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

CODESRIA National Working Groups: Call for 2015 Proposals

Deadline: 15 March 2015

Number of visits: 5139

One of the most important vehicles that CODESRIA uses to mobilise national-level research capacities and channel them into organised reflections has been the National Working Groups (NWGs) Programme. Through this mechanism the Council encourages African researchers to autonomously organise and pursue research on priority themes of their choice. NWGs have been supported by the Council in over forty African countries and have resulted in some of the most interesting studies on politics, the economy and society in contemporary Africa. To better complement research institutions in Africa, the Council now requires the systematic anchorage of NWGs in university departments, faculties, and research centres as well as independent research networks and centres. All NWG proposals submitted to CODESRIA have, since 2007, been required to demonstrate this institutional anchorage and budget for an end-of-study dissemination workshop. Further, to promote the involvement of wider communities in knowledge production and consumption, the Council also now provides resources for the dissemination of the work produced by NWG to national audiences in the countries in which studies are undertaken. Applicants are requested to include a line for such dissemination in their budgets.

CODESRIA invites proposals for the constitution of NWGs under its 2015 grants competition. The Council particularly desires proposals that seek to weld structured empirical research into innovative theoretical reflections on important national issues. Winning proposals will be funded for a strict 15-month period during which work should be completed. On account of this strict timelines, past experience by researchers in their area of chosen work and ongoing work on projects proposed that indicate a high likelihood of completion within 15 months will be added advantages.

NWG sizes vary over time and space but most of the groups sponsored by CODESRIA in the past have had between five and seven members. It is advantageous to ensure that a proposed NWG is multidisciplinary in composition, sensitive to gender issues both in its composition and research concerns, and accommodating of younger scholars who might simultaneously benefit from being mentored through their participation in the research project.

NWG applications packages should contain the elements below. Packages lacking any of these will be discarded in the initial sorting process before applications are sent to the Council’s independent review committee.

-  Cover letter: This one-page document should introduce the proposed work of the group, list all group members including their institutional affiliation, email addresses and phone numbers and indicate the coordinator of the group.

-  CVs: CVs of all group members detailing their full contact information and institutional affiliation should

-  Completed identification form: the attached identification form must be fully completed

Proposal: NWG proposals can focus on any topic that explores the economy, politics, culture, environment and society in any African country and should:

-  Clearly state and contextualize the questions that will be addressed; be 10 pages long (font: Times New Roman; font size: 12; line spacing: double);
-  Explore relevant hypothesis and/or review relevant literature, including that produced by the; local research community;
-  Discuss the research method(s), which will be employed in the study; Spell out the theoretical and practical significance of the work;
-  Provide a clear work plan including dates for the inauguration and finalisation of the work that would be undertaken;
-  Specify strategies for anchoring the activities of the group within an African university, or an African research network or centre;
-  Provide a letter signed by the responsible of the Institution;
-  Indicate a strategy for the dissemination of the results of the work of the group;
-  Include an outline budget for the realisation of the research project.

While grants to NWGs vary, recent grants have ranged between USD7, 500 and USD20, 000. Also, while no particular format is prescribed for the presentation of the budget of an NWG, it is recommended that budgets cater for the following: A) methodology workshop to launch groups; B) mid-term review workshop to assess the progress of the work of the NWG; C) final/dissemination workshop where the results of the work of the group will be presented to a wider audience; D) The cost associated with field or archival work undertaken by group members; E) The honoraria of group members; and F) Books that might be purchased by the group and that will be lodged in the library of a designated African university, established research network or centre.

All proposals for CODESRIA’s 2015 NWG competition should be sent electronically to CODESRIA at by 15 March, 2015 at the latest. All proposals received will undergo an independent review process and successful applicants will be informed by 20 April, 2015. Kindly use the subject line NWG 2015 in your email to ensure your application does not get lost.

CODESRIA National Working Groups Programme,
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop x Canal IV
BP 3304, CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal.
Tel: +221-33 825 98 22/23
Fax: +221-33 824 12 89