Building Capacity for Early Career Humanities Scholars in Africa 2019 Programme (Fully-funded)

Building Capacity for Early Career Humanities Scholars in Africa 2019 Programme (Fully-funded)

Deadline: June 14, 2019

Applications are being accepted for the Building Capacity for Early Career Humanities Scholars in Africa 2019. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, it is a three-year transnational programme, which seeks to enhance research capacity for early career scholars in the humanities in Africa. The programme will fund the travel, housing and other related costs of selected early career humanities scholars from the four institutions to spend four to six months at one of the other partner institutions.

The aim of the project is to create a space for scholars in the humanities to enhance their research agenda in their early career years. The period of stay (four to six months) in the collaborating institution will allow for targeted mentorship and guidance for the selected scholars by identified senior scholars who share their research interests, while also providing an avenue for interaction and the sharing of research ideas and methodologies with peers.

The project is unique in many respects as, unlike some existing initiatives, it seeks to create avenues for early career scholars to have the opportunity of residency in a region of Africa other than their own or in a global north institution. Building Capacity for Early Career Humanities Scholars (BECHS-Africa) is a partnership involving four universities: University of Ghana, American University in Cairo, Stellenbosch University and Washington University in St. Louis, with University of Ghana as the lead Institution.


The Project provides a four to six-month attachment to any of the four collaborating institutions. Support comprises the following:

  • An economy return flight
  • Travel Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Office space
  • A monthly stipend to cover transport, meals, entertainment and other incidentals
  • Access to library facilities at the host university
  • Funds to organize a research-focused workshop at the host University
  • Mentoring from senior faculty at the host institution


Successful applicants are expected to:

  • Be in residence at the host institution for four to six months
  • Attend local presentations, conferences and workshops organized by the host institution that are of relevance to the scholar’s research
  • Attend grant writing and publication workshops offered by the host university
  • Organize a workshop based on her/his research topic, through which the scholar will receive detailed feedback from leading academics in the field
  • Fulfill the research and publication goals set out in the original application
  • Provide a final report
  • Acknowledge The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation support in any subsequent publications and provide BECHS-Africa with all citations to publications resulting from the residency.


To be eligible an applicant must:

  • Be in a full-time permanent post in the humanities in any of the four collaborating institutions
  • Be an early career scholar with a record of research and academic publishing
  • Have a PhD that was obtained within the last ten years (2009 or later)
  • Have a scholarly record of publications commensurate with career stage or years from degree

Collaborating Institutions

The institutions involved in BECHS-Africa have been selected to provide opportunities for fellows to carry out their residency across three regions of Africa: western, southern and northern Africa, as well as at one institution in the United States. The institutions are all highly ranked in the Times Higher Educational Rankings of Universities, are active in research in the humanities and social sciences and have demonstrated high research output.

The selection has also been informed by the availability of mentors and adequate library facilities to support a robust and dynamic academic environment. They are:

  • University of Ghana (lead institution)
  • American University in Cairo
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Washington University in Saint Louis


Eligible candidates should complete the project application coversheet, which can be downloaded here. The completed form must be signed, dated, endorsed and submitted together with the following documents, combined into a single PDF.  Full applications should be submitted electronically via email to [email protected]

  • A cover letter of not more than one-page in length. The letter should include a brief intellectual autobiography or description of the applicant’s academic career, detailing the experiences that have shaped his or her intellectual work.
  • A statement of not more than one-page in length outlining research and publication plans for the residency period. Please be specific, including the number and types of publications expected.
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • One or two recent writing samples (articles or book chapters)

In addition, the applicant should arrange for a detailed academic letter of reference from a senior colleague familiar with her/his research and career trajectory to be submitted separately to [email protected]

Complete applications must be received by 1700 GMT on June 14, 2019. Selection will be made by August 5, 2019. Scholars should be in residence at their host institutions by January/February 2020.

For further information, please contact the representative at your institution:

  1. University of Ghana:  Samuel Agyei-Mensah, [email protected]
  2. American University of Cairo:  Syed Maswood, [email protected]
  3. Stellenbosch University:  Anthony Leysens, [email protected]
  4. Washington University in Saint Louis:  Jean Allman, [email protected]

For more information, visit Building Capacity for Early Career Humanities Scholars.