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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Call for Proposals: Support to Doctoral schools, Re-building scholarly infrastructures and academic communities in the Social Sciences and Humanities in African Universities

Application Deadline: 15 June 2017

With funding support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA, is pleased to announce a call for proposals for a new intervention targeting support to doctoral schools and rebuilding scholarly communities in the social sciences and humanities in African universities. The initiative carries forward CODESRIA’s work in strengthening the institutional bases for knowledge production in the social sciences and humanities in African universities. This particular call rhymes with the council’s 2017- 2021 strategic plan that focuses on ‘Reaching New Frontiers in Social Research and Knowledge Production for African Transformation and Development’.


This ‘call for proposals’ is part of CODESRIA’s efforts to reposition and strengthen research and teaching of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) In African universities. The overall goal is to engender a generation of academics and knowledge that can enable the people of the continent critically (re) imagine and (re) create better, freer, more sustainable, and more inclusive communities and worlds. CODESRIA beliefs that focusing these efforts on doctoral schools and supporting efforts at rebuilding scholarly communities in the institutions through such interventions as academic seminars and journals, writing workshops and publications outlets, would potentially result to recreating the culture of academic excellence that the institutions need to meet these expectations.

Established in 1973, CODESRIA is a Pan-African organization dedicated to contributing to development in Africa by promoting research on some of the most fundamental questions through the prism of the humanities and social sciences. CODESRIA seeks to magnify the voices of African and Diaspora scholars in the HSS on the most important questions in African life through support for research, training, publication, dissemination and advocacy. In doing this CODESRIA seeks to act as a strategic partner for higher education institutions and research centers in Africa as well as policy actors and practitioners engaging with important issues on the continent that can benefit from sound knowledge.

The SSH in higher education institutions in Africa have had a troubled past in their search to be anchored within the institutions. In the first and second decades that most universities in Africa were established, the disciplines sought for space both in terms of creating an indigenous African academic community and a relevant curriculum that articulated with the political and socio-economic development imperatives in the African continent. It did help the course of the SSH in the nascent institutions that in terms of their pedagogical and epistemological orientations, they provided platforms upon which the quest for political independence and self- determination of African countries, and their subsequent search for development blueprints after independence were based. The funding crisis that the institutions faced in the 1980s and the subsequent decline witnessed in the 1990s left the status of the SSH in a precarious position. Currently, the SSH disciplines face underfunding related to widespread neo-liberal arguments that what Africa needs for its development are the STEM disciplines. Institutions continue underfunding infrastructures in the SSH, students enrollments have gone down and infrastructures for the production of the next generation of social scientists and humanities scholars are barely adequate.

Proposals to be supported under this call are those to be submitted by individual/ groups of graduate/doctoral schools, SSH faculties, including research and teaching units dealing with higher education studies. Proposals should focus on one of the following activities:
• Support for strengthening of the administrative aspects of graduate schools including issues to do with curricular reform, doctoral student supervision practices and mentoring of faculty in graduate supervision, 

• Interventions to rebuild/recreate scholarly infrastructures and academic communities in the SSH through holding faculty seminars, strengthening faculty journals and conferences, systems to recreate strong workshop and seminar cultures, etc. 

• Support for scholarly writing and academic publishing workshops especially targeting doctoral students and early career academics.
Proposals submitted should include the following: 

• A 10-page concept proposal outlining the activity to be supported; how it will be organized, if it will be jointly organized with doctoral schools/faculties from other institutions, the number of participants targeted and how it fits into the institution’s overall academic plan and CODESRIA’s strategy as outlined in this call, and overall outputs and outcomes expected from the activity. It will also be important to show how the institution intends to sustain such activities on an annual basis. 

• A forwarding letter from a senior institutional administrator and another from the Dean of the school/faculty proposing to host the activity; 

• A detailed budget indicating the amount of funding required for organizing the activity. An indication of any support from the institution to support the activity proposed will be important.
• The duration of the activity (CODESRIA will support activities lasting from 5- 10 working days) and hosted within institutional environments.
Once selected, CODESRIA will liaise with the Deans of the schools selected to appoint a director who will oversee the scientific aspects of the program and make a report to CODESRIA at the end of the activity.
Complete application documents should be sent through electronic mail only to: doctoral.schools@codesria.sn

For further information, please contact:

Support to Doctoral schools and Re-building scholarly communities program
Email: doctoral.schools@codesria.sn
Tel: +221 825 98 21/22/23
Website: https://codesria.org

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