The Faculty of Science also focus and emphasize on high level research through postgraduate studies via research at Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy level.
For Masters in Philosophy Degree – Applicant must have obtained an appropriate honours degree in the First or Upper Second Division.
For Doctor of Philosophy Degree – Applicant must have obtained an appropriate Masters degree or have satisfied the requirement for transfer of registration from MPhil Degree to DPhil.
Guidelines on registration and the whole DPhil and MPhil studies programme can be downloaded by clicking here
The Faculty of Science offers MPhil and DPhil programmes in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography. The Faculty has sufficient resources both supervisors and laboratory facilities in these areas.
Concept Notes and Topics
Below are some Concepts Notes and Possible supervisors potential candidates can contact for further information and development of proposals. The concept notes are indicative and candidates can bring their own topics and concepts notes to relevant departments.
Thermophilic microorganisms perform a variety of work, among which one of promising work is metal reduction. The microorganisms belong to thermophilic microbial community can fulfil both the degenerative and productive functions. Such microorganisms probably carry out global reduction of metals and are thought to play a major role in the deposition of minerals in the earth’s crust. Many organisms like living plants, plant extracts, bacteria, fungi and human cells has been used to produce nanocomposites. The aim of this study is to isolate bacteria from hot springs in Zimbabwe and characterise them for biotechnological synthesis of nanoparticles.
This work is a study of biogas production potential using as substrate the food residues generated from Bindura University as representative of the organic fraction from municipal wastes. The production of biogas via anaerobic digestion of municipal waste would benefit society by providing a clean fuel from renewable feedstocks. This would reduce the use of fossil-fuel-derived energy and reduce environmental impact such as global warming and pollution.
This research is concerned with important aspects of anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste. Studies will be performed to investigate and demonstrate to the local stakeholders the potential of municipal solid waste (source-sorted food waste from Bindura University) as feedstock for biogas production via anaerobic digestion. Studies will be performed using batch, one-stage and two-stage processes using laboratory anaerobic reactors. Microorganisms involved in the anaerobic digestion processes shall be characterized. Some of the aspects of anaerobic digestion to be investigated include co-digestion and characterization of the feedstock, organic matter degradation, and methane yield.
The transition from micro particles to nanoparticles can lead to a number of changes in physical properties. Two of the major factors in this are the increase in the ratio of surface area-to-volume ration and the size of particle moving into the realm where quantum effects predominate. The increase in surface-area-to-volume ratio, which is a gradual progression as the particle gets smaller, leads to increasing dominance of the behavior of atoms on the surface of a particle over that of those in the interior of the particle.
This affects both the properties of the particles in isolation and its interaction with other materials. High surface area is a critical factor in the performance of catalyst and structures such as structures, allowing in the performance of such technologies as fuel cells and batteries.
In view of the benefits that can be derived from Nano particles, the Department is inviting application for MPhil candidates interested in carrying out research in the area of Nano carbons. The focus of study with be synthesis of carbon Nano particles from biomass/bio-waste for water treatment and analytical applications.
Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) refers to making decisions in the presence of multiple, usually conflicting, criteria. Many different methods have been developed to solve MCDM. Several methods have been proposed (AHP, ANP, ELECTREE, PROMETHEE, and TOPSIS) and used in the decision-making process to select the best solution. The process of decision making is very crucial because to select the best strategy from the available ones and to prioritise them is not an easy task, incorrect making of a decision can be very costly. MCDM methods can also help to make a decision transparent. People are also able to understand a problem better from their point of view and the view of others. Some of the listed methods are not defined to take into account the uncertainty that the decision-making process carries on, during the last decade some of the existing methods has been adapted to use the fuzzy sets and numbers. However, there is a need to unify all the existing method under one mathematical model, develop new approaches and compare them with the existing one.
The research proposes the use of a unified mathematical model as a way of structuring the Multi-Criteria Decision Making problem, to develop an Intelligent System that can help in the decision-making process when its involves multi-criteria and also multi experts. One of the goals is also to use some schemes used in classification to combine the solutions offers for different methods, majority vote, bagging and boosting has been obtaining an excellent result in classification, and maybe it is a good idea to use them in MCDM. Another possibility is to use the feature reductions algorithm to test what are the important attributes to make the decision especially when the set of attributes is big. The last objective is to use the structure of the MCDM problem to discover if it is possible to use a case-based system to reach a decision. Contact Professor Edistio Yoel Verdecia Martinez email@example.com
The significance of the Angola Low accrues from its location over the Mega Kalahari (Thomas and Shaw, 1991) and at the juxtaposition of the climate systems of southern Africa. The lowest surface pressure covers southeast Angola, northeast Namibia, southwest Zambia, northwest Botswana and the western tip of Zimbabwe. As such the low is considered a key element in the summer climate of southern Africa influencing the variability of surface air temperature and rainfall through regulating the regional circulation patterns. The feature is characterised by low continental surface pressure that is generally 3 hPa lower than the surrounding regions. But, despite being linked to the subsequent variations in the summer climate of southern Africa, the salient features of its evolution, origin and nature of impact remain to be fully characterised.
The spatiotemporal sparseness of in situ observations in the previously war torn Angola compounded by the predominant desert conditions related to the Mega Kalahari, undoubtedly hampers the characterisation efforts of this important feature. As such to date no literature can be easily identified which is dedicated to the details explaining the Angola Low. However, the pressure system is purportedly caused by intense heating of the land surface and the underlying atmosphere, from solar insolation and hence is sometimes referred to as the ‘heat (thermal)’ low. It stands out as the deepest summer low pressure system over southern Africa and commences in spring before being well developed in summer, coinciding with maximum solar radiation. Being positioned over the Mega Kalahari, the low’s surface boundary layer overlies a region that is principally characterised by a flat steppe and savanna with dense vegetation on a mantle of thick sand cover. The low has been linked to the Ozone hole influence in spring by Manatsa et al. (2013), implying not only regional but remote forcing to its developmental stages.
In this regard, the primary motivation is the observed link to the Ozone hole variability in spring, when the land surface is still cooler and sensible heating not as intense. On the other hand, the low is nestled over vegetated surface rather than the adjacent true desert to the south, the Kalahari Desert. These observations further strengthen the assumptions for the possibility of additional remote forcing to the local influence, which if pertinent, should erode the reference to the ‘heat’ label. In fact this has raised questions to the suitability of the prevailing commonly used ‘heat’ label in canonical references (e.g. Tyson and Preston-Whyte, 2000) to this circulation feature.
This work will be rooted in observations and diagnostic modelling. The classification of the mechanisms generating and sustaining the Angola Low warrants a large scale perspective as this feature can be forced from subsidence emanating from remote regions as well. As such the recent availability of the ECMWF and NCEP reanalysis data provide the additional incentive to examine the origin and evolution of the low in a 3D structure. The data are able to provide dynamically and thermodynamically consistent fields rooted in both local and neighbouring observations that are in situ and remotely sensed. Carrying out diagnostic modelling will also assist in strengthening the case for an additional component of remote forcing.
The general aim of this work is to build a case for non-thermal forcing as an essential component of the Angola Low so as to understand better the climate of southern Africa. This may facilitate the utilisation of the potential of this circulation feature, not only in the present but in the future prognosis of the climate of southern Africa. The work is planned with the following broad objectives:
1. Examine the seasonal evolution of the Angola Low.
2. Determine the extent of the remote forcing of the Ozone hole to the Angola Low.
3. Characterise the impact of the Angola Low on the climate of southern Africa.
I am seeking a highly motivated individual to accomplish this task at PhD level to be attained through publication of at least 3 related papers in international journals. The published papers should have a thread linking them together in their bid to prove the PhD thesis hypothesis. Contact Dr D. Manatsa on firstname.lastname@example.org
Obesity is a metabolic disorder resulting from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. Scientific communities are increasingly becoming interested in the molecular regulation of triglyceride synthesis and in pharmaceutical approaches to reduce fat absorption and storage due to phytochemicals, presenting an exciting opportunity for the discovery of newer anti-obesity agents. The regulation of fatty acid and triglyceride availability in biological responses depends on the activity of lipolytic enzymes present in fatty acid metabolism in adipose tissue. The aim of this study is to screen medicinal plants for the discovery of potent lipase inhibitors from plant extracts to be used as potent anti-obesity drugs.
Interested postgraduate students who want to pursue MPhil studies in this field contact Dr L Gwatidzo on email@example.com
Area: Organic Chemistry/Natural product chemistry
There has been a sharp rise in the global prevalence of diabetes and its comorbid conditions prompting significant studies into possible cure via therapeutic intervention and lifestyle adjustments however to date no cure for this condition has been found. Here, the chemical basis of antidiabetic plants used in folk medicines for treatment of diabetes in Zimbabwe is to be interrogated with particular focus on phenolic compounds as the phytochemotherapeutics.
Contact MR P DZOMBA and DR. L GWATIDZO Contacts: Mobile 0773474525; firstname.lastname@example.org
Area: Organic Chemistry/Natural product chemistry
Suitable for: PhD and Masters
Cases of chronic diseases such as cancers, obesity, hypertension and diabetes type 2 can be lowered in the human population by increasing intake of antioxidant phytochemicals especially flavonoids and phenolic acids. Vegetables are a good source of flavonoids and phenolic acids. To date studies on screening and quantitation of antioxidant phytochemicals have focused on exotic vegetables. This has led to stigmatization of traditional vegetables. They normally carry “food for the poor” tag and this has led to unsustainable utilization. This may lead to genetic erosion. Generally utilization of traditional vegetables is on a decline thus to improve utilization and caring of wild vegetables there is a need to carry out studies to determine their nutritional composition.
- Bharucha, Z, J. Pretty. (2010). The roles of wild foods in agricultural systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2913-2926.
- Carlsen, M.H., B.L. Halvorsen, K. Holte, S.K. Bohn, S. Dragland, L. Sampson, C. Willey, H. Senoo, Y. Umezono, and C. Sanada et al. (2010). The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutrition Journal 3: 1-11
Contact MR P DZOMBA AND DR. L GWATIDZO Contacts: Mobile 0773474525; email@example.com
The Department of Geography invites prospective students to apply for a PhD in Development Studies by research. The Department has adequate expertise in the broad field of Development Studies.
The research areas are within the development discourse and include niche research areas such as (but not limited to) rural development and rural livelihoods, NGOs and development, local government (local authorities) institutions as agents of development, land and agrarian reform, urban development, migration trends and development, public policy, climate change and food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, among others.
Undertaking research at such an advanced level requires prospective students to familiarise themselves with the area that they intend to research on, through exploration of relevant literature as well as determine (with the concurrence of the supervisor/promoter) the most appropriate methodology to be used. Students may also be required to familiarise themselves with relevant theoretical framework (if any) that resonates with the area/s under study.
Goals of PhD in Development Studies Programme
The main goal of Doctoral Programmes is to train development practitioners who will be able to create new knowledge, critically analyze the accumulated ideas and take responsibility for transformation and dissemination of this information by means of publication, tuition and implementation.
As a result, Bindura University of Science Education PhD graduates in Development Studies must be able to exhibit the following traits pertaining to knowledge and skills:
- Generation of knowledge and skills;
- Conservation of knowledge and skills;
- Transformation of knowledge and skills.
Quality of the Concept note from prospective PhD candidatesThe concept paper submitted for PhD studies in Development Studies shall be examined by the Department to determine its merits across 4 key dimensions, notably:
- Does the candidate present a set of overarching aims and objectives and research questions that focus and guide the study?
- Does the candidate show evidence of understanding the theory in the area in which she/he wish to conduct their study?
- Does the candidate demonstrate a clear understanding of the methods (including data sources, research instruments and methods of analysis) selected to respond to the aims, objectives and key research questions outlined in the study?
- Is the study original and substantive enough for consideration at the PhD level of study?
While is no fixed or prescriptive template on which a PhD concept note from prospective students is based, but is should resemble a mini-proposal and should thus be structured under the following headings:
- Introduction/Background/Problem statement
- Aims and objectives
- Proposed source of data
- Method of data collection/Instruments
- Method of analysis
- Contribution to knowledge/originality.
Contact Prof J. Mapuva on firstname.lastname@example.org