In its initial five years, the Next Generation Social Sciences Program will support a throughput of approximately 210 early-career faculty members progressing steadily toward the completion of the PhD in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Overall Outcomes

150 fellowships have been awarded over four years in support of 121 individual faculty members, including:

  • 54 Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowships
  • 51 Dissertation Research Fellowships
  • 45 Dissertation Completion Fellowships

45  fellows completed the PhD to date, a number anticipated to increase in the next 12 months. We expect the program to maintain this momentum, facilitating the completion of approximately 25 PhDs each year.

41 out of 43 Proposal Development Fellows from the first three cohorts completed and filed the dissertation proposal, a 93 percent success rate. Studies show that interventions at this stage significantly advance the rate of completion of the dissertation as well as the quality of the research program. By March 2016, 52 out of 54 Proposal Development Fellows will have filed the dissertation proposal.

Fellows completed 238 dissertation chapters to date. 34 fellows have conducted preliminary pilot studies on their research topics. Research and Completion Fellows report having led 207 focus group discussions while conducting interviews or surveys of 2,892 participants at present.

48 fellows were awarded travel grants and presented their research findings internationally, including at Cornell University, Emory University, Seoul National University, the University of Buenos Aires, the University of Ghana-Legon, and Yale University.

47 percent of fellows report staying in contact with facilitators from the program workshops. This contact often includes comments on chapters of fellows' theses and articles, as well as letters of recommendation, continuing mentorship, and inclusion into broader scholarly networks. A significant number of fellows report undertaking a collaborative research project or publication with workshop facilitators.

45 percent of fellows report continuing engagement with other fellows, ranging from collaborative publications to joint research initiatives to sharing scholarly resources with one another.

2013–2014 Cohort Outcomes

The program effects can be seen in snapshot form with focus on the most recent cohort to conclude its fellowship period. These results include the following outcomes grouped by fellowship category:

Dissertation Proposal (n=19)
  • 100 percent of fellows have filed dissertation proposals with their university.
  • 17 fellows have visited the field to conduct initial data collection or a pilot study, leading to 402 interviews or surveys being conducted.
  • 19 fellows attended 26 international conferences ranging from locations on the continent of Africa to Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, and Moscow, as well as US universities, including Brown University and the University of North Carolina. 1 fellow received the top award for a conference presentation.
  • 22 original published articles have been produced during the fellowship period.
  • 19 drafts of chapters were written.
Dissertation Research (n=8)
  • All 8 fellows spent significant time (six or more months) collecting data on their research topics.
  • 8 fellows attended 13 international conferences ranging from locations on the continent of Africa to Abu Dhabi, Montreal, Moscow, and Split, as well as US universities, including Emory University and Yale University.
  • 9 original published articles were produced during the fellowship period.
  • 700 plus interviews and surveys were conducted.
  • 1 fellow developed the first conflict dataset for the Lake Chad basin region.
  • 24 draft chapters were written.
Dissertation Completion (n=9)
  • 8 fellows have completed the PhD and have graduated or will graduate in 2014.
  • 100 percent of fellows completed an initial draft of thesis for review by their supervisor.
  • 30 chapters were written during the fellowship period.
  • 9 fellows attended 15 international conferences outside of their home country, ranging from locations on the continent of Africa to the University of Cambridge and the University of Hawaii.
  • 26 original published articles were produced by fellows during the fellowship period.

At this rate, within five years the program will contribute significantly to the ability of African universities to produce new generations of highly skilled individuals. Such training arguably is more vital than ever with the tremendous expansion of knowledge economies, which requires a highly-educated workforce for a growing range of jobs. Each year of education adds 10-15 percent wage growth for individuals and significantly increases employment chances while decreasing likelihood of unemployment. The cumulative effects are extraordinary. A one year increase in average tertiary education levels nationally adds as much as .39% growth to a country's GDP annually. Stronger tertiary education in Africa might yield as much as a 12 percent increase in GDP according to World Bank figures.