AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowships 2024 for young African PhD Students.

Application Deadline: 1st December 2023

AfricaLics – the African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems – is looking for suitable PhD students from universities in African countries to participate in the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme, (2024 cohort) focused on Innovation and Development.

Under this programme successful candidates will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a fellowship programme which ideally combines online pre- and post-activities with a study period of 3 months at University of Johannesburg (UJ) in South Africa. The three months’ study visit to UJ is, however, subject to availability of funding and interested students are expected to help search for funds to finance their study visit at UJ themselves (see section on funding issues).

The 2024 VFP cohort activities will kick off with a range of online activities starting in February 2024 and activities are expected to be completed by the end of November /early December 2024. Activities will include a brief introduction to I&D studies as the AfricaLics network identifies this field, a course on writing skills and a course on ‘How to write an Academic Journal Article as well as 3 – 5 Paper Presentation Seminars. Activities will be online, but if funds permit, a 3-month study visit to UJ will also be incorporated. After engagement in the programme, students are offered the opportunity to continue engaging with the AfricaLics community e.g. through participation in AfricaLics Alumni activities, AfricaLics research conferences and our webinar series. In this way, students and young scholars help each other stay engaged and get a chance to help develop the field of African Innovation and Development studies.

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  • 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 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 2023.
  • A maximum of four to six visiting scholarships are available in 2024, 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). PhD students with an interest in the programme must commit to help fund-raising for a physical study visit to UJ e.g. through applications to their own home university or to organisations such as WARA.


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 2023
  • 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 of one page/500 words explaining their own background, motivation for applying and expected outcomes of participation in the AfricaLics PhD visiting fellowship programme

The study period

The visiting scholarship provides successful PhD students with the opportunity to engage in several online activities including a course on writing skills and a course on ‘How to write an Academic Journal Article’ and up to 5 paper presentation seminars during the study period which runs from 1st February 2024 to 15th December 2024. During the study period, students will be offered the opportunity to participate in the AfricaLics PhD Academy, which takes place either in May or June each year and which is expected to be a physical event in 2024, but may turn into a virtual event, if fund-raising for a physical PhD academy are not successful.

As mentioned, the study period also includes a three-month study stay at UJ (Johannesburg campus) in South Africa. The study stay – which is subject to successful fundraising – is scheduled to take place from 1st September to 30th November 2024, but the exact timing will be communicated in due course.

Application Requirements

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Brief outline of your current PhD project including PhD training plans (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 2023
  • 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

For more information, VISIT HERE

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