Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

Call for Applications: 2015 Small Grants Programme for Thesis Writing


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The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce the twenty-sixth session of its Small Grants Programme for Thesis Writing. The grants serve as part of the Council’s contribution to the development of the social sciences in Africa, and the continuous renewal and strengthening of research capacities in African universities, through the funding of primary research conducted by graduate and postgraduate students. Hence, candidates whose applications are successful are encouraged to use the resources provided under the grants to cover the cost of their fieldwork, the acquisition of books and documents, the processing of data which they have collected and the printing of their theses/dissertations. As the Council is strongly committed to encouraging African researchers to engage one another on a sustained basis, recipients of the small grants will also be supported to order books and journals produced by African scholarly publishers, including CODESRIA itself. They will also be encouraged to apply for participation in CODESRIA research methodology workshops.

ELIGIBILITY: The CODESRIA Small Grants Programme is opened to students currently registered in African universities, and preparing their research in all social science fields and other disciplines involving social or economic analysis. Preference is given to PhD and Master students.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Grants are awarded solely on merit, that is, on the strength of each individual application received by CODESRIA. All applicants are required to use the application forms designed by CODESRIA which is made available along with this announcement. The application forms can also be downloaded from the CODESRIA website ( In filling out the forms, applicants are requested to bear the following guidelines in mind.

- Research proposal: The research proposal should be based on an innovative problematic which sets out the originality of the theme in relation to on-going research in the same area. Candidates’ research proposals should each contain a clear statement of the research hypotheses, a critical review of the existing literature, the methodology to be used, the expected results of the work, and a detailed work plan and timetable.

- Budget: Applicants should present a detailed budget with expenses clearly linked to specific phases of their research. The budget should not exceed USD 5,000 for PhD and USD 3000 for Masters. Only trips for fieldwork in the country in which the research is actually conducted are funded under this grant.

- Statement of institutional support: A statement is required from each applicant’s institution of affiliation, giving approval to the proposed research and an assurance of continued institutional support throughout the preparation of the thesis/dissertation. This should be done on the institution’s letterhead and must carry the official stamp. Contact details of the officer issuing the statement must also be included. CODESRIA will contact him if necessary.

- Letters of reference: Two letters of reference must accompany each application, one from the thesis/dissertation supervisor, assessing the applicant’s research proposal and abilities; and the other from a faculty member, assessing the applicant in relation to other graduate students, and commenting on the scientific merit and validity of the proposed research. Contact details of the thesis or dissertation supervisor must be included in the letter of reference.

- Curriculum vitae: Applicants must include their current curriculum vitae which, among other things, indicates their discipline and nationality, and provides a list of their recent publications and on-going research activities.

Please note that any application submitted without a duly completed application form will automatically be dismissed.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The deadline for the receipt of applications is Wednesday 15th April, 2015. An independent selection committee will meet in Dakar from 4 to 8 May 2015 to review the applications received. The results of their deliberations will be announced shortly after. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered.

All applications should be submitted electronically to:

For specific questions, please contact:
The Small Grants Programme for Thesis Writing
BP 3304, CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal
Tel.: +221-33 825 98.22/23
Fax: +221-33 824 12.89