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AfricaLics Ph.D. Academy 2023 on Innovation and Competence Building Systems

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Ifeoma Chuks
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Applications are now open for the 9th AfricaLics Ph.D. Academy! Apply below.

Application Deadline: 31st March 2023  23:00 hours East Africa time

About the Award: AfricaLics is part of the worldwide research network, The Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (Globelics). The purpose of the 7th AfricaLics Ph.D. Academy is to support the training of African Doctoral students engaged in research in the academic field of ‘innovation and development’. This is a multidisciplinary field which includes researchers from a range of disciplines often studying innovation studies, the economics of innovation, innovation management, technology management, science and technology studies.

Students and faculty working in the field of innovation and development and principally interested in how innovation relates to economic and social development in Africa are the main target group for the PhD Academy, but the Academy also aims to stimulate awareness of policy and management issues related to this burgeoning field of research.

The AfricaLics network, hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies, is an academic research and capacity building network that focuses on how innovation (the process through which new or improved products, processes, organizational forms, ways of working and acting are introduced into new environments) occurs and the relationship this has with economic and social development in African countries.  Such research is becoming known as African ‘innovation and development studies’ because it is at the intersection of innovation studies and development studies.

The 9th AfricaLics PhD Academy provides an opportunity for PhD students enrolled at African universities who work in the field of innovation and development studies to gain more knowledge of this burgeoning field, meet leading academics in this field and receive feedback on their PhD studies.

The 9th AfricaLics PhD Academy will be held as an online event in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

This is a call for students enrolled in a PhD at an African university who work in the field of innovation and development studies to apply to participate in this one-week online event.

Design of the Academy

The Academy will invite frontier researchers in the field of innovation and development from around the world to provide lectures and mentor students.  The Academy also provides opportunities for PhD students to share their work and learn new skills. As such, the Academy is made up of the following activities:

  • Lectures by senior researchers on areas ranging from research methodologies to the latest theories and empirical research in the fields of innovation, innovation management and science policy.
  • Presentations by doctoral students of their work with feedback from the senior scholars facilitating at the event.
  • Sessions focused on enabling interaction between students, practitioners and policy makers on innovation and development issues
  • Sessions that focus on key skills that students need to complete their PhD and become successful academic researchers such as publishing or project management skills

The language of the Academy will predominantly be English.

Type: Fellowship

Eligibility: PhD students working in innovation and development studies and who are principally interested in how innovation relates to economic and social development in Africa are the main target group for the PhD Academy.

The Academy will involve around 20-25 students from Africa and a handful of students from the rest of the world.

Specifically, PhD students who wish to participate will need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • be at least in the beginning of his/her second year at the time of the academy
  • work explicitly on issues related to policy-oriented analysis of science, technology and innovation
  • be able to present an original paper reflecting his/her research and/or thesis work that fits within the thematic areas of the AfricaLics network

If you are in doubt as to whether you can apply, please contact us through the email address at the bottom of the call.

We will have a limited number of places open to master’s students.  These selected students will be granted observer status i.e. can attend but will not present their work. 

Master degree students who wish to participate will need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • be a registered Masters student in an African university on a degree programme in the area of economics, business or management studies, sociology or development studies or similar
  • have a Masters project that will focus on an aspect of innovation studies (i.e. innovation management or innovation systems)

To improve diversity in the emerging academic community on innovation and development studies research in Africa, we encourage female scholars and those from low-income countries to apply.


All extended abstracts will be reviewed by at least two senior scholars from a review panel made up of members of the AfricaLics Scientific Board, AfricaLics Secretariat and the host University.

Selection will be made based on academic quality of extended abstracts as well as on the basis of criteria aimed at promoting diversity (by location, gender etc.).  Selection criteria for AfricaLics events are published on the AfricaLics website:  

Successful applicants will be notified by 21st April 2023 of their acceptance to the Academy.

Eligible Countries: African countries

To be Taken at (Country): The 7th AfricaLics Ph.D. Academy on Innovation and Competence Building Systems will be held online and hosted by the University of Gondar, Ethiopia and the AfricaLics Secretariat.

Number of Awards: 20-25.

Value of Award: The Programme will be held online.

How to Apply: PhD students who apply must submit an extended abstract of their PhD thesis of not more than 5 pages.

Masters students who apply must submit an extended abstract of their Masters project of not more than 2 pages.

The abstract must be submitted together with the applicant’s CV and a recommendation letter from the principal PhD/ Master’s supervisor or a senior scholar who knows the applicant’s work.

These three documents should be sent to the AfricaLics Secretariat ( on or before 23:00 hours East Africa time on Friday 31st March 2023.

Format of abstracts

Abstracts should be typed double-spaced in French or in English with font size 12. The abstract must include the following sections:

  1. Background and literature review of theory to be used in addressing research questions
  2. The research objectives or research questions
  3. Methodology including the data collection and analysis techniques to be used,
  4. Expected contribution to academia and policy discussions.
  5. References

Please also make it clear in your application if you are preparing a thesis by publication or manuscript/ monograph thesis.

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

Visit Award Webpage for Details


  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

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This post was last modified on March 16, 2023 1:06 pm