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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



2014 APSA Africa Workshop: Call for Proposals

The American Political Science Association (APSA) is pleased to announce a call for proposals from political scientists interested in serving as co-leaders for the 7th annual APSA Africa Workshop. This two-week political science workshop will take place in July 2014.


Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the 2014 workshop is part of an ongoing multi-year effort to support political science research and teaching in Sub-Saharan Africa through a series of residential political science workshops. Along with APSA’s MENA Workshops program, the Africa Workshops are a major component of APSA’s efforts to engage with political science communities outside the United States and support research networks linking U.S.-based scholars with their colleagues overseas. Previous workshops have been held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (2013); Gaborone, Botswana (2012); Nairobi, Kenya (2011); Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2010); Accra, Ghana (2009); and Dakar, Senegal (2008). More information about the workshops can be found at the project web site: www.apsanet.org/africaworkshops.

Each workshop is led by a team of two US-based and two Africa-based scholars. The two week program is hosted by a university or research institute in Africa and brings together up to 22 Africa-based scholars, as well as four advanced PhD students from US-based universities.

The goals of the workshops are to: (1) enhance the capacities and resources for theoretical or empirical scholarship by political scientists in Africa; (2) explore a compelling intellectual theme underpinning basic research in political science; (3) provide a forum for connecting participants with recent developments in the field; and (4) support participants’ ongoing research and publication.

The proposal must explain the scope of the professional ties between prospective US and Africa-based workshop leaders; preference will be given to teams demonstrating substantial previous research collaboration. Workshop leaders will serve as academic directors of the project who will be responsible for all substantive content.

A modest honorarium will be provided and related expenses (meals, airfare, lodging, incidentals) will be covered. Workshop administration and logistics will be led by APSA staff in conjunction with the local partners in Africa.

Applicants should explain and justify where they would like to implement the workshop and with which host organization and local partners. Local partner organizations will be expected to work closely with APSA on all related administrative and logistical tasks. Partners must have the institutional capacity and ability to support a successful residential workshop, including close linkages to local institutions of higher education and research communities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to recommend local partner organizations only if they have existing relationships or know them well.


Each workshop proposal should be submitted jointly by two US-based APSA members who are interested in co-leading the summer 2014 workshop. Applications should be written in three sections:

I. Workshop Theme Proposal (1-2 pages)

The workshop theme proposal should provide a coherent intellectual foundation from which the substance of the workshop will flow and bind together the syllabus and readings. Any research or substantive theme in political science is welcome, but topics of broad theoretical and methodological interest that reach beyond a specific national, regional, or policy focus are preferred. The proposal should address how the theme and methodological questions to be raised will achieve workshop goals and incorporate new developments in the field and literature.

II. Substantive Leadership of the Workshop (4-5 pages)

In this section, applicants must provide detailed information on the following:

- Naming the two Africa-based workshop leaders (at least one of whom must be based at the proposed institutional partner).
- A specific division of labor among the workshop leaders. For example, if different workshop leaders are to assume responsibility for a particular sections, why? How does that arrangement fit with the overall workshop progression and theme?
- Proposed location and institutional partner—including:

o Specification of, and justification for, a workshop location and local partner organization
o Rationale for workshop location
o Overview of recommended local partner organization and relevant background
o Specification of institutional capacity of recommended local partner organization to host, support, and organize residential workshop for 30 participants—including facilities, staff, and technology
o Explanation of existing ties to and knowledge of local partner organization

- Expectations of participant workloads—including anticipated amounts of reading and other work.
- Commitment to the collective intellectual leadership of the workshop—including devoting sufficient time for:
o comprehensively reviewing all participant applications
o attending weeks of the workshop in residence
o consulting regularly with APSA staff from selection through the end of the workshop
o communicating with applicants in the run-up to the workshop as needed
o contributing to the publication of the online workshop proceedings

III. Supplementary Information (no page limit)

This section of the application should provide:

- Recent CVs for all proposed workshop leaders.
- A discussion of any relevant experience in organizing workshops.
- A draft reading list/syllabus and/or workshop schedule (optional)
- A letter of support from the proposed institutional partner (optional)

Application Timeline and Information

Applications should be submitted electronically to APSA in Word format, 12-point font, double-spaced (except for Section III –Supplementary Information– which can be single spaced) and with 1-inch margins. Send applications to africaworkshops@apsanet.org by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on November 4, 2013. Selections will be announced in December 2013. Prospective leadership teams interested in receiving feedback on their proposal ideas are encouraged to reach out to APSA well before the submission deadline.

Contact Us: Send an email at africaworkshops@apsanet.org, or call Andrew Stinson at (202) 349-9364, if you have questions or would like more information about the workshops or application proces

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