AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowship Programme 2020 for Young African PhD Students (Fully Funded to Denmark)

Application Deadline: 12th December 2019

AfricaLics – the African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems is looking for suitable PhD student candidates from universities in African countries to participate in the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme focused on Innovation and Development. The programme allows successful candidates a study period of five month based at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Science, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Within the AfricaLics community, innovation is broadly defined as spanning from “new to the world inventions” to the diffusion and use of technology new to the user or context in which it is introduced and includes competence building among users of innovation.
Technology here can mean both a physical product as well as a process or new way of doing things. Innovation and Development Studies research as defined by the AfricaLics network includes the study and management of processes that link technological and social innovation with development.
This includes studies and improved understandings of how learning and competence building systems contribute to development processes.

AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowship Programme

The aim of the visiting fellowship programme and the scholarships is to help African PhD students working in the field of Innovation and Development to strengthen their academic/research qualifications; improve quality of their dissertations and prepare for a career in innovation and development either within academia or outside (e.g. in the private sector or in government/policy making).

The visiting fellowship programme does this by increasing the international mobility and level of exposure of the PhD students to international knowledge in the field of innovation and development. The programme forms part of the efforts by AfricaLics to contribute to the development of a vibrant research community in Africa in this emerging and highly multidisciplinary field. The Swedish Development Agency, Sida (Stockholm) provides funding for the visiting scholarships as part of the project Enhancing research capacity on Innovation and Development in Africa through the African Network on Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) – Phase II (2017-2021).

The AfricaLics secretariat (hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies) is responsible for the project with the AfricaLics Scientific Board providing advice on scientific matters and issues of strategic importance.
The AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme more specifically is organized jointly by the AfricaLics secretariat and researchers at the Faculty of Social Science at Aalborg University, including members of various research groups such as IKE (Innovation, Knowledge and Economic Dynamics); GRS (the Global Refugee Studies research group); and DIR (Research Centre on Development and International Relations). The programme also includes collaboration with scholars from other universities such as Lund University in Sweden (Department of Economic History) engaged in Globelics – the Global Research network on Learning, Innovation and Competence building.

Eligibility and selection criteria

The scholarship option is open to PhD students from countries classified by the DAC as low and lower-middle income in Africa whose studies – irrespective of sectoral discipline – focus on innovation and development. Female PhD students are particularly encouraged to apply as AfricaLics endeavours to contribute to increasing the currently low number of female scholars in Innovation and Development research studies in Africa.
Likewise, PhD students from low-income countries are particularly encouraged to apply as AfricaLics endeavours to increase research capacity in Innovation and Development in low-income countries in Africa.

Applicants must be enrolled as PhD students at African universities and must have completed their first year of PhD studies by July 2020. A maximum of five visiting scholarships are available for 2019. The visiting scholarship is complementary to the studies of the PhD students and applicants must already have secured basic funding for their PhD studies from other sources (e.g. African governments, other organisations, self-financing).

Participation in the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Programme will eventually form part of the wider PhD study plan for each applicant, which may include various elements such as:

  1. Initial theoretical studies/taught courses and fieldwork in home country/country where the student is already enrolled as a PhD student (first year must have been concluded by July 2020).
  2. Maximum of five months visit to Aalborg University to focus on writing up thesis or articles that are part of the PhD thesis.
  3. Participation in AfricaLics VFP seminars organised as part of the study visit (introduction seminar, paper presentation seminars and wrap-up seminar)
  4. Participation in relevant PhD academies and training events in DK or neighbouring countries (e.g. DRUID Academies 2020 or 2021) and one or two carefully selected PhD training courses in Denmark taking place during the study period (e.g. DRUID PhD Course and other options – see PhD candidates are responsible for applying to such courses and academies themselves following agreement with their home-supervisors, mentors and the AfricaLics PhD VFP academic coordinator).
  5. AfricaLics PhD visiting fellows are encouraged to work on and submit papers to up-coming relevant conferences such as e.g. the 17th Globelics conference 2020 (in October 2020 in Costa Rica) and the AfricaLics PhD academies in 2020 and 2021. Participation in such activities implies exposure to the wider Globelics/AfricaLics community. It is the responsibility of the PhD candidates themselves to apply for participation in such events.
  6. Return to home country and continue work on PhD dissertation in order to finalize and submit.

Student requirements and Application Form

Applicants for the AfricaLics PhD visiting fellowship programme should:

  • Be enrolled as a PhD student at a university in Africa.
  • Have completed their first year of studies by July 2020 (upgrade/probation)
  • Have a background (BSc, MSc etc.) within Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Science and Technology Policy, Geography, History or Development Studies. Applicants may also work within the STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) subjects or even manufacturing but from a social science perspective. .
  • Possess adequate skills in English (documentation may be requested. Language tests that are accepted are listed on the AAU web-page
  • Be working actively on a subject relevant to the field of innovation and development as defined above.
  • Submit a brief application 1 page/500 words explaining own background, motivation for applying and expected outcomes of participation in the AfricaLics PhD visiting fellowship programme

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Brief outline of your current PhD project including training plan (max. 5 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae – CV (including PhD courses attended so far)
  • Letter of support from the main PhD supervisor confirming that the PhD student will have completed her/his upgrade/probation by end August 2020
  • Letter of support from the University Administration at the university where the PhD student is enrolled
  • Copies of academic certificates (copies of Bachelor and Master Certificates as a minimum)
  • One writing sample (article or chapter) from current PhD program

You are NOT expected to submit a copy of your passport when applying for the PhD visiting fellowship programme. If you are offered the scholarship, we will ask you to confirm that you have a passport that is valid for the duration of the scholarship and at least six months after (or whatever is required at the time of application for residence and work permit in Denmark).

Please use the application form when you submit your application. You can download the form through this link

Applications with all relevant attachments should be forwarded to by 12th December 2019 (COB).

Applications not fulfilling the requirements above will not be considered, so please forward any questions you may have to and you will be assisted.

Successful candidates will be notified by 1stFebruary 2020, following which they will be required to confirm their interest (sign study agreement form) and apply for residence and work permit in Denmark (see below).

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the AfricaLics Visiting PhD Fellowship Programme 2020