West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) Next Generation Research Fellowship 2020

The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) with the support from Ford Foundation and Rockdale Foundation is inviting applications to its maiden research fellowship programme which aims to promote leadership and governance for civil society in West Africa.

Application Deadline: 31st January 2020

Eligible Countries: West African countries

About the Award: The goal of the research fellowship is to offer young researchers with the dire opportunities to document indigenous practices on civil society sustainability, women and youth leadership, technology for development and enabling environment for civil society in West Africa. This will be done by creating spaces for interaction between relevant stakeholders, including decision-makers, development practitioners, CSO leaders and their constituents.

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Specific objectives of the research fellowship are to:

  • Identify and nurture early career academics who have demonstrated leadership potential and/or an interest in the development sector in West Africa;
  • Support fellows to apply the acquired skills to conduct research that is relevant to the development of their careers and increase their impact on the community;
  • Increase indigenous knowledge production on civil society issues that will better inform development agenda and planning;
  • Build a community of practice (CoP) spanning across disciplinary boundaries, with academia, civil society actors and other stakeholders in West Africa to exchange ideas, opportunities and solution to advance the development agenda in the region.

Type: Fellowship


  • The fellowship is open to all young researchers from West Africa. Other young researchers who are not from the region but are interested in understanding and documenting civil society praxis in West Africa can be considered.
  • Interested in working on civil society issues or in the development sector.
  • Students have already started or expect to complete a research master’s or PhD degree.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong analytical skills and the ability to perform independent research.
  • WACSI highly encourages female applicants to apply.
  • Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The more important is to have an interest in development work in West Africa.

Number of Awardees: Not specified

Value of Fellowship: Interested applicants should be able and ready to cover all costs related to the fellowship. Applicants should be able to mobilise the resources to cover costs related to their travel to and from Accra, accommodation and living expenses while in Accra for the agreed period of the fellowship.

Active participation in this fellowship offers aspiring academicians or fellows with a keen interest in civil society access to a wide range of benefits to help successfully conduct their research or engage in a knowledge documentation project. The findings from the research and the general experience of the fellows will be used to promote good practices in West Africa. They will provide the necessary data and information as evidence for informed policymaking in the region.

During the research fellowship, candidates can get a wealth of opportunities and it gives students skills and knowledge to better plan for or advance their future careers.

Fellows will also have other opportunities and benefits such as:

  • A certificate of completion;
  • At least one WACSeries publication;
  • Official recommendation from WACSI;
  • Free access to WACSI’s rich civil society resource centre;
  • Improved English-language skills (for French speaking participants);
  • Become a member of a regional network of research fellows in the non-profit sector; • A creative and stimulating professional environment for the students;
  • Intercultural working experience with professionals from different West African countries;
  • Networking events and building of strong relationships with seasoned development partners;
  • Visibility of the fellow as his/her work will be disseminated to development actors and partners in West Africa and beyond;
  • Cross-disciplinary exposure and experience in knowledge management, capacity development, policy advocacy and influencing, monitoring, evaluation and learning from the work of WACSI’s respective Units.

Duration of Fellowship:Fellows can spend between 3 to 6 months at the Institute. This will be based on the alignment of the fellowship goals with
the student’s current academic, career and research interests.
However, applications will be considered on a rolling basis and
applicants will be selected on a case by case basis each year.

How to Apply: If you wish to be considered for the fellowship, apply by submitting the following:

  • An application letter clearly stating your career, academic and research goals as well as the period you will like to start the internship. Candidates are encouraged to specify their preferred start dates if known. Candidates must specify their research interests in the application letter;
  • One article (published or unpublished); and
  • A curriculum vitae.

All applications should be sent to WACSI: [email protected]. org and [email protected]. WACSI’s Knowledge Management Unit will provide close supervision to the research fellows throughout the fellowship period.

Visit Fellowship Webpage for details

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