Fellowships and Grants > Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship

Supporting the next generation of African academics working on peace, security and development issues

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The Social Science Research Council offers fellowships to support the completion of doctoral degrees and to promote next generation social science research in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The fellowships support dissertation research on peace, security, and development topics. 

The doctoral dissertation research fellowship supports 6-12 months of dissertation research costs of up to US$15,000 on a topic related to peace, security, and development.


All applicants must be citizens of and reside in a sub-Saharan African country while enrolled in a PhD program at an accredited university in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda. Applicants for any of the funding opportunities offered through this program must have a master’s degree and be working toward completion of the doctoral degree. The program seeks to promote diversity and encourages women to apply. As of May 2015, the program prioritizes applicants holding a faculty position or demonstrating a durable commitment to higher education, but does not restrict eligibility to such individuals. 

To be eligible for the dissertation completion fellowship, applicants must have an approved dissertation proposal. 

Thematic Priorities:

The project features a thematic focus in order to renew basic research agendas addressing peace, security, and development topics as well as strengthen interdisciplinary social science research capacity on these issues. This program also offers two workshops each year to help fellows master research methodologies, engage key literature in their fields, and produce research publications.

The program encourages innovative research on peace, security, and development topics, moving the boundaries of scholarship and research by exploring concrete linkages between these themes. We envision supporting a diverse set of projects grappling with a range of processes using evidence-based research across both global and local perspectives.

Some, we hope, will examine large-scale phenomena and others small-scale social processes. The strongest projects typically will explore connections across these scales. Similarly, we encourage projects that test propositions leading to inclusiveness, yielding a stronger and integrated civil society, while others will explore root causes of violence, conflict, and human insecurity. Above all projects should advance important fields of study and social science knowledge.

Application Process:

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal.

Strong proposals will offer clear and concise descriptions of the project and its significance. Proposals should display thorough knowledge of the relevant social science literature that applicants will engage and the methodologies relevant to the project. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that all proposed activities are feasible and can be completed in a timely manner. All proposals will be evaluated for these criteria by an independent, international committee of leading scholars from a range of social science disciplines. 

Fellows must be willing to attend two workshops sponsored by the SSRC each year that are intended to help early-career faculty produce scholarly publications. We anticipate awarding approximately 45 fellowships in total each year.


The next application deadline is 13 November, 2015

For inquiries or technical questions pertaining to the online application portal, please contact SSRC staff from the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program: nextgenafrica@ssrc.org

This program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Program Director
Thomas Asher