Am I eligible for funding if I have not yet completed a doctorate degree?

No. All applicants must already hold a doctorate degree at the time of application.

Am I eligible to apply for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Dissertation-Based Writing Fellowship if I’m not a citizen of an African country?

No. Applicants must be citizens of a sub-Saharan African country.

Am I eligible to apply for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Writing Fellowship if I’m an African citizen based in a university outside of Africa?

No. Applicants must be citizens of a sub-Saharan African country while affiliated with an accredited university in Africa.

Does the writing have to be conducted in one of the six eligible countries?

No. The proposed writing can take place anywhere in the world. However, applicants may find it more pragmatic to conduct their writing within Africa.

What kind of writing and topics are eligible for support through this fellowship?

Articles must be related to research findings from your completed Next Gen-supported PhD Dissertation, or seek to transform your dissertation into a book manuscript.

What disciplines are eligible for support through this fellowship program?

All Next Gen Alumni that have completed their doctorate degree in all disciplines in the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, history, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology and related fields such as communications, international relations, law, peace studies or even the humanities are eligible to apply for the fellowship.

Am I eligible for funding through the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Writing fellowship if I did not previously receive an award from Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program?

No. This fellowship is only available to applicants who have previously received a fellowship from the program and completed their PhD degrees.

I have an article or a book manuscript that has already been submitted and accepted for publication by a reputable publisher. Am I eligible?

No, only those with articles or book proposals that are yet to be completed may apply.

Is there an age limit?

Applicants with a faculty position should be at least 10 years away from the age of retirement at the time of application.

What specific activities or items will the fellowship support?

This fellowship is meant to cover costs for the final stages of writing, editing, copy-editing, fact-checking, and finalization of articles and book projects by reputable outlets. The fellowship will only support activities related to the completion of a writing manuscript (article for a peer-reviewed journal or a PhD dissertation based-book manuscript), and not any other projects.

Application Process

How do I apply for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship?

You must send us your complete application electronically through the online application portal available at http://soap.ssrc.org/. This link to the application is also available on the program website.

Can I submit my application in a language other than English?

No. All application materials, including reference letters, must be submitted in English.

When is the deadline for the 2020 application?

Applications must be received by 10 January 2020. The two reference letters must also be received by the same deadline.

Where do I find the Reference Letter forms?

All application materials, including these forms, are found on the online application portal.

Should my referees submit their letters of recommendation and the referee forms on their own, or should I include the letters in my application?

Referees should upload their letters of recommendation directly through the online application portal. Applicants will be directed to an automated request service which sends detailed instructions to their referees directly via email.

Do you have examples of proposals that have been awarded fellowships?

No. The program does not provide examples of successful proposals. For suggestions on proposal writing, we encourage you to consult the “On the Art of Writing Proposals,” an article with advice on the construction of a research proposal or project statement.

Can I submit my application even if my Reference Letters has not been received?

Yes. You are strongly encouraged to submit your application well in advance of the deadline in order to avoid missing the posted deadline. There is no need to wait for your Reference Letters to be received in order to submit your application – they will be automatically added to your application.

Application Components

What are the application components?

Applicants must submit an online application and are asked to provide basic biographic details, project details, and relevant education and employment details. In addition, applicants must upload budget, cover letter, and a draft article/book proposal, and must request two reference letters in support of their application.

How many references do I need and whom should I ask to write references for me?

Two. Anyone can serve as your referee; however, we do encourage that at least one letter be submitted by a colleague that can testify to your ability to successfully complete the proposed writing manuscript.

Do I need to submit a Language Evaluation?

Applicants must complete a language evaluation as part of the online application only if this is applicable to their research (part of their research involves conducting interviews in, or consulting literature written in local or foreign language/languages).

Do reference letters need to be submitted in English?


Are there formatting requirements for the Cover Letter?

Yes. Your cover letter should outline your broad academic goals and interests. This letter should express your commitment to submitting a draft article or PhD-dissertation-based book manuscript for publication and not exceed two pages in length.

Are there formatting requirements for the Draft Article/Book Proposal?

Yes. Your draft article for a peer-reviewed journal should be between 4,000-7,000 words, with complete citations, preferably collated as ONE single Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx) file.

Your book proposal should be between 3,000-4,000 words and include a proposed title of book, a state of the aims of the book (no more than 4 paragraphs), relationship of the book to completed PhD dissertation and thematic focus of the Next Gen program, scope and relevance of the book to existing literature in the field, list of keywords, table to contents, chapter summaries, and a proposed length of manuscript and publication schedule.

All draft articles and book proposals must be formatted with double-spacing. Footnotes and endnotes may be single-spaced but must be included within the limits of the proposal. Draft articles or book proposals not adhering to these guidelines will not be considered.

Can I submit my drat journal article for publication in any journal of my choice?

Applicants for the Dissertation-based Writing Fellowship are strongly encouraged to consider publishing their articles in highly reputable peer-reviewed journals abstracted and, or indexed in the following databases/online libraries. Please review the following for such journals:

  1. African Journals Online (AJOL)
  2. African Studies Abstracts Online
  3. Arts and Humanities Citation Index
  5. International Index to Black Periodicals
  6. International Political Science Abstracts
  7. Scopus
  8. Social Sciences Citation Index
  9. Peace Research Abstracts
  10. PAIS Select
  11. International Bibliography of the Social Sciences

Can I submit photographs or charts with my application?

Yes, but any non-textual material must be included within the pages of your draft article/book proposal.

Do I need to submit transcripts with my application?


Do I need to submit my PhD degree certificate with my application?

No. But you will be required to include a photocopy of the certificate along with other documents if you are awarded a fellowship.

Fellowship Awards

What are the selection procedures?

Fellows are selected by the members of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship Program Committee, who use established peer review procedures. The Fellowship Program Committee includes distinguished members of the academic and research communities of Africa, Europe, and North America.

How many awards are offered in a given year?

Up to 6 awards are offered in a given year for this post-doctoral fellowship opportunity.

What happens if my project is selected for funding?

You will be asked to submit an revised budget outlining the funds you will need to complete your project. This will be taken under consideration, along with any other funds you may have received, when your final award amount is determined. You will also need to submit the following documents before award monies will be issued:

  1. A letter from the applicant’s home institution (university department or faculty, museum, or other research center), which indicates acceptance of the terms of the award and support for the applicant’s project. This letter must be composed on institutional stationery and must be officially stamped and signed.
  2. A photocopy of the highest university degree obtained by the applicant. The photocopy must bear an official university stamp.
  3. A signed statement from the applicant, declaring that the they will submit their draft article/manuscript to a reputable publisher.
  4. A photocopy of the biodata page of a current passport for the applicant.
  5. A statement, composed and signed by the applicant, declaring that the applicant will work full-time on the project during the fellowship period, forgoing any other employment, consultancy, business, or extended travel away from the site of the project.

What is the grant amount?

The doctoral dissertation-based fellowship provides grants up to US$3,000.

What does the Dissertation-Based Writing fellowship not cover?

You must use the fellowship funds exclusively for the purposes stated in the submitted application and the approved budget. SSRC stipends are not tax-free for US citizens, but some expenses incurred on fellowships can be claimed as “research expenses.” US citizens should refer to the IRS website (www.irs.gov) for specifics. Citizens from all other countries must determine whether their fellowship is taxable in their home country or their country of residence and the fellows are responsible for paying any taxes due on the fellowship monies.

What does the Dissertation-Based Writing fellowship cover?

The Dissertation-Based fellowship will supports up to six months of editing of a manuscript for publication.

What is the fellowship term?

All funded writing for the dissertation-based writing fellowship must take place between July 2020 and July 2021. All research must be completed within a continuous six month period.

I am applying for multiple fellowships/grants. Should I be awarded an SSRC Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellowship, can I also accept funding from other sources?

Yes, but fellows cannot accept funding from the SSRC and another organization for the same expenses at the same time. The SSRC program will work with fellows to develop a budget that is acceptable to SSRC and to other funding organizations. Please note that you cannot hold a fellowship from the African Humanities Program at the same time as a fellowship from the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program.

Do the awards go directly to the fellows or are they channeled through a university or institution?

All awards are paid directly to the fellows.

Does the SSRC offer support for visas and research clearances?

No. Fellows are responsible for their own travel visa arrangements and research clearances.