Fellowships and Grants > African Peacebuilding Network

African Peacebuilding Network Collaborative Working Group Grants

Supporting independent African research and its integration into regional and global policy communities

Not currently accepting applications.

Request for Letters of Interest for the APN Collaborative Working Group Research Grant

The African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) invites letters of interest from African academics and researchers based at universities in Africa to assemble and lead collaborative research projects intended to inform policy and practice on conflict and peacebuilding on the continent.

About the African Peacebuilding Network

The APN promotes independent African research and analysis on peacebuilding in or near countries and regions affected by violent conflict on the continent. The program also opens the door to the emergence of a critical mass of Africa-based expertise: researchers, analysts, and practitioners who will play an important role in the shaping of an Africa-centered peacebuilding agenda. This group will produce research-based knowledge that is relevant to, and has a significant impact on, peacebuilding policy and practice on the continent, while the APN will work toward inserting the evidence-based knowledge that this group produces into regional and global debates and policies on peacebuilding.

About the APN Collaborative Working Group Research Grant

The collaborative working group grant is a new initiative and key complement to the field-based and postdoctoral components of the APN’s programming. This grant responds to the need for deep collaboration and engagement of researchers and practitioners on peacebuilding challenges in Africa. It also seeks to connect research to policy, and to increase the likelihood of impacting policy through the knowledge-production process.

The APN will support the working group in undertaking original policy-relevant research that focuses on the design, implementation, and impact of peacebuilding mechanisms and processes in conflict-affected African countries and subregions. Support is available for research and analysis of the following subject areas:

  • Conflict mediation, including local, national, and regional dimensions
  • Post-conflict reconstruction, development frameworks, and mechanisms
  • AU relations with the UN, EU, and African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on peace and security issues
  • International justice, human rights, and reconciliation
  • African Governance Architecture (AGA) and democratization
  • Transnationalization, youth radicalization, and violence
  • Transnational crime, peace, and security
  • Regional peacekeeping and responses to crises


Applicants must be scholars or practitioners based in Africa, with the lead investigator based at or affiliated with an African university. The competition will be open to joint researcher-practitioner teams (of five to six members) made up of Africans based at or affiliated with universities or regional organizations, government agencies, or nongovernmental, media, or civil society organizations on the continent. While the lead investigator must have a PhD, junior lecturers and practitioners are expected to hold a master’s degree with at least two years of work experience.

We expect that the teams should (as much as possible) reflect diversity and include individuals from a range of professional, national, regional, disciplinary, gender, and generational backgrounds and experiences. The project should also leverage strong mentoring relationships between senior and junior members of the team, while encouraging both scholarly and practitioner participation. 

In its letter of interest, the team must propose a host institution for the grant, which may or may not be the university where the lead investigator is based or affiliated.

Terms of the Grant

Up to two APN collaborative group projects will each be supported by a maximum grant of $60,000 for a period of eighteen months. Members of the working group are expected to collaborate and carry out the proposed research project together, and they are therefore expected to meet several times over the project period. Funding should be used to support new field research, the review of relevant literature, and the production of a range of outputs, from policy briefs and reports to best-practice models, as well as academic publications. These outputs should be published in print and electronic formats.

Application Process

A two-page letter of interest (plus a one-page summary of the CV/résumé of the lead investigator) should be submitted on behalf of the group by a university-based lead investigator, who must also be a senior academic or senior practitioner with a strong research background in African peace and security studies. The letter should provide the following:

  • Proposed research question/hypothesis
  • Project objectives and methodology
  • Activities and expected outputs
  • Project’s potential to contribute to existing knowledge and practice
  • Budget estimate
  • Name of proposed host institution
  • Names and affiliations of team members
  • Summary of CV/résumé of the lead investigator

The letter of interest should be received by the APN no later than December 31, 2013. Shortlisted project teams will be notified within three weeks and invited to send in full project proposals by March 1, 2014, for review by an international panel of experts.

The APN strongly prefers that the letter of interest be e-mailed to apn@ssrc.org. Alternatively, it can be sent by post or courier service to the following address:

APN Working Group Grants Competition
Social Science Research Council
1 Pierrepont Plaza, 15th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Deadline for Applications

Letters of Interest are due by 9 pm EST, December 31, 2013. Shortlisted collaborative working groups will be invited to send in full applications by March 1, 2014.

Additional Information

If you have questions, please contact APN program staff by telephone at (+1) 212-377-2700 or by e-mail at apn@ssrc.org.

APN Collaborative Working Group Frequently Asked Questions
Program Director
Cyril Obi