Skip to main content

Early-Career Research Fellowships 2023

8th June 2023

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 (ECRs) Fellows to undertake globally competitive research at the ARUA Centres of Excellence (CoEs).

The goal is to strengthen the capacity of ECRs 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 leading universities from different African countries with different historical backgrounds but a common vision. The vision is to make African researchers and institutions globally competitive while contributing significantly to the generation of knowledge for the socio-economic transformation of the continent. Right from inception, the network was intended to be different from any other regional university network in Africa. The difference was to come largely 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 pursuing this vision through its thirteen (13) CoEs across various 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 of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of democracy. The Corporation supports four key program areas, including Education, Democracy, International Peace and Security, and Higher Education and Research in Africa

2. Background to ECR Fellowships

The ARUA CoEs operate on a ‘Hub’ and ‘Spoke’ institution basis. The ‘Spoke’ institutions are organized around the ‘Hub’.  The CoEs reflect the current priority areas of the network, and they are expected to significantly enhance research and graduate training. Currently, the CoEs are organized as follows:

  • Energy,
  • Unemployment and Skills Development,
  • Non-Communicable Diseases,
  • Inequality Research,
  • Notions of Identity in Africa,
  • Migration and Mobility,
  • Sustainable Food Systems,
  • Urbanization and Habitable Cities,
  • Climate and Development,
  • Good Governance,
  • Post-Conflict Societies,
  • Water and
  • Materials, Energy & Nanotechnology (MEN).

To support the activities of these Centres, ARUA is announcing a residential Early Career Research Fellowship opportunity with a duration of 12 months. During this period, prospective research fellows are expected to stay at the ‘Hub’ university of the relevant CoE and conduct research related to their existing projects. It is possible for the prospective fellow to be stationed at a ‘Spoke’ university of the CoE based on a recommendation from the Centre Director and so far as this ‘Spoke’ university is not the same as the home university of the applicant. Applicants are encouraged to suggest preferred locations and possible mentors/supervisors.

Successful applicants may explore new lines of research with the approval of the Centre Director. Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the ARUA website as well as those of the 13 CoEs to familiarize themselves with their ongoing research projects.

For prospective fellows interested in the ARUA CoE in Climate and Development, applications in the following research areas are strongly encouraged: (i) Ecosystem-based adaptation, (ii) Coastal climate change impacts and/or adaptation, (iii) National climate policy development and implementation, just energy transitions, (iv) Climate governance and (v) Climate change attribution and/or loss and damage.

ARUA views this ECR Fellowship as critical to consolidating the progress being made by the CoEs, which aligns with the main vision of the network. ARUA, therefore, seeks to use this opportunity to enhance the relevance of postgraduate training for early career researchers at its member universities.

3. Roles and Responsibilities of a 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 a minimum of two (2) academic papers in high-impact journals, with accompanying policy briefs or blog posts.
  • Deliver at least two (2) presentations 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 bodies.
  • Assist in disseminating research findings of the Centre.

4. Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must have a PhD in a discipline/sub-discipline related to the thematic area of the Centre of Excellence
  • Applicants must be within 5 years of completing their PhD
  • Applicants must be willing to travel to the CoE location
  • Applicants should be young faculty members at or associated with an ARUA University
  • Applicants should have a highly competitive track record relevant to the opportunity and be willing to develop a strong international standing and research reputation
  • Applicants must be able to spend 12 months away from their home university and be able to return to their home institution
  • Applicants must have readily available data to accomplish the main activities, commitments and responsibilities during the fellowship
  • Eligible women are strongly encouraged to apply for these positions.

5. Contract and Remuneration

Successful candidates will receive a grant award from ARUA for a period of 12 months. The research fellowship shall provide a monthly stipend of US$2,000, along with support for travel to and from the host CoE. Fellows will also receive reasonable support from ARUA for accommodation. There may be limited financial support for research at the host institution (but not for data collection). 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:

  • An introductory letter to express interest in Fellowship
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A brief introduction to the proposed research (not more than 1,000 words)
  • Names and addresses of two academic referees.
  • Letter of support from applicant’s home institution

The selection of the successful candidates shall be done by the Director of the Centre to which the application is directed, in consultation with the host institution’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Applications should be submitted via the submission portal no later than 20th July 2023.

Successful candidates shall be contacted by 31st August 2023 and will be expected to begin the fellowship on 1st October 2023.