Call for African Researchers 2016 – Mandela Institute for Development Studies

Call for African Researchers 2016 – Mandela Institute for Development Studies

Deadline: April 29, 2016

The Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) is calling for applications from distinguished African researchers to conduct research on the subject of institutional development in Africa. The research papers will inform forward looking discussions on the participation of African youth in nation building.


The researcher is expected to be contracted for at least three (3) months.

Research Areas

African researchers are invited to conduct research in Africa examining one of these three (3) aspects:

  1. Nation building in Africa: This paper will examine case studies of post-independence-era attempts at nation building in Africa, interrogating the ideals, objectives and methodologies by which the objectives were pursued. The successes and weaknesses of these approaches will be investigated. This paper will draw comparisons between the approaches taken by countries that gained independence relatively early and the more recently independent states.
  2. The challenges of institutional reform in Africa: This paper will analyze case studies of institutional reform efforts in Africa and extract lessons from the successes and failures of these reforms. The paper will discuss processes of embedding and adopting societal change, highlighting the experiences of African reformers/leaders. The paper must provide recommendations on how African youth can actively and practically participate in building or strengthening key institutions.
  3. The efficacy of presidential term limits: This paper will interrogate the efficacy of presidential term limits in African countries. The paper will compare the advantages and disadvantages of presidential term limits by analyzing the impact thereof in developing countries.


Researchers must:

  • Have at least a Master’s degree in relevant fields of study.
  • Have published work in academic journals.
  • Be able to write and present, fluently, in English. The ability to collect data, write and present in other African languages especially French and/ or Arabic will be an advantage.
  • Have a demonstrated research interest in governance in Africa, African youth or African economies.
  • Have an extensive, accessible research network in at least two of the five regions of the African continent.
  • Have a demonstrated track record of applying both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Be available to commence work immediately.
  • Have the flexibility to travel, should that be necessary.

How to Apply

To apply, applicants are required to send the following set of documents via email:

  • The applicant’s detailed CV highlighting their research experience, including a list of published research.
  • One reference letter from an academic supervisor or an equivalent thereof with the contact details of the referee.
  • A research proposal outlining how the researcher would approach research on one of the three aspects listed above, the research methodology to be applied and up to five (5) key research questions to be explored. The proposal should not be longer than five (5) pages including references.
  • A preliminary timeline AND budget estimate based on the information provided above. The preliminary timeline must not exceed three (3) months for the delivery of a final research report. The budget estimate must not exceed four thousand five hundred US dollars ($4 500).


The documents above must be emailed to [email protected] in PDF version with the subject ‘MINDS/01/2016’ on or before 1700 hours South African time on Friday the 15th of April 2016. Late applications will not be acknowledged or considered.

MINDS will acknowledge receipt of complete, timeous submissions. Thereafter, MINDS will contact only the shortlisted candidates by Friday the 29th of April 2016. Shortlisted individuals may be requested to provide more information before final selection of the successful candidates. MINDS reserves the right not to explain the outcome of the selection process or provide any further detail to the applicant’s outcome.

Should you require more information, kindly send your query to [email protected] before the application closing date.

For more information on MINDS, visit MINDS Africa.