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Meaning-making Research Initiatives – Special call for Joint Africa-Diaspora Research Networks: African Diaspora Support to African Universities Program

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    Craig Zelizer
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    Meaning-making Research Initiatives – Special call for Joint Africa-Diaspora Research Networks: African Diaspora Support to African Universities Program

    Application deadline: April 30, 2019

    Questions and Inquiries: submission@codesria.org

    Please cite PCDN as the source of the posting in your application.

     

    Established in 1973, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) promotes research by African and Diaspora scholars in the Social Sciences and Humanities that can contribute to a better understanding of Africa and its place in the world. This is motivated by the belief that sound knowledge of the continent is invaluable to efforts to make Africa a better place for its peoples and societies.

    In 2017 CODESRIA introduced the Meaning-making Research Initiative (MRI) as its principal vehicle for supporting research. Like previous vehicles, MRI will focus on supporting research that contributes to agendas for imagining, planning and shaping African futures. One goal of this move is to increase the legibility and visibility of the research supported by the Council by collapsing previous vehicles into a single initiative for supporting research.

    The adoption of MRI marks a recommitment to the tasks of interpretation and explanation that saw CODESRIA produce ground-breaking work on thematic issues such as democratization and economic reform in Africa. This initiative will reinforce support for researchers. It will also better integrate these scholars into the Council’s work. Further, it will offer scholars more varied ways to present their work, including through books, journal articles and policy interventions.

    Special call for Joint Africa-Diaspora Research Networks

    CODESRIA is placing this special MRI call under the African Diaspora Academic Support to African Universities Program supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). The overall focus of the program is to mobilize the African Academic Diaspora to contribute to strengthening African universities and help nurture a new generation of academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The program seeks to tap into the African Academic Diaspora to help African universities address challenges with providing adequate academic support for doctoral and postdoctoral training in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The rapid expansion and growth of African universities has seen an increased demand for such training that many universities have not been able to meet in an adequate manner. Given the long period needed to build such capacity, attracting Diaspora scholars to help deal with this demand as an intermediary measure is proving increasingly attractive. Roles that they could play include teaching, student supervision, curriculum development, the conduct of workshops and collaboration with faculty and students in research.
    An important challenge remains creating institutional frameworks that facilitate such collaboration and render them beneficial to all parties involved, including African universities, their faculty and students as well as the Diaspora scholars involved and their home institutions. It is in an effort to facilitate such collaboration that CODESRIA, with funding from CCNY seeks to support 8 Meaning-making Research Initiatives, with each comprising of Diaspora faculty on the one hand and faculty and graduate students based in universities in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa on the other hand to conduct research on select themes. The goals of such collaboration are to produce knowledge, establish links for collaborations that outlive these projects and facilitate the transfer of competencies.


    Key selection criteria: Projects funded under this initiative should meet many of the following criteria:
    • Propose research on important aspects of African social realities that fall under CODESRIA’s priority themes as outlined in the CODESRIA Strategic Plan;
    • Be guided by clear questions that explore puzzling aspects of the social realities of Africa and its position in the world;
    • Be grounded in thorough exploration of the continent’s social realities and history;
    • Engage constructively and rigorously with African futures;
    • Be theoretically ambitious with a clear goal of providing new and innovative ways of understanding and making sense of African social realities;
    • Explore multiple spatial, temporal and sectoral settings where this contributes to the process of meaning-making;
    • Demonstrate familiarity with knowledge already produced by CODESRIA on the subject researched.

    Thematic priorities: All applications must engage with CODESRIA’s 2017-2021 thematic priorities and cross-cutting issues:
    1. Democratic processes, governance, citizenship and security in Africa: Security challenges and ways of grappling with them, transitional justice, democratization, citizenship and migration, the rule of law and human rights, governance processes and mechanisms at local, national and international levels, language, the changing boundaries and configurations of states and communities
    2. Ecologies, economies and societies in Africa: Land, natural resource management, climate change, demographic change, urbanization, food security and poverty in Africa and technological innovation as well as the interaction of human populations with the rest of the environment in Africa, the forms it takes, its histories and trajectories and its impact on a broad set of sectors including the continent’s burgeoning economies
    3. Higher education dynamics in a changing Africa: The role of higher education in economic and political transformation in Africa, the rapid transformation in the African higher education landscape, the reform of African higher education and innovations in higher education leadership

    Cross-cutting themes: Applications should indicate the ways in which some of the following cross-cutting themes are integrated in their proposals: gender, generations, inequality, rurality and urbanity, memory and history, as well as futures and alternatives
    Composition of groups: All groups must contain 4-5 members comprising of the following: 1 senior Diaspora scholar; 1 faculty member and 2-3 doctoral students based in universities in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. At least two members of each group should be women scholars.

    How to apply

    Interested applicants should submit application packages containing the following required materials as Word documents. Please note that applications that lack any of these elements will be discarded.
    • A proposal with the following clearly titled sections: an introduction; statement and contextualization of question(s) around which the project is centered; brief review of literature and/or competing hypotheses; study design and research methodology; theoretical; practical significance of the study and research plan and brief statement of amount requested. Proposals must be submitted as Word documents and should not exceed 10 pages long (font type: Times New Roman; font size: 12; line spacing: double).


    • Budget: The budget should employ the template attached to this call and should take into consideration the fact that these grants of up to USD 30,000 have strict 16-month lifespans. CODESRIA will directly fund launch and completion workshops.
    • Annotated plan of deliverables: One-page annotated plan of scholarly articles to be produced as deliverables of the project (CODESRIA demands two articles).
    • A cover letter listing full details- names, email and physical addresses and telephone numbers
    • CV of each scholar, including full contact details

    The deadline for submission of applications is April 30, 2019. Notification of the result of the selection process will be done by June 30, 2019 and applicants who will not hear from us by then should consider their applications unsuccessful. Applications can be done on the Submission System using the link https://www.codesria.org/submission.

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