Call for Applications: POSSIBLE- Africa Fellowship Programme

Science for Africa

Relevent Country: Morocco

The Science for Africa Foundation is now accepting applications for its Preparing Outstanding Social Science Investigators to Benefit Lives and Environments in Africa Programme (POSSIBLE- Africa Fellowship Programme).

The POSSIBLE- Africa Fellowship Programme is a 24-month early postdoctoral (graduated within the last 5-10 years) fellowship opportunity for outstanding African scholars in the Social Sciences & Humanities, who propose research that aims to create evidence to inform sustainable development within the African continent.

The fellowship aims to build a critical mass of independent African research leaders in the SS&H to lead science programmes at local and international levels. These leaders will have the capacity to engage successfully with funders, policy makers, communities, and other stakeholders, and to serve as mentors and supervisors for the next generation of researchers in Africa.


The objectives of the fellowship programme are:

  • To form a high-quality and equitable cohort of postdoctoral fellows in the social sciences and humanities (SS&H).
  • To develop emerging independent research leaders and enhance training in SS&H.
  • To establish a SS&H advisory board to guide POSSIBLE Africa fellowships and other SS&H initiatives of SFA Foundation.

Funding Information

US$ 65,000 utilised over 24 months.

Eligibility Criteria

  • African Scholars who have completed their PhD in any SS&H discipline in the last 5-10 years prior to the application date are eligible to submit a proposal for funding through the POSSIBLE-Africa fellowship programme. Applicants must be citizens of any African countries. Applicants must have an affiliation (academic or non-academic) with an African Institute of higher learning or research Centre in any African Country. Females are encouraged to apply, as are scholars from marginalized and disadvantages groups.
  • Applications are more likely to be successful if they can demonstrate:
  • long term institutional commitment (i.e., commitment to retain them after the fellowship) and
  • that they will contribute an existing body of data to the public domain (e.g., empirical data built up through numerous related consultancies, which are suitable for theoretical analysis with a view to producing scientific outputs during the fellowship)
  • The application is going to open to English speaking African scholars in SS&H who:
  • have a minimum of 5 years post-PhD research experience and maximum of 10 years from the call date. This will allow the fellowship to focus on scholars who really have made a commitment to research. Additionally, it will attract an applicant pool able to focus the fellowship on across national, multicounty, and smaller regional questions.
  • have an affiliation with an African higher education institution or a research center allowing for a mix of experiences and networks to be represented. However, the multi-step selection process will pay special attention to the fellow’s prospects for eventually contributing to the formation of future researchers (through teaching and supervision) a core objective of the POSSIBLE-Africa fellowship. Such a process ensures that researchers in non-teaching institutes are not excluded while ensuring a wide range of experiences and representation of SS&H scholars. In addition, it allows funding to trickle down to African universities who benefit so immensely from it through master’s fellowships, mentorship, training etc.
  • Similarly, to ensure broad range of inclusion and representation for the purposes of this fellowship applicant affiliation can be non-academic or academic track. With nonacademic referring to those who are not necessarily salaried by the institution, visiting scholars etc. Furthermore, this provides an opportunity for a larger pool of applicants recognizing that SS&H scholars are especially facing intense competition for extremely scare opportunities in academia. However, to ensure that the POSSIBLE-Africa fellowship does not serve to reinforce the itinerant researcher phenomenon and/or feed organizations that welcome early-career researchers only if they bring salary and research money with them, support letters will clearly need to demonstrate the career path of the applicant post-fellowship.
  • Proposal can cover the breath of SS&H to include both core humanities disciplines, quantitative and qualitative SS&H. Covering the SS&H in its entirety will make the POSSIBLE-Africa fellowship the first of its kind in Africa. Importantly, such a training will have a huge strategic impact on the continent to build a pool of multi-disciplinary researchers that can be called on to answer the continent’s problems in a holistic manner. This is a core long term objective of the POSSIBLE-Africa fellowship.