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China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-CARI) 2020 Fellowship Program

The China Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-CARI) announces a call for the 2020 round of applications to the SAIS- CARI Fellows program.

Application Deadline: 31st March 2020

About the Award: 2020 Theme – Chinese Loan-Based Development Finance: What the Data Can and Can’t Tell Us

In April of 2020 SAIS-CARI will launch an interactive database on China-Africa loans. This will make easily accessible all of the individual loan data collected by CARI, including information on country, sector, purpose, value, current status, lender, borrower, and type of finance. In this round of fellowships, we are looking for proposals that focus on our China-Africa loan data.

Themes of particular interest include:

  • Quantitative data analysis to test hypotheses about causal relationships regarding Chinese lending to Africa;
  • Case studies: unpacking the story behind particularly notable Chinese loans, including commodity-secured lending packages;
  • Comparative case studies: Chinese lending compared with non-Chinese lending;
  • The role of Chinese lenders in PPP projects and joint ventures.

Possible research questions include:

  • What commonly-held beliefs regarding Chinese loan-based development finance are either confirmed or dispelled by the data?
  • What is the role of Chinese lenders and contractors in the growing prevalence of PPP-structured infrastructure projects in Africa, and how does this affect our analysis of sovereign debt?
  • What is the role of Chinese banks in syndicated loans to Africa?
  • How do commercial loans from Chinese policy banks differ from commercial loans from private banks?
  • What causal relationships can be identified by analyzing CARI’s loan data?
  • What is the start to finish process behind proposals to Chinese lenders to loan disbursements? I.e. How does a Chinese loan go from FOCAC commitment to signed loan agreement?
  • What is the role of contractors in extending loan financing?

Type: Fellowship

Selection Criteria: SAIS-CARI Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis or by invitation to researchers, policy-makers, or journalists who wish to carry out research and write about an under-explored issue on China-Africa engagement related to this year’s theme.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award:

  • Applicants may apply to conduct desk-based research and/or fieldwork, either by spending time in the field conducting new research in China or Africa, or by spending a few weeks at SAIS, leveraging CARI resources – including our extensive proprietary data on Chinese loans, our China Africa faculty, and our location. Applicants are expected to have relevant language skills for their projects.
  • Grants may range from $2,000 for desk-based projects to $9,000 for projects including fieldwork (max. of $7,000 per individual, $9,000 per two-person team). Fieldwork expenses may include economy flight(s), accommodation and meals, local transportation, and other reasonable research costs. The research and drafting period will be from July 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to produce a working paper (of approximately 10,000 words) for the SAIS-CARI working paper series and/or a policy brief (of no more than 2,000 words) for the SAIS-CARI policy brief series; author guidelines for these will be distributed once Research Fellows are selected. All grantees will also be strongly encouraged to submit their findings to peer-reviewed journals.
  • Grantees may be invited to present their research at SAIS-CARI’s 2021 data symposium; travel & accommodation for the conference will be separate from these research grants.

How to Apply:

  • It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.
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Visit Award Webpage for Details