The APN Research Policy Fellowship is designed to support African scholars who are former APN fellows of the past five (5) years seeking affiliation for up to 6 months to African regional and national policy and practitioner institutions, thinktanks, and advocacy centers operating in the fields of peacebuilding, security, and development. It also provides scholars with the opportunity to conduct research and analysis on a specific policy area and gain firsthand knowledge and experience of the activities and operations of policy/practitioner organizations, particularly in relation to the processes and mechanisms for formulating, developing, and implementing policies or actions linked to conflict mediation, peace, security, and development. Affiliation to such centers also provides opportunities to conduct research on a specific policy or policy issue and engage directly with key policy analysts, practitioners, and decision-makers, getting their perspectives on existing policies, practices, and/or mechanisms or frameworks for addressing conflict, peace, and security in a specific sub-region/country. The fellowship also opens the door to opportunities for bridging the gap between research and policy-making. It also places researchers in direct conversation with practitioners and other stakeholders, helping fellows gain practical experiences that can enrich their policy research and advocacy capacity. Such researchers are also better placed to engage with and effectively communicate their research findings directly to practitioner, policymakers and decision-makers.

During the fellowship period, recipients will be affiliated to African regional or policy and practitioner institutions, think tanks, and civil society advocacy organizations operating in the fields of peace, security, and development in Central, East, Southern, and West Africa. Research undertaken during this period is based on high-quality analysis focused on existing policies or policy options for addressing emerging questions and challenges in a rapidly changing conflict, peacebuilding, and security terrain. Analysis and engagements will include continental, regional, and national frameworks, and mechanisms on peacebuilding with the broad goal of critically examining existing interventions, practices, and actions, and generating innovative strategies, options, and reforms aimed at strengthening them.

The fellowship provides support for research, analysis, and advocacy in relation to the policy dimensions of the following issues:

  • Early Warning and Response Systems
  • Conflict Prevention, Conflict Management, and Mediation
  • AU Agenda 2063
  • Silencing the Guns 2030
  • Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR)
  • Security Sector Reform
  • Continental and Regional Peace and Security Organs and Mechanisms
  • Peace Support Operations
  • Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism
  • Illicit Financial flows
  • Unconstitutional Changes of Government
  • Maritime Security
  • Women, Peace, and Security
  • Youth for Peace
  • Peace Funding

During the period of the affiliation to a policy institution, thinktank or civil society organization, fellows are expected to research a policy issue based on an approved work plan, including engagement in policy discussions, networking, and advocacy, with a view to gaining firsthand practical knowledge of operations, decision making, and implementation. It will also be an opportunity for exposure to the practical aspects of African peacebuilding and applying their research experience towards recognizing areas of priority and strategies for engagement and action.

The Fellowship offers up to $12,000 to recipients to take leave from their teaching for up to 6 months. Funding is intended to cover books, journal subscriptions, research, travel, networking, editorial support, residency, and related costs for the duration of the fellowship.  In this first year, one (1) fellowship will be offered. To be considered eligible, applicants must be former APN fellow of the past five years (2019-2023).

Fellows are expected to be embedded fully in the host institution during the period of the fellowship. The APN-Next Gen Program will place recipients with the host institution. Recipients of the award are also expected to publish a policy review analysis paper with the program at the end of the program and a peer-reviewed article in a reputable policy-related journal based on their research findings and analysis of issues linked to a policy framework, mechanism, or action.

Application Process:

Interested applicants should send a one-page letter of interest in the Research Policy Fellowship award to apn@ssrc.org by November 30, 2023

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to submit fully developed applications to the program.

Requirements for full applications for shortlisted applicants:

  • A cover letter clearly indicating the title of the project, year and type of APN fellowship received, title of the project being proposed, and relevance to peacebuilding policies and practices in Africa;
  • Policy Research Proposal (7 pages);
  • Expected publications;
  • Outline of Proposed Research Timeline and Budget (1 page);
  • Two reference letters.

If you have any questions, please contact APN staff at apn@ssrc.org.

Also consult the Frequently Asked Questions.


This fellowship is open to former APN fellows who have completed their program-supported projects within the past five years. Support is available for the affiliation of scholars to a policy center or institution for up to 6 months, during which time they will immerse themselves in the host organization and conduct policy-relevant research that will end up in the production of a policy brief that addresses a practical issue or emerging challenge in the field of African peace, security, and development. If you encounter any difficulties or have questions, please contact APN at apn@ssrc.org.

The program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.