Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa

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

2013-2014 Fellows meet for a workshop at the University of Ghana.

The Next Generation Social Sciences model, launched in 2011, responds to an emerging dilemma within higher education in the global South caused by the extraordinary emphasis on increasing undergraduate enrollment without proportionate investment in faculty development. The program currently operates to strengthen tertiary education in Africa through a series of institutional and individual interventions, creating a pipeline for the development of faculty and research communities. Currently the program operates in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. To learn more about the program model please visit our Next Generation Social Sciences site.


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 Next Generation African Social Sciences program will support approximately 45 fellows each year across all three fellowship opportunities

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. Applicants, for example, might propose projects exploring global flows of refugees across country borders and continents or the state of internally displaced persons affected by local and regional disruptions of livelihood and economic security. Others might look at street theater in refugee camps. Similarly, some fellows might test the proposition that global financial markets contribute to peace and stability while others might examine the role of local market culture in unstable regions. We also support work that advances contemporary research on peace and security issues, including research on human security, economic security, livelihoods and resilience, and failure of governance. Projects might explore any range of issues, including soaring unemployment rates, widespread discrimination against populations, the effects of climate change on food security and water basins, and the threats any one of these issues pose to peace, security, and development efforts. Above all projects should advance important fields of study and social science knowledge.

The program features three distinct competitive fellowship opportunities for early-career social science faculty who hold positions in accredited colleges and universities in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda:

Eligibility and Application

All applicants must be citizens of and reside in a sub-Saharan African country while holding a current faculty position at an accredited college or university in Ghana, 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. We do not accept applicants who are holding a faculty position or attending university outside of Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda.

 We strongly encourage applicants to explain how their work aligns with the program's thematic priorities and demonstrate their capacity to contribute to a network advancing innovative research on peace, security and development. Applicants therefore should submit a project proposal that has been written specifically for this fellowship competition, rather than simply submit the approved research proposal that they developed for their university. The project proposal for this competition offers applicants an opportunity to further hone their approach to their dissertation topic. 

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal

The next application deadline is December 1, 2014.

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

Program Director
Thomas Asher


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