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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



African Diaspora Support to African Universities Program: Visiting professorships in the humanities and social sciences

Deadline: 15th September 2015

Call for Proposals

Under its newly launched African Diaspora Support to African Universities program, the Council for the Development of Social Science research in Africa (CODESRIA), is pleased to invite interested African scholars in the Diaspora to submit proposals for visiting professorships to African Universities.

The Program seeks to mobilize the African academic Diaspora to support African
universities and to strengthen the linkages between African academics in the Diaspora and African universities. The visiting professorships are meant for African academics in the Diaspora who are willing to contribute to the strengthening of African universities, the nurturing of new generations of scholars in Africa in a culture of excellence, and the revitalization of the social sciences, higher education studies, and the humanities. The specific objectives of the program include the strengthening of PhD programs and the curricula in the social sciences, and the humanities (SSH), and related fields; contribute to the filling of gaps and dealing with shortages of qualified teaching staff; PhD supervision and mentoring of young social science scholars in Africa, more generally; as well as in strengthening the relationships and linkages between African academics in the Diaspora and the institutions where they are based with African universities.

There is an acute shortage of qualified academic staff in many African universities both for teaching and for PhD supervision, particularly with the creation of hundreds of new public and private universities. The consequences of this shortage include the lack of capacity in most of the social science and humanities departments and schools in African universities to organize quality postgraduate programs and conduct research. In some instances, capacity for postgraduate supervision is weak and doctoral and masters’ students take longer to complete their programs due to a lack or shortage of qualified supervisors and mentors.

On the other hand, the existence of a large African academic Diaspora has been
documented in numerous studies. Many of these scholars are willing to lend a hand in the revitalization of universities in their home countries or elsewhere in Africa. Other highly qualified academics are circulating outside the universities, within Africa itself, and it would be important to have an initiative that taps into the knowledge and skills they have.

Therefore, one effective way to address the shortage of qualified senior academic staff and PhD supervision capacity in African universities is to mobilize the academic Diaspora to support universities in Africa. The program will do this through the following strategies;

 Organizing the joint supervision of masters’ and doctoral students in the SSH;
 Facilitating the review and further development of curricula in the SSH;
 Organizing the sharing of course outlines and relevant literature, and the
introduction of new teaching methods
 Enabling Diaspora academics to take up short‐term teaching engagements at African universities, as part of their sabbaticals;
 Establishing a College of Mentors of early career academics in African universities, including through joint research and publications
 Enabling Diaspora academics and senior African scholars to serve as external
examiners in each other’s university departments
 Enabling Diaspora academics to serve as directors and resource persons in the
various research and training networks that CODESRIA will undertake as part of the
proposed initiative.
 Organizing experience‐sharing / training workshops for PhD advisors, as well as
summer schools for advanced doctoral and post‐doctoral students and early career
 Facilitating the hosting of Diaspora academics by African universities

The Visiting Professorships

Diaspora academics will visit African universities for durations varying from 15 days of stay to 3 months; the African universities hosting them provide accommodation, or help them rent apartments at reasonable rates. The visiting professors are expected to participate in activities such as: Curriculum review and development

 Sharing course modules and relevant literature
 Mentoring and co‐supervision of doctoral students (a College of Mentors)
 Summer Institutes
 Advanced workshops for PhD advisors based at African universities

This particular call targets African scholars in the Diaspora who are interested to be
considered for visiting professorships at African universities. The duration of the visiting professorship should be between two weeks and three months. Visiting professors are expected to teach courses in the social sciences and humanities participate in the review of curricula, advice masters and doctoral students, and participate in faculty and / or doctoral school seminars.

The visiting professorships should cover at least one of the following countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. African Diaspora academicswithin African universities (academics working in countries and institutions outside their countries are especially encouraged to apply).


Interested academics and researchers of the African academic Diaspora who are willing and able to devote a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of three months at a university located in an African country are invited to submit applications. African scholars who are based in countries other than their own and are willing to visit other African countries are also invited to apply. Applicants wishing to visit one of the countries listed above are encouraged to do so. Prospective visiting Diaspora academics should get in touch with the host university/department to agree on details of the relevant assignment they will be engaged in during the tenure of their visit. This information should be included as part of the proposal submitted for consideration.

African universities wishing to host visiting professors from the African Diaspora are also invited apply. Where the prospective visitor has not yet been identified, the applying university should indicate how they intend to identify the visiting professor, and whether they need assistance from CODESRIA in the identification of suitable candidates.

Application Requirements

a) A Proposal: Each proposal should be between 10 and 15 pages, clearly highlighting the issue(s) to be pursued. It should include: an introduction, problem statement, literature review, objectives of the study, research methodology and the results anticipated from the study.

b) Work Outline: A detailed outline and time frame should be provided for each of the
proposed activities, bearing in mind that the duration of the grant is 18 months from the date the grant is awarded.

c) Budget: Applicants are required to provide a detailed budget – up to a maximum of USD 18,000 – which includes the fieldwork, travel and subsistence costs they expect to incur throughout the duration of the grant.

d) Reference Letters: Each proposal should be accompanied by reference letters for each of the network members from the dean of the candidate’s faculty, confirming his /her institutional affiliation and an attestation to the applicant/s capacity to undertake the work if awarded the grant.

e) Curriculum Vitae: Each proposal should be accompanied by detailed curriculum vitae, of the applicants showing clearly the candidate’s publications and research undertakings.

f) An identified host or Partner University and collaborating African scholars based at the university to be visited.

g) Commitment Letter: A one‐page letter is expected from the university that will be
hosting the visiting scholar, affirming readiness to host the visiting scholar, specifying the subjects that will be taught, as well as the services that, as the host university, they will be providing . The expected outputs also need to be specified.

h) Specification of time lines: when the proposed visit will take place, as well as the
duration of the visit.

Application Deadlines

Completed application documents should be received by 15th September 2015. All
applications should be addressed to:

African Diaspora Support to African Universities
Avenue Cheikh Anta diop X canal IV
Dakar, Senegal
Tel: +221338259822/23
Fax: +221338241289
Email: diaspora.visiting@codesria.sn

The Program is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and by CODESRIA’s core funders. African universities that are interested in hosting African scholars in the Diaspora, and in participating in the program in other ways, and African scholars who are willing to contribute to the success of the initiative are invited to contact CODESRIA at the above address.

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