotechnology;
ii) Advance basic and applied sciences behind plant biotechnology;
iii) Portray holistic research skills in fields of plant biotechnology;
iv) Apply the acquired skills to exploit the potentials of high-value plants;
v) Conduct and manage plant biotechnology projects as a team or individually;
vi) Skilfully ensure biosafety and bioethics in modern plant biotechnology.

Admission Requirements

i) Applicants should be holders of a Master of Science degree in plant biotechnology or equivalent academic qualifications of Egerton University or any other institution of higher learning recognized by Egerton University Senate;
ii) Remedial courses may be recommended as need arises for some candidates;
iii) A candidate shall be admitted to doctoral candidacy after satisfying all the Egerton University general requirements, including passing the thesis proposal defense.

Course Structure and Duration

i) A student shall be admitted to doctoral candidacy in plant biotechnology after satisfying all the Egerton University general requirements, including passing the thesis proposal defense;
ii) Candidates who shall have fulfilled the coursework requirements shall be expected to pursue the Ph.D. in plant biotechnology through research and thesis only;
iii) Remedial courses may be recommended for some candidates as need arises;
iv) Full-time students shall be required to complete their degree requirements within a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years;
v) Part-time students shall be required to complete their degree requirements within a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years;
vi) All candidates enrolled for the Ph.D. degree in plant biotechnology shall be required to conduct independent research, leading to writing of a thesis. The defense of the thesis shall be conducted in accordance with the rules established in Egerton University statutes;
vii) Each candidate shall be supervised by at least two staff members from related areas of specialization (option);
viii) Each candidate shall be required to participate in seminars, workshops, and conferences in the fields of plant biotechnology, as well as regularly review current literature, prepare and present at least one paper per year. The paper(s) may be presented to peers, colloquium, workshop, or conference meetings.

Examination Regulations

All examination for this programme shall be conducted in accordance with the examination regulation as stipulated in the Egerton University Statute XXIX.

Grading system

The grading of examination for this programme shall be conducted in accordance with Egerton University Statute XXIX.

Graduation requirement

To graduate, a student shall be required to take and pass ALL scheduled courses within the stipulated period.

Degree classification

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Plant Biotechnology is not classified.


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