The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program builds a cohort of academic experts working on topics relevant to the themes of peace, security, and development. The project offers a sequence of fellowship opportunities for promising early-career faculty researchers, lacking a PhD, to progress steadily toward completion of the doctoral degree.

Overall Outcomes

To date, the program awarded:

  • 226 fellowships to 173 individuals
  • Fellowships to over 10 nationalities, including Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe
  • 45% of fellowships to women, in a context where women hold only 20% of faculty positions in African universities

In its initial six years, the Next Generation Social Sciences Program will support a throughput of approximately 173 early-career faculty members progressing steadily toward the completion of the PhD in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The 226 fellowships have been awarded over four years in support of 173 individual faculty members, including:

  • 83 Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowships
  • 76 Dissertation Research Fellowships
  • 67 Dissertation Completion Fellowships

71  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.

Achieving Long Term Objectives

Meaningfully, the fellowships have allowed early-career faculty to undertake research agendas of their own shaping – rather than contract-for-hire research in the form of consultancies, a pervasive problem that undermines basic research capacity in African higher education in which external international organizations pose the research questions and African social scientists supply data. The research that fellows have undertaken is important, timely, and focuses on neglected phenomenon rarely asked by those organizations that fund research-on-demand.

In awarding 227 fellowships, a critical mass of fellows have gained substantial expertise in grounded fieldwork, in archival research, and in substantive data analysis around topics of their own design. As these fellows complete the PhD and obtain full time faculty positions, the program is seeding departments with accomplished scholars who have deep expertise forged through extensive fieldwork. There is a multigenerational dividend as these alumni continue to train MA and PhD students of their own.