Prof. Ashraf did his PhD from the University of Liverpool, UK in 1986. Soon after completing his PhD work there, he was offered a post-doctoral position for a period of 8 months. In 1993, he earned US Fulbright Award and proceeded to University of Arizona Tucson (USA) for postdoctoral work. Owing to his considerable scientific attainment in the field of “Improvement of stress tolerance in plants” he was awarded D.Sc (a substantive degree) in 2011 by the University of Liverpool UK, which is really a sound milestone in the career of Prof. Ashraf and hence an international recognition of his excellent work on plant stress tolerance.
For the successful achievement of his research objective, Dr. Ashraf devised a number of new techniques for screening large numbers of individuals (20,000 ‑ 30,000) at high selection pressure after just 2‑3 weeks growth, because the greater the number of genotypes screened, the greater would be the possibility of selecting some highly salt‑tolerant individuals. The selection lines of various crops such as canola, cotton, maize, pearl millet, different pulse crops, different forage grasses, oil-seed crops, developed so far are highly salt‑tolerant in comparison with their respective base populations, and most thrived well on salt‑affected soils after substantial amendments. It is imperative to note that a selection line of spring wheat “S-24” in 2010 (USDA-ARS National Centre for Genetic Resources Preservation PI No. 652453; Plant Genetic Resource Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan Acc-22864; recently published in Journal of Plant Registration USA) developed by Dr. Ashraf after rigorous selection procedure using physiological, molecular and genetic means, is currently being used as a promising salt tolerant line at different national and international institutions. This line was also tested by a group of scientists at CIMMYT, Mexico, as well as those of Oman, England, and many local centers. He and his team also got a high yielding cotton variety “988” registered with the Government of Pakistan in 2017. It is currently under wide cultivation at farmers’ fields.
- Vice Chancellor (President), University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan (A premier and oldest agricultural university of Asia) from 16th April 2016 to September 2020.
- Pro-Rector, The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan from 18th October 2018 to 15th April 2019
- Chairman (President), Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan from 24th February 2015 to 23rd February 2018.
- Vice Chancellor (President), Founding Vice Chancellor of Muhamamd Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan (A public sector university) from 15 August 2014 to 23rd February, 2015.
- Adjunct Professor at International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), HEJ, University of Karachi, Karachi 2017 to date
- Chairman, Department of Agronomy, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, from 9th September, 2013 to 14 August, 2014.
- Director, Quality Enhancement Cell, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, from 30th July, 2013 to 14 August, 2014.
- Dean, Faculty of Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, from 15th September, 2006 to 20th Nov 2012.
- Director, Quality Enhancement Cell, established by Quality Assurance Agency, Higher Education Commission in University of Agriculture, Faisalabad from 21 July 2006 to 23 January 2008.
- Chairman, Department of Botany, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad from 12th October 2002 to 18th September, 2006.
- Head/Convener, Quality Enhancement Cell, established by Quality Assurance Agency, Higher Education Commission in University of Agriculture, Faisalabad from 4 January 2005 to 20 June 2006.
- Principal Investigator of about 25 research projects funded by various international and national organizations during the last 20 years.
- Convener of a number of committees meant for devising rules and regulations for uplifting the quality of higher education in the university.
Teaching and Research Experience:
- Professor, Agronomy Department, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan (26.08.2013 to 14 August, 2014)
- Professor, Botany Department, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan (30.03.2002 to 14th July 2013)
- Associate Professor, Botany Department, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan (26.05.1999 to 29.03.2002)
- Associate Professor, Botany Department, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan (11.3.1997 to 25.5.1999)
- Assistant Professor, Botany Department, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan (19.10.1989 to 10.3.1997)
- Part-Time Teacher in the University College of Agriculture from 1989 – June 1993.
- Lecturer, Botany Department, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan (22.11.1986 to 18.10.1989)
- Demonstrator, Botany Department, University of Liverpool, UK (1985-86).
- Lecturer in Botany, Government Degree College, Shorkot City, Pakistan (28.3.1981 to Sept. 1983)
Highly Cited Researcher declared by the Clarivate Analytics (Thomson Reuters USA) for the Years 2018 and 2020.
Stanford University UAS has ranked the world scientists using Scopus citation data in November 2020. Prof. Ashraf is listed among the top 2% scientists of the world.
Attained third position in the world in the field of Plant Physiology during 2020 based on Google Citations (over 54500 accessed on 8th Dec 2020). https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=search_authors&hl=en&mauthors=label:plant_physiology
Ranked the top scientist of the OIC countries (57 countries) by securing 4306 points in Biological Sciences in 2007 by the COMSTECH of the OIC countries.
Ranked the top Scientist in Biological Sciences in 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology.
Attained 3rd position among the scientists from all disciplines in Pakistan during 2017 by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology.
Awards and Honours:
- Earned Honorary Doctorate degree from the Lanzhou University China in 2018
- Hilal-e-Imtiaz (One of the highest Civil Awards) by the President of Pakistan in 2016
- Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Next to the former civil award) by the President of Pakistan conferred on 14th August, 2006.
- Pride of Performance (Third civil award) by the President of Pakistan in 2000.
- Presidential Award –Izaz-e-Fazeelat for 1997.
- Earned HEC Life-time Achievement Award in 2013
- Earned PAS Distinguished Scientist in Botany 2013
- Earned a medal from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in February 2013 on the basis of excellent research on stress biology
- Earned Khwarizmi International Award from the President of Iran in February 2013
- Appointed as Honorary Professor in Lanzhou University China
- Earned D.Sc degree (a titled degree based on excellent research performed after attaining the PhD degree) from the University of Liverpool, UK in 2011 – A very rare achievement by the Pakistani scientists
- Appointed as a Scientific Advisor for the Green Technology Program, Rural Development Administration, Government of the Republic of Korea for a period of 3 years from January 2010 to Dec. 2012.
- Research Productivity Allowance for the year 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (Placed in Category A in most cases)
- A shield by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad given away by the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, in the inaugural ceremony of the Centenary Celebrations of the University on 14 March 2006.
- Appointed as a Distinguished National Professor by the Higher Education Commission from 25th Nov. 2005 to 24th Nov. 2007.
- Appointed as an Honorary Scientist for Rural Development Administration, Government of the Republic of Korea for a period of 3 years from Ist July 2005 to 30 June 2008.
- Dr. Agha G.D. Ahmad Medal by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan (2003).
- Best University Teacher Award by Higher Education Commission Islamabad (2002).
- Open Gold Medal in Botany (1997) by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Islamabad.
- First Award in Biology by the National Book Foundation of Pakistan in 1994.
- Fulbright Research Award for 1993/94 by the U.S. Educational Foundation.
- A Cash Prize (2nd Prize) by the National Book Council (Ministry of Education Pakistan).
- Salam Prize (established by the Nobel Laureate Dr. Salam) in Science (Biology), in 1992.
- Earned a Gold Medal from the Pakistan Academy of Sciences in the field of Biology, in 1990 (under 40).
- Earned a Golden Star in 1988 from the National Farm Guide Council of Pakistan on the basis of excellent research in Agriculture.
- Earned a Medal in 1980 and 1st position in the University in M.Sc.