Who can apply for an APN Research Policy Fellowship?

All applicants must be former APN fellows who have completed their program-supported projects within the past five years (2019-2023). Women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Can I apply as part of a research group/team?

No. The APN Research Policy Fellowship (RPF) competition only welcomes proposals from individual applicants with an interest in an African peacebuilding policy or practice-related issue.

Is there an age limit?

No. However, applicants must have completed their program-supported projects within the past five years (2019-2023).

I am an African citizen, but I currently hold a faculty position at a university outside of Africa. Am I still eligible?

No. Academic applicants must hold faculty positions at universities in Africa. Practitioner and policy analyst applicants must be based at an institution or organization in Africa.

I am a researcher based outside of Africa but currently work with a partner at a university in an African country. Are we eligible to apply as a team?

No. You are not eligible to apply as part of a team.

Am I eligible if I have not yet been an African Peacebuilding Network Individual Research Fellow?

No. Only former APN Individual Research Fellows are eligible for the APN RPF.

I have full-time employment in Africa but am temporarily stationed outside the continent. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. However, you must supply the APN with a letter of employment from your employer in Africa at the time of application as proof of your stationing. Please note that you must also be resident in Africa at the time of the award.

Will the program support outside scholarships or enrollment in a degree-awarding program at a university?

No. APN Policy Research Fellowships support only APN-specific policy-related research, including fieldwork and related networking activities.

What disciplines are eligible?

APN Research Policy Fellowships are open to researchers from all disciplines and fields. However, successful proposals will demonstrate a solid grasp of social science literature, tools, and research methodologies and be focused on an issue related to African peacebuilding policy and practice.

What themes or topics are more likely to be successful?

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)
  • 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 and Electoral Management
  • Maritime Security
  • Women, Peace, and Security
  • Youth for Peace
  • Peace Funding

Application Process

How do I apply for an APN Research Policy Fellowship?

Applications must be completed by emailing apn@ssrc.org. Your submission must include the items listed below. We recommend that you fully review the guidelines, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and application and award timelines before proceeding with your application.

What must I include in my application?

Interested applicants must send a one-page letter of interest in the Research Policy Fellowship award to apn@ssrc.org by November 30, 2023. Application materials must be submitted in English.

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

How do I submit my application?

To apply, the APN requires that a one-page letter of interest be submitted by email to apn@ssrc.org.

Do I need to submit my application in English?

Yes, all letters of interest must be written in English.

When is the deadline for the 2024 APN Research Policy Fellowships Competition?

All letters of interest are due by 11:59 pm (EST) on November 30, 2023.

Do you have samples of previous one-pagers that have been awarded fellowships/grants?


Application Components

How do I know if my application is shortlisted?

If you are a shortlisted applicant, you will be contacted by December 15, 2023, to submit a fully developed application to the program.

What are the requirements for shortlisted applicants?

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

All applications by shortlisted candidates are due by 11:59 pm (EST) on January 29, 2024.

Do you have samples of previous one-pagers that have been shortlisted for or awarded fellowships/grants?


Awarding of Fellowships

When will the research policy fellowship award be announced? 

The nominee and waitlisted candidates will be informed about their status no later than May 2024.

What are the selection procedures?

APN Research Policy Fellowship applications are reviewed by a selection committee drawn from the APN Advisory Board. Fellowships are awarded based on established peer-review procedures and standards. The APN Advisory Board is made up of internationally distinguished scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.

How many fellowships are awarded?

Only one APN Research Policy Fellowship may be offered in a given year.

What do I do if my application is selected for an APN Research Policy Fellowship?

Once a nominee has been notified, the following documents are required to finalize award processing:

  1. An official letter from the applicant’s home institution or organization indicating the acceptance of the terms of the fellowship award and support for the applicant’s research project, which must be written on institutional stationery, signed, and dated by the relevant head of administration;
  2. A certified photocopy of the applicant’s highest university degree;
  3. A signed statement by the fellow declaring that all fellowship research and policy engagements will be completed within the time stipulated and that the funding will be used only for research activities proposed in the fellowship award application; and,
  4. A copy of the biodata page of the applicant’s passport.

Once the program receives and approves these documents, an award letter will be sent confirming the fellowship award status.

Please note that all selected applicants will be required to submit a detailed budget indicating the funds necessary to complete the proposed research, which will be taken into consideration in determining the final fellowship award amount.

You will also be asked to confirm your availability to hold a policy or practice-related in-house seminar/event in your host institution.

When can I begin my placement if my proposal is selected for funding?

Fellows are expected to commence their research projects no later than June 2024 and finish by December 2024. The program will organize the placement in consultation with the awardee and host institution.

What is the fellowship amount?

APN Research Policy Fellowship awards vary depending on the research activities supported and the proposed budget but will not exceed $12,000.

What do APN Research Policy Fellowships cover?

Funding enables Fellows to focus on policy-related research, networking, and engagements. Funding is also intended to cover books, journal subscriptions, research, travel, editorial support, residency, and related costs for the duration of the fellowship.

What do APN Research Policy Fellowships NOT cover?

Fellowship awards do not cover university overhead, individual or institutional contributions, salary support, social security, or other insurance programs. They cannot be used for payment on loans, mortgages, other personal indebtedness, or the storage of personal or household effects. Other excluded expenses will be conveyed to fellows during the final budget proposal and review process.

Does the APN offer administrative support for travel visas and research clearance?

No. While APN research fellowships cover visa costs, fellows are responsible for obtaining their own visas, official documentation, and research clearances. Fellows will be responsible for consulting an Institutional Review Board (IRB) on their own and having their proposed research approved before any involvement of human subjects may begin.

What kinds of outputs or products are expected from APN Research Policy fellows at the conclusion of their projects?

Research outputs/products may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Policy briefs
  • Articles/essays
  • Blogs and feature/op-ed articles
  • Podcasts

Do Research Policy Fellowships go directly to fellows, or are they channeled through the recipient’s university or organization?

APN Research Policy Fellowships are paid directly to the fellow in three separate installments, pending submission and approval of required progress reports at the beginning, in the middle, and towards the end of the project. In addition to the Interim and Final progress reports, fellows are expected to submit a draft publication to the program shortly before the end of the fellowship period in December 2024.

I am currently applying for several research fellowships. If awarded an APN Research Policy Fellowship, can I also accept funding from other sources?

Yes. However, please note that no awardee may hold two concurrent SSRC fellowships/grants at the same time. Should you receive two different SSRC fellowships/grants simultaneously, you will be asked to forego one of your own choosing. Past or current beneficiaries of an SSRC fellowship may apply for an APN fellowship only if their current award will be completed by the time the next APN fellowship commences in June 2024.

The program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.