CODESRIA calling for applications on 'Strengthening Phd Programmes in African Universities'

Deadline: 21st august, 2015

Call for Applications: 2015 Session

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce the call for applications from research laboratories and doctoral schools in African universities for the first phase of its initiative to support research in the social sciences and humanities.

The support initiative is geared towards alleviating the problems faced by many African universities with respect to research funding, quality and relevance of training in the context of globalization, liberalization and internationalization of higher education. Population pressure on higher education institutions has become a constant concern for African governments and tertiary education needs will continue to increase due to the growing youth population on the continent. Such problems have also become acute because of the so-called brain drain phenomenon.

The gradual decline at the doctoral level has become a concern shared by many stakeholders (states, international institutions, foundations, research institutions and various other concerned stakeholders). Many universities have instituted reforms in order to cope with the changes taking place in the higher education sector, particularly to meet the challenges of research in relation to the development of Africa. This was experienced in Francophone African countries with the BMD reform.

Through this new initiative to support research laboratories, doctoral schools and training institutions, CODESRIA intends to strengthen the capacity of universities to fulfil their research mission, in addition to that of teaching. Other concerns include: how to help young researchers to be better equipped to address the epistemological and methodological issues related to their research; how to help them critically consider the theoretical, conceptual and methodological developments as part of the production of their thesis; how to help them tackle the theorization challenge in the face of increasing complexities of ongoing social dynamics on our continent by questioning the agreed upon paradigms, critically taking ownership of the existing literature and contextualizing their questions; and, how to help young PhD students escape from the consultancy culture that is dominant today in African universities and direct their energy towards the search for solutions to the continent’s many challenges..

The objective of this initiative is to restore and/or enhance the seminar culture within research laboratories, doctoral schools in African universities, while encouraging the use of multi and interdisciplinary approaches. Clearly, it is about eradicating the consultancy culture and addressing the challenges of reconstructing an environment conducive to social science research.

After a rigorous selection exercise by an international independent selection committee, selected research laboratories and doctoral schools will receive a grant of 10,000 dollars from CODESRIA, which is expected to be used for:

  • the purchase of books and journals for the benefit of the entire academic community;
  • a scientific seminar exposing PhD students to relevant literature, current debates, and theoretical approaches in relation to a given topic;
  • a methodology seminar, and
  • a scientific writing workshop

In order to promote knowledge sharing and the mobility of experts within the continent, which is considered as fundamental by CODESRIA, part of the requirements to benefit from the support grant is the, integration or involvement of a lecturer from another African university or the diaspora into the pedagogic supervision of seminars.

Research laboratories affiliated to doctoral schools and training institutions in African universities can also apply for the benefit of their PhD students.

Applications should consist of a proposal that indicates the research environment at the university where they come from, the theme to be covered by the scientific seminar and specific areas to be addressed by lecturers at workshops (methodology and scientific writing), and the expected results. Applications should also include the list of PhD students who are expected to benefit from the seminars and workshops, their thesis topics and their institutional affiliation, as well as a budget with clearly defined and justified lines.

At the end of the series of seminars, it is expected that a scientific report and a financial report will be submitted to CODESRIA, as well as electronic copies of the papers presented by members of the seminars’ pedagogic supervision team which will be disseminated on the Council’s website and through its publications programme.

All applications must be received by CODESRIA not later than 21 August, 2015. Application will be submitted to an independent jury.

All Applications should be sent electronically to the following address: .

For further inquiries, please contact:
BP: 3304, Dakar 
CP 18524 – Senegal. 
Tel: +221-33 825.98.22/23
Fax: +221-33 824.12.89