The aim of the visiting fellowship programme and the scholarships is to help African PhD students working in the field of Innovation and Development to strengthen their academic/research qualifications; improve quality of their dissertations and prepare for a career in innovation and development either within academia or outside (e.g. in the private sector or in government/policy making).
The visiting fellowship programme does this by increasing the mobility and level of exposure of the PhD students to international knowledge in the field of innovation and development. The programme forms part of the efforts by AfricaLics to contribute to the development of a vibrant research community in Africa in this emerging and highly multidisciplinary field. The Swedish Development Agency, Sida (Stockholm), provides funding for the visiting scholarships as part of the project Enhancing research capacity on Innovation and Development in Africa through the African Network on Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) – Phase II (2017-2022).
The AfricaLics secretariat (hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies) is responsible for the project with the AfricaLics Scientific Board providing advice on scientific matters and issues of strategic importance. The AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme 2022 is organized jointly by the AfricaLics secretariat and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology in Kenya with support from the AfricaLics and Globelics scholars based at different universities; the UJ-TRCTI and other relevant African and international universities active in the field of Innovation and Development. Mentors for the programme will be selected to ensure best possible match with the successful PhD visiting fellows.
Eligibility and selection criteria
The scholarship option is open to PhD students from countries classified by the OECD/DAC as low and lower-middle income countries in Africa whose studies – irrespective of sectoral discipline – focus on the relationship between innovation and economic, social or and environmentally sustainable development. Female PhD students are particularly encouraged to apply as AfricaLics endeavours to contribute to increasing the currently low number of female scholars in Innovation and Development research studies in Africa. Likewise, PhD students from low-income countries are particularly encouraged to apply as AfricaLics endeavours in particular to increase research capacity in Innovation and Development in low-income countries in Africa.
Applicants must be enrolled as PhD students at African universities and must have completed their first year of PhD studies by December 2021. A maximum of four to six visiting scholarships are available for 2022, but final number of accepted visiting fellows will depend on the in-depth assessment of applications and funding availability. The visiting scholarship is complementary to the studies of the PhD students at their home universities and applicants must already have secured basic funding for their PhD studies from other sources (e.g. African governments, other organisations, self-financing).
The programme gives priority to students working on topics related to the research themes identified by the AfricaLics network as important to the future of Africa.
The study period
The visiting scholarship provides successful PhD students with the opportunity to study at JOOUST (Nairobi campus) in Kenya for a maximum of four months. The study stay is scheduled to take place from 1st June 2022 to 30th September 2022, but the exact timing will depend on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. If all goes well, students should arrive on 1st June 2022 to be able to settle and participate in introductory activities as well as in the AfricaLics PhD Academy 2022 scheduled to take place in Nairobi from 12th June to 25th June 2022.
The visiting scholarship will provide students with time off from duties in their home country to focus on consolidating and improving their research, analysing data collected from fieldwork and writing up articles or chapters for their PhD thesis. Students will also do presentations of their project work and benefit from interaction with other visiting fellows and PhD students working on innovation and development issues scholars at JOOUST/the Trilateral Chair and the pool of mentors from the AfricaLics and Globelics network dedicated to work with the AfricaLics Visiting Fellowship Programme.
Participation in the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Programme should form part of the wider PhD study plan for each applicant, which typically will include various elements such as:
- Initial theoretical studies/taught courses and fieldwork in home country/country where the student is already enrolled as a PhD student (first year must have been concluded by December 2021).
- Maximum of four months study visit to JOOUST to focus on writing up thesis or articles that are part of the PhD thesis.
- Participation in AfricaLics VFP seminars organised as part of the study visit (introduction seminar, paper presentation seminars, other courses and a final seminar).
- Participation in relevant PhD training activities such as the 2022 AfricaLics PhD Academy, collective courses organised by AfricaLics under the programme and one or two carefully selected PhD training courses (online or face-to-face). PhD candidates are responsible for applying to such courses and academies themselves following agreement with their home-supervisors, mentors and the AfricaLics PhD VFP academic coordinator).
- AfricaLics PhD visiting fellows are encouraged to work on and submit papers to up-coming relevant conferences such as e.g. the AfricaLics Conference 2022 and the 18th Globelics conference 2023. Participation in such activities provides exposure to the wider Globelics/AfricaLics community. It is the responsibility of the PhD candidates themselves to apply for participation in such events.
- Return to home country and continue work on PhD dissertation in order to finalize and submit.
Applicants for the AfricaLics PhD visiting fellowship programme should:
- Be enrolled as a PhD student at a university in Africa.
- Have completed their first year of studies by December 2021
- Have a background (BSc, MSc etc.) within Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Science and Technology Policy, Geography, History or Development Studies. Applicants may also work within the STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) subjects or even manufacturing but from a social science perspective.
- Possess adequate skills in English (documentation may be requested).
- Be working actively on a subject relevant to the field of innovation and development as defined above.
- Submit a brief application 1 page/500 words explaining own background, motivation for applying and expected outcomes of participation in the AfricaLics PhD visiting fellowship programme
Successful PhD candidates are responsible for ensuring that their passport is valid for the time period they will be staying in Kenya and for dealing with any issues related to legality of their stay in Kenya (letters of invitation will be forwarded). Details of how to apply for your visit visa in Kenya will be sent to successful candidates along with their confirmation of fellowship letter.
Accommodation and workspace
The AfricaLics secretariat will secure and pay for accommodation during the study visit to Nairobi. The accommodation will be near the Nairobi campus of JOOUST where the students will have their working space.
Additional information on terms and conditions
- Return flight costs from your nearest international airport (economy class) and health insurance will be covered on a reimbursement basis.
- Students must take out their own health insurance for the study period, but the costs will be covered (reimbursed) by the AfricaLics secretariat.
- The visiting scholars will receive a stipend of 90,000 KShs per month (equivalent to approximately 800 USD per month as of the exchange rate at the end of August 2021). This amount should cover all costs while in Nairobi related to living expenses and travel around Nairobi including to and from JOOUST campus.
- A fixed amount is available to cover student participation in selected course activities (over and above the stipend).
- Funding is available for organizing trilateral meetings between the PhD student, the main supervisor from home institution and the AfricaLics mentor(s) during the study period at JOOUST.
- The scholarship covers only costs related to the visit of the student him/herself. Costs related to accompanying spouses, children or others are unfortunately not possible for the programme to cover. The scholarship does not cover costs of any additional travel in Kenya that the student may wish to undertake unless as part of selected and approved course activities.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Brief outline of your current PhD project including training plan (max. 5 pages)
- Curriculum Vitae – CV (including PhD courses attended so far)
- Letter of support from the main PhD supervisor confirming that the PhD student will have completed her/his upgrade/probation by end December 2021
- Letter of support from the University Administration at the university where the PhD student is enrolled
- Copies of academic certificates (copies of Bachelor and Master Certificates as a minimum)
- One writing sample (article or chapter) from current PhD program
You are NOT expected to submit a copy of your passport when applying for the PhD visiting fellowship programme. If you are offered the scholarship, you will be asked to handle any visa issues that may be relevant yourself. Collection of personal data will be kept at a minimum, stored safely and will not be used for any other purposes.
Applications with all relevant attachments should be forwarded to email@example.com by 23.00hrs East Africa time (EAT) on 15th October 2021.
Application Deadline: 15th October 2021.
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