Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program Selects Thirty-Eight New Fellows

August 13, 2015

Unknown-11Brooklyn, New YorkThe Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program has selected thirty-eight new fellows. Fellows were chosen for the quality and originality of their work in the fields of peace, security, and development as well as their potential to make significant contributions to the social sciences. Fellows from the new cohort are working on an impressive range of pressing topics, including the role of traditional peacebuilding mechanisms in Nigeria, the politics and poetics of postwar monuments in northern Uganda, and a comparative study of progressive social policy reforms in Brazil and South Africa.

The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program addresses the inadequate number of faculty with PhDs in universities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, a deficit that undermines vital efforts to expand and strengthen higher education systems in Africa. Fellows were selected through a rigorous peer-review process, involving multiple rounds of review. Thirty-one faculty members in African universities with strong research records and a commitment to graduate education read proposals and gave detailed comments in the initial review rounds. A selection committee consisting of six leading African social scientists identified the finalists.

Over four years, the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program has awarded 150 fellowships to faculty teaching in universities in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The program offers three distinct fellowship opportunities to support faculty at crucial moments in their graduate training: proposal development, dissertation research, and dissertation completion fellowships. This year the program will provide eleven awards to proposal development fellows, thirteen to dissertation research fellows, and fourteen to dissertation completion fellows. As a demonstration of the program’s commitment to gender equity, just over half of the incoming cohort are women, while fewer than 20 percent of faculty in African universities are female.

Thomas Asher, director of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program, states, “The cumulative effects of the program are stunning. To date, the program has yielded forty-five new PhD recipients, the great majority of whom would not have been able to complete their degrees without support. And we anticipate that another twenty fellows will complete the degree within twelve months, even as they undertake research and publish in impressive venues ranging from top journals in their fields to high-profile journalism sites where they regularly address current events.”


Fellows visiting the African Union during the 2015-2016 cohort workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

“Perhaps even more impactful is the fellowship network as a whole,” adds Asher. After completion of the fellowship, nearly half of all fellows report continuing and regular engagement with their peers and with senior faculty who served as mentors at program workshops, ensuring lasting connections that will bolster a new generation of social scientists and equip them to better mentor in their turn.

The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

A complete list of Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellows is available here.