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ARUA Early-Career Research Fellowship 2022

16th March 2022

This Early-Career Research Fellowship is being initiated by the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to support a total of thirteen (13) Early-Career Research Fellows to undertake globally competitive research at the ARUA Centres of Excellence (CoEs).

The goal is to strengthen the capacity of early-career researchers at African universities by giving them time away from teaching responsibilities at their home institutions while working with very senior and accomplished researchers. Each CoE is expected to host one research fellow from a country other than where the CoE is located.

1.1  About ARUA 

The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) is a network of sixteen (16) leading universities from different countries in Africa, and with different historical backgrounds, but with a common vision. This vision is to make African researchers and institutions globally competitive while contributing significantly to the generation of knowledge for the socioeconomic transformation of the continent. The network, right from inception, was intended to be different from any other regional university network in Africa. The difference was to come from the approach to be employed, namely bringing together a number of peer African institutions that were willing to work together by pooling their limited resources, with a view to generating a critical mass that could more effectively support their limited, but growing numbers of researchers. Underlying the approach was the conviction that they could leverage their resources effectively for additional resources from outside. ARUA is currently pursuing this vision through its thirteen (13) CoEs that vary across various science and non-science disciplines.

1.2  About the Carnegie Corporation of New York 

The Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of the United States of America’s oldest grant making foundations established by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered to be of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of democracy. The Corporation supports four key programme areas, including Education, Democracy, International Peace and Security, and Higher Education and Research in Africa.

2.  Background

ARUA has established thirteen (13) Centres of Excellence (CoEs), across various disciplines, to support its vision. These CoEs reflect the current priority areas of ARUA, and they are expected to significantly enhance research and graduate training. Currently, the CoEs are organised as follows: (i) Energy, (ii) Unemployment and Skills Development, (iii) Noncommunicable Diseases, (iv) Inequalities Research, (v) Notion of Identity in Africa, (vi) Migration and Mobility, (vii) Sustainable Food Systems, (viii) Urbanization and Habitable Cities, (ix) Climate and Development, (x) Good Governance, (xi) Post-Conflict Societies, (xii) Water and (xiii) Materials, Energy & Nanotechnology (MEN).

To support the activities of these Centres, ARUA is announcing an Early Career Research Fellowship that is expected to last for a period of 6-months. During this period, prospective research fellows are expected to stay at the hub university of the respective CoE and conduct research related to their existing projects. Successful Candidates may also explore new lines of research with the approval of the Centre’s Director. Prospective candidates are encouraged to visit the ARUA website as well as those of the 13 CoEs to familiarize themselves with their ongoing research projects.

ARUA views this Early Career Research Fellowship as critical to consolidating the progress made by the CoEs, which aligns with the main goals of the network. ARUA, therefore, seeks to use this opportunity to enhance the relevance of postgraduate training for early career researchers.

3.  Roles and Responsibilities of the Research Fellow

The key roles and responsibilities of the research fellow are as follows:

  • Work with other researchers to undertake various relevant studies at the Centre under the guidance of an assigned mentor.
  • Write and publish at least one (1) academic paper in high-impact journals, with accompanying policy briefs or blog posts.
  • Deliver at least one (1) presentation and participate in technical workshops with fellow researchers and other stakeholders.
  • Assist in creating and bolstering new partnerships between the respective Centre of Excellence and other relevant research and innovation units.
  • Assist in disseminating research findings for the Centre.

4.  Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must have a PhD and be within 5 years of completing their PhD in a discipline/sub-discipline related to the thematic area of the relevant Centre of Excellence.
  • Applicants should be full-time faculty members at an ARUA University, 
  • Applicants should have a highly competitive track-record relevant to the opportunity (at least one publication in an internationally recognized peer reviewed journal since completing their PhD or evidence of obtaining post-doctoral funding) 
  • Applicants should exhibit interest in developing a strong international standing and research reputation through international collaborations.
  • Applicants must be available to spend 6 months away from their home university and be able to return to the home institution.
  • Eligible women are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Preference will be given to Candidates who are already working on projects/papers related to any of the focus areas of the ARUA CoEs and need some time off to complete them

5.  Contract and Remuneration

Successful candidates will be contracted by ARUA for a period of 6-months (July – December 2022). The research fellowship shall provide a monthly stipend of US$2,000, travel and limited logistical support for research. The host CoE will provide the Research Fellow with office space.

6.  Application Process

To apply for this research fellowship, please submit the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of Purpose, indicating clearly the ARUA CoE of interest (five hundred words)
  • Names and addresses of two academic referees.
  • Letter of support from applicant’s permanent/home institution

The selection of the successful candidate shall be done by the Director of the indicated Centre of interest in consultation with the host institution’s Deputy Vice Chancellor. Applications should be submitted by email to the Secretary-General of ARUA ( ; not later than 15th May 2022. Successful candidates shall be contacted by May 31st, 2022 and expected to begin the fellowship on the 1st of July 2022