Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program 2021/22 | Harvard University Center for African Studies
  • September 1, 2021 - February 28, 2023

As one of the world’s leading academic institutions, Harvard University is committed to supporting top-quality Postdoctoral Fellows who will contribute to the University’s mission of excellence in teaching and research, and who are interested in advancing new ideas and promoting enduring knowledge. Harvard offers access to intellectual and cultural resources that are as unique as they are unrivaled. The Center for African Studies Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is aimed at providing opportunities for postdoctoral candidates to conduct independent research, publish, and increase knowledge in their fields of study that will be beneficial to the African continent and to prepare them to be successful in their chosen career paths.

The Center for African Studies Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is aimed at providing opportunities for postdoctoral candidates to conduct independent research, publish, and increase knowledge in their fields of study that will be beneficial to the African continent and to prepare them to be successful in their chosen career paths. An applicant should have received their PhD (preference will be given to those who completed PhD in past five years) and hold an academic appointment at a university or research institution in Africa. This includes those with a commitment of appointment at the time of application. The fellowship will support the development of a research project at selected Harvard University schools, departments, or laboratories in the field of their choice.

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The program offers 18-month postdoctoral fellowships with 12 months spent at the scholars’ home institution and six months spent in stipend-supported residency at Harvard University. Please consult the list of eligible institutions and eligibility requirements before applying.

Benefits

  • The program offers 18-month postdoctoral fellowships with 12 months spent at the scholars’ home institution.
  • The program also offers six months spent in stipend-supported residency at Harvard University.
  • The fellowship will support the development of a research project at selected Harvard University schools, departments, or laboratories in the field of their choice.
  • Fellows will have an opportunity to work on their pedagogical and research skills to further their professional development.
  • Fellows will be provided with a budget of up to $10,000 for research during the 18-month fellowship.
  • Stipend during residency and travel to and from Cambridge for the residency portion will be covered separately.

Eligibilities

  • Fellows will be selected based on academic talent in their fields.
  • Applicants must have received a PhD or equivalent doctoral-level research degree (preference will be given to those who completed PhD in past five years) in any discipline with strategic interest to the African continent and must hold a paid academic appointment at one of the eligible institutions.
  • Applicants who have not yet formally received their degree must present evidence of having completed the academic requirements before commencing the Fellowship.
  • Applicants must identify a Harvard faculty mentor to support research and scholarly work; additionally, they should identify a second mentor at their home institution.
  • Both mentors are required to submit letters of recommendation during the application process.
  • Applicants should have English language proficiency.
  • Applicants must have support from their home institutions to pursue an 18-month fellowship appointment, six months of which will be spent in a stipend-supported residency in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Throughout the fellowship period, fellows will have access to their mentor at both institutions as well as Harvard’s library resources and seminar/conference opportunities.
  • Applicants should have an academic appointment at one of the listed eligible universities or include a letter from the institution that such an appointment is forthcoming during the fellowship period.
Eligible Regions: Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda

Application Process

  • The program is established for African-based researchers who intend to continue/return to work in African academia.
  • A complete application consists of fields submitted through the Qualtrics online portal and all requested attachments uploaded as PDFs into the application system.
  • In addition, a confidential letter of recommendation is requested from the postdoc’s supervisor at their home institution who is familiar with your academic work as well as by a faculty mentor at Harvard University.
  • Candidates will be asked to enter academic/leadership/professional honors and detail any work or study completed in the last five years.
  • Candidates will be asked to enter their education history, including name and location of the institution, dates of attendance and degree, and field of study.
  • A single-spaced research proposal of no more than 2,000 words (font size 10 to 12 point) on the project to be pursued during the fellowship period. Proposals should include an 18-month timeline with up to six months in-residence at Harvard and the remaining time in-residence at the applicant’s home institution.
  • Project plans should begin from September 1 of the year in which the proposal is submitted, and the six-month residency must be proposed for any consecutive six-month period between September 1 and the 18-months following. Candidates should consult with their mentors at Harvard and their home institutions to identify the ideal time for the residency portion.
  • A CV specifying education and experience including list of publications, conference presentations, awards, and fellowships.
  • The personal statement should give the committee a sense of your background with the following questions in mind. Who you are? What motivates you and why you want to study a particular issue or topic. What kind of contribution do you want to make, and why? What are your goals? What path will you take to achieve them?
  • Applications must include two letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant’s intellectual and professional preparation for the fellowship
  • Applications must include two letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant’s intellectual and professional preparation for the fellowship. One recommendation should be from the faculty mentor at the applicant’s home institution and the second letter of recommendation should come from the Harvard faculty mentor. Two letters of recommendation must be submitted by recommenders through Qualtrics. You will be required to enter the names, affiliations, and contact details of your referees. After you submit your application, referees will receive an e-mail to the address provided to submit their letters of recommendation. Please confirm with your recommenders that they have received this communication. Alternatively, recommenders can e-mail the letters directly to [email protected]
  • Fellows will be provided with a budget of up to $10,000 for research during the 18-month fellowship. Stipend during residency and travel to and from Cambridge for the residency portion will be covered separately. A budget stipulating detailed expenses during the fellowship period should accompany your application.

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Application Deadline: May 17, 2021 (3 Days Remaining)

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For further queries please visit the official website.
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