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 post-doctoral writing fellowship supports up to six months of completing an article or book manuscript  through a stipend of up to US$3,000. It will enable the recipient to buy time off from teaching and administrative duties to focus exclusively on finalizing an article for a peer-reviewed journal or completing a book manuscript based on a Next Gen-supported doctoral dissertation that advances research on peace, security, and development. This fellowship is exclusively available for Next Gen alumni.


All applicants must:

  • be citizens of any sub-Saharan African country
  • hold a doctorate degree from an accredited university in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda
  • be a past recipient of at least one Next Generation Social Sciences Doctoral Dissertation fellowship
  • be prepared to take no less than three-month leave away from routine teaching and administrative duties in current role
  • affiliated to an academic department in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda at the of award

As of May 2015, the program prioritizes applicants holding a faculty position or demonstrating a durable commitment to higher education in Africa, but does not restrict eligibility to such individuals.

The program seeks to promote diversity and encourages women to apply.

Thematic Priorities:

The program features a thematic focus on peace, security, and development in order to renew basic research agendas and strengthen interdisciplinary social science research capacity addressing these issues.

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 that shed light on a range of economic, political, social, conflict and peacebuilding processes using evidence-based research.

Some projects, we hope, will examine large-scale phenomena and others small-scale social processes. The strongest projects typically will explore connections across these scales. Some research projects will rigorously explore elements of governance, civil society, human rights, peacebuilding mechanisms/institutions and processes, and rule of law. Others will explore root causes of conflict, human insecurity, emerging trajectories and forms of conflict, insecurities, and human mobilities. Above all projects should advance important fields of study and social science knowledge.

 For additional information on previously supported projects, please visit our fellows’ pages.

Please see the following list of prospective issues that are considered relevant to Next Gen fellowships:  

  • Causes and driver of conflict
  • Institutional and local approaches to conflict prevention, management and resolution
  • Elections, transitions and development
  • National and regional approaches to peace, security and development
  • Identity and conflict
  • Gender, youth, conflict, peace and security
  • Conflict, peace and human mobilities
  • Cultural issues in security and development
  • State-society relations
  • Digitality
  • Economic and humanitarian perspectives to conflict and peace
  • Democracy, human rights and development
  • Post-conflict development, reconstruction and reconciliation
  • Law, peace agreements and transitional justice
  • International justice, genocide and war crimes
  • Cities, migration and mobility
  • Law and constitutionalism
  • Health, food security and development
  • Natural resource governance and development
  • Climate change, conflict, peace and security
  • Globalization and emerging insecurities
  • Media, conflict, peace and security
  • Data, privacy and security

Application Process:

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal.

Strong proposals will offer clear and concise descriptions of the writing project and its significance. Proposals should display thorough knowledge of the relevant social science literature that activities that applicants will undertake    during 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 and related disciplines.

Fellows must be willing to attend one workshop sponsored by the SSRC each year that is intended to help early-career faculty engage in scholarly reflections, research and writing. We anticipate awarding up to 43 fellowships in total across all categories each year.

Additional information on eligibility, the application process, and award details can be found in our Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

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

The program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.