Deadline: February 1, 2021

Applications are invited for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research 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 research fellowship supports 6-12 months of dissertation research costs on a topic related to peace, security, and development. This program also offers two workshops each year to help fellows to further develop and strengthen their research, engage key literature in their fields, embark on fieldwork-based research, and develop their capacity for scholarly writing, including academic publications.

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, 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.

Some projects, they hope, will examine large-scale phenomena and others small-scale social processes. The strongest projects typically will explore connections across these scales. Some research projects will rigorously explore elements of governance, civil society, human rights, peacebuilding mechanisms/institutions and processes, and rule of law. Others will explore root causes of conflict, human insecurity, emerging trajectories and forms of conflict, insecurities, and human mobilities. Above all projects should advance important fields of study and social science knowledge.


  • The fellowship supports 6-12 months of dissertation research costs of up to US$15,000.


All applicants must:

  • be citizens of any sub-Saharan African country
  • be enrolled and working towards a PhD in an accredited university, or affiliated to an institution in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda
  • have a fully developed doctoral dissertation research proposal approved by a graduate school/program at an accredited university in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania or Uganda.
  • in the very initial phase of field research, or preparing for the fieldwork phase of their dissertation 


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

Click here to apply

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

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