Deadline: February 1, 2021

Applications are open for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Fellowship 2020/2021. The Social Science Research Council offers fellowships to support the completion of doctoral degrees and to promote next generation social science research in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The fellowships support dissertation research on peace, security, and development topics.

The Doctoral dissertation proposal fellowships support PhD students working on developing a doctoral dissertation research proposal as well as students who recently completed a master’s degree and seek to enroll in a PhD program. This program also includes two workshops each year that have been designed to create fellows’ networks, help fellows refine, develop and strengthen research questions, match research methods to questions, engage key literature in their fields, and finalize their doctoral research proposals.

Thematic Priorities

The program features a thematic focus on peace, security, and development in order to renew basic research agendas and strengthen interdisciplinary social science research capacity addressing these issues. 

The program encourages innovative research on peace, security, and development topics, broadly conceived, moving the boundaries of scholarship and research by exploring concrete linkages between these themes. They envision supporting a diverse set of projects seeking to shed light on a range of economic, political, social, conflict and peacebuilding processes using evidence-based research.


  • The fellowships support short-term research costs of up to US$3,000 to develop a doctoral dissertation proposal.


All applicants must:

  • be citizens of any sub-Saharan African country.
  • be enrolled, or intend to enroll by the time of the award, and working towards a PhD in an accredited university, or affiliated to an institution in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda.
  • hold a master’s degree at the time of application.
  • must be in their first year of study.


The next application deadline is February 1, 2021. Award decisions will be announced in late May 2021, and all Next Gen funded research must take place between July 2021 and July 2022.

Click here to apply

For more information, see FAQ and visit Social Science Research Council.

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