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Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) Fellowship Program 2019 for Early-Career African Researchers

The Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) fellowship program managed by Cornell University in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and other partners announces a call for concept proposals from early-career African researchers seeking to become STAARS fellows in 2019.

Application Deadline: 1st March 2019

Eligible Countries: African countries

About the Award: The STAARS project is a collaboration between Cornell University, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), and the World Bank. The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) established a collaboration agreement with Cornell University to provide technical mentorship and funding support for selected early-career African researchers.

Type: Fellowship, Research


  • The call is open for early-career African researchers, either late stage Ph.D. students or those who completed their Ph.D. in 2014 or later.
  • Researchers must be based and working in Africa, with priority given to proposals relating to the research themes indicated above.
  • Qualified female researchers are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • While a Ph.D. is not mandatory, STAARS encourages fresh Ph.D. graduates who can benefit from a mentorship and additional training.
  • Fellows are expected to complete the proposed project by publishing findings as a working paper and submitting to a peer-reviewed journal by December 15, 2019.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: The fellowship will cover travel and training. STAARS fellows will be paired with mentors at Cornell University with whom they will jointly author a paper on a topic of mutual interest relating to structural transformation in Africa south of the Sahara. PIM will support the publication of resulting research findings in high quality journals and as working papers. In addition, PIM and Cornell will facilitate fellows’ participation in scientific and policy conferences.

How to Apply: 

  • Applicants are required to prepare a maximum 2500 word (5 page) concept proposal, which motivates the selected research issues and objectives, outlines data sources, proposed methodology and contains a convincing plan for completing the project by December 15, 2019. All proposals shall be prepared in English. All proposals will be peer reviewed by experts from PIM and Cornell University.
  • The deadline to submit a concept proposal is March 1st, 2019. Applicants should submit their completed proposal via email to Accepted applicants will be notified in mid-April and are expected to begin remote collaboration with their mentor immediately upon acceptance.

Template for preparation of concept proposal

  1. Completed 2019 STAARS Fellowship Applicant Information Form.
  2. Concept Proposal:
    • Title of the proposed research
    • Targeted country (countries)
    • Introduction and motivation that includes clear statement of research objectives and hypotheses
    • Description of data source(s) and any prior experience working with the proposed data.
    • Proposed methodology
    • If applicable, summarize any preliminary results
    • Proposed timeline for the research
  3. Bibliographic references (not included in the 2500 words)
  4. CV of the applicant (not included in the 2500 words)

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers: Cornell University in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and other partners.

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