Fully Funded 2023 AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowships for African PhD Students (Fully Funded to Nairobi, Kenya)

2023 AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowships for African PhD Students (Fully Funded to Nairobi, Kenya)

AfricaLics (African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems) is looking for suitable PhD student candidates from universities in African countries to participate in the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme (2023 cohort) focused on Innovation and Development. The realization of the fellowship is subject to a final decision by our main funder (the Swedish International Development Agency) on whether to continue funding in a new phase (2023-2027). A decision is expected in November 2022.

Under the AfricaLics Visiting Fellowship Programme successful candidates will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a one-year fellowship programme combining online pre- and post-activities with a study period of 3 months at University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Mentoring will be provided by a range of African and international scholars in Innovation and Development studies who are research active in AfricaLics and Globelics. The programme will be housed by the DSI/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development (TRCTI) at University of Johannesburg. The chair also includes the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Kenya and University of Sussex in UK.

The aim of the visiting fellowship programme and the scholarships is to help African PhD students working in the field of Innovation and Development to strengthen their academic/research qualifications; improve quality of their dissertations and prepare for a career in innovation and development either within academia or outside (e.g. in the private sector or in government/policy making).

Eligibility Requirements

  • 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 and students from low-income countries are particularly encouraged to apply as AfricaLics endeavours to contribute to increasing the currently low number of female scholars and low-income countries scholars in Innovation and Development research studies in Africa.
  • Applicants must be enrolled as PhD students at African universities and must have completed their first year of PhD studies by December 2022. A maximum of four-five visiting scholarships are available for 2023, 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).

The Study Period

  • The visiting scholarship provides successful PhD students with the opportunity to study at University of Johannesburg in South Africa for a maximum of 3 months. The study stay is scheduled to take place from 1st September 2023 to 30th November 2023. Students should arrive on 1st September 2023 to be able to settle and participate in introductory activities early in September 2023.
  • The visiting scholarship will provide students with time off from duties in their home country to focus on consolidating and improving their research, analysing data collected from fieldwork and writing up articles or chapters for their PhD thesis. Students will also do presentations of their project work and benefit from interaction with other visiting fellows and PhD students working on innovation and development issues scholars under the Trilateral Chair and the pool of mentors from the AfricaLics and Globelics network dedicated to work with the AfricaLics VFP.


  1. Return flight costs from your nearest international airport (economy class) and health insurance will be covered on a reimbursement basis.
  2. Students must take out their own health insurance for the study period, but the costs will be covered (reimbursed) by the AfricaLics secretariat.
  3. The visiting scholars will receive a stipend of 9500 South African rand (equivalent to approximately 600 USD per month as of the exchange rate at the end of June 2022. This amount should cover all costs while in Johannesburg related to living expenses and travel around Johannesburg including to and from UJ campus.
  4. A fixed amount is available to cover student participation in selected course activities (over and above the stipend).
  5. Funding is available for organizing trilateral meetings between the PhD student, the main supervisor from home institution and the AfricaLics mentor(s) during the study period at UJ.
  6. The scholarship covers only costs related to the visit of the student him/herself. We are currently looking into the possibility of a small amount of funds being made available to cover the costs of pre-school age children being able to accompany single parents who are offered the fellowship.  This funding is however not guaranteed at this time. The scholarship does not cover costs of any additional travel in South Africa that the student may wish to undertake unless as part of selected and approved course activities.

Student Requirements

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 2022
  • Have a background (BSc, MSc etc.) within Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Science and Technology Policy, Business, Geography, History or Development Studies. Applicants may also work within the STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) subjects, technology management 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 1 page/500 words explaining own background, motivation for applying and expected outcomes of participation in the AfricaLics PhD visiting fellowship programme.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Brief outline of your current PhD project including training plan (max. 5 pages). Please ensure to:
    • Be clear on the theoretical and conceptual frameworks you are using in your research.
    • Carefully stipulate your research questions making sure that these research questions are clear and focused.
    • Stipulate evidence that you intend to address each of your research questions
    • Clearly specify the sources of the data/information that you will use to obtain the evidence that you require.
    • Explain how you intend to go about collecting this evidence (using e.g. interviews; data bases, surveys etc.)
  • 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/ proposal defense by end December 2022
  • 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

Application Deadline: 15th September 2022.

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