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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



CODESRIA National Working Groups: Call for 2014 Proposals

Deadline: 31 May, 2014

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). Through this mechanism, it 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, 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. 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. 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.

In line with the retention of NWGs as important instruments for promoting research, publication and the exchange of knowledge on important national issues in Africa by CODESRIA’s 2012-2016 strategic plan, the Council invites proposals for the constitution of NWGs under its 2014 grants competition. The Council particularly desires proposals that seek to weld structured empirical research into innovative theoretical reflections on important national issues.

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.

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:

- 1. Clearly state and contextualize the questions that will be addressed;
- 2. Not exceed 12 pages (font: Times New Roman; font size: 12; line spacing: double)
- 3. Explore relevant hypothesis and/or review relevant literature, including that produced by the local research community;
- 4. Discuss the research method(s), which will be employed in the study;
- 5. Spell out the theoretical and practical significance of the work.
- 6. List group members, their institutional affiliation, email address and phone numbers
- 7. Provide a clear work plan including dates for the inauguration and finalisation of the work that would be undertaken;
- 8. Specify strategies for anchoring the activities of the group within an African university, or an African research network or centre;
- 9. 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) methodological workshop to launch the NWG; 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.

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

All proposals for CODESRIA’s 2014 NWG competition should be sent electronically to CODESRIA at nwg@codesria.sn by 31 May, 2014 at the latest. All proposals received will undergo an independent review process and successful applicants will be informed by 31 July, 2014. Kindly use the subject line NWG 2014 in your email.

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
E-Mail: nwg@codesria.sn
Website: https://codesria.org

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