Fellowship opportunities for African Diaspora scholars

Feb. 26, 2014 - With the goal of turning the continent's "brain drain" into "brain circulation," the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program will bring 100 African-born scholars currently based in the United States and Canada together with host universities in Africa to collaborate on teaching, curriculum, research, and graduate training and mentoring over the next two years. 

The fellowship program, managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with Quinnipiac University and supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is now accepting applications from African Diaspora academics to join a roster of available candidates for fellowships at African universities. The Fellows will engage in capacity building educational projects proposed and hosted by faculty at higher education institutions in six Carnegie partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda, accredited by the national agency in their respective countries, are now invited to submit an online project request to host a scholar.  For the first round of fellowships, interested scholars and potential host universities should apply online at www.iie.org/africandiaspora by March 17, 2014. The first round of scholars will be selected in May 2014, for project visits of 14 to 90 days to begin as early as June 2014.

The new program will help meet the needs identified by host universities by bringing short-term faculty exchange fellows to Africa to co-develop curriculum, collaborate on research, and train, teach and mentor graduate students. IIE manages and administers the program, including the application process, project requests, and fellowships. Quinnipiac University, through Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, vice president for academic affairs and professor of history, provides strategic direction and chairs an expert Advisory Council, comprised of prominent African scholars and university administrators, to guide the program. 

"The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellows Program exemplifies Carnegie Corporation's enduring commitment to higher education in Africa. It brings together Dr. Zeleza's expertise and vision with IIE's long history of managing global scholarships and our ongoing work to develop talent and help build capacity to address the challenges and harness the opportunities emerging on the African continent," said IIE's president and CEO, Allan E. Goodman.

The new Fellowships were inspired by Zeleza's report, "Engagements between African Diaspora Academics in the U.S. and Canada and African Institutions of Higher Education: Perspectives from North America and Africa." Developed in consultation with African institutions, particularly the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the program's goal is to facilitate equitable, effective and mutually beneficial international higher education engagements between scholars in Africa and African Diaspora academics in Canada and the United States. Multifaceted, innovative projects are encouraged, attuned to the transformations taking place in contemporary systems of higher education within the landscape of internationalization.

The prospective African host institutions must submit the project request, but prospective Fellows can collaborate with a host university to design a mutually beneficial project. An institution may, but is not required to, name a proposed scholar in a project request. If a scholar is not named, IIE will match institutional needs identified in the project request with a qualified diaspora scholar. Both the proposed scholar and the project request will be evaluated by a review committee and are subject to approval by the program Advisory Council.

Scholars with any academic rank who hold a terminal degree in their field may apply online to be considered for the roster. The Institute of International Education (IIE) will maintain and search the roster for possible matches that fit the discipline specializations, expertise, activities, and objectives described in a project request.

Projects can be conducted in the African host country for periods of time ranging from two weeks to one semester. The African Diaspora Fellow will receive a daily stipend plus health insurance coverage and money for transportation and visa expenses. Host institutions are encouraged to contribute to the Fellow's meals, lodging and in-country transportation during the project.