STIAS Iso Lomso Fellowships 2019 for Early Career African Researchers (Fully-funded)

STIAS Iso Lomso Fellowships 2019 for Early Career African Researchers (Fully-funded)

Deadline: October 15, 2019

Applications are open for the STIAS Iso Lomso Fellowships 2019 for Early Career African Researchers. The Iso Lomso fellowships provide an exceptional early career opportunity for Africa’s brightest minds in academia. Iso Lomso means ‘the eye of tomorrow’ in isiXhosa: seeing towards the future, laying the foundations for tomorrow.

Iso Lomso fellowships provide a three-year attachment to STIAS to enable fellows to develop and conduct a long-term research programme of their preference. The aim is to facilitate and support them towards becoming established scholars in their fields.

Iso Lomso aims to address the gap that exists between completion of the Ph.D. and becoming an established scholar in Africa. While there is increasing support for doctoral study and for post-doctoral fellowships, it is during the extended post-doctoral period that the greatest loss of talent occurs. Iso Lomso takes its cue from the ethos and objectives of STIAS. It does not offer an alternative programme to the regular fellows’ programme, but complements and builds on the proven and successful model of the Institute. It aims at enhancing the existing cross-fertilization of minds by broadening its scope through the inclusion of a younger generation.


Iso Lomso Fellows enjoy:

  • A three-year attachment to STIAS during which time they may spend a total of ten months in residence at STIAS to develop and pursue a long-term research programme;
  • The possibility of a residency at a sister institute for advanced study in North America, Europe or elsewhere;
  • Funding to attend up to two international conferences or training workshops anywhere in the world;
  • Possible support to convene a workshop with collaborators at STIAS;
  • Lecturer replacement subsidy for the fellow’s home institution during residency periods.


To be eligible applicants must:

  • Be a national of any African country;
  • Be born after the January 1, 1978;
  • Have an affiliation at a research or higher education institution in an African country, and continue to do so for the foreseeable future;
  • Have obtained a doctoral degree from any recognised higher education institution (worldwide) after January 1, 2013;
  • Have completed a post-doctoral fellowship or equivalent post-PhD research programme;
  • Be in a position to commence a first period of residency at STIAS during the second half of 2020 or the first half of 2021.

Selection Criteria

All disciplines will be considered. Applicants from non-Anglophone African countries may conduct their research in the language of preference; however, the application documents must be completed in English.

Applications will be evaluated and selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Level: the applicant’s academic excellence and the originality and scholarly strength of the proposed research project;
  • Innovation: the project’s promise of new insights and the potential to produce new knowledge;
  • Interdisciplinarity: whether the project methodology allows for drawing from different disciplines and its potential to facilitate an interdisciplinary discourse;
  • Relevance: the project’s relevance for scholarship and knowledge production in Africa;
  • Feasibility: whether the research design and the research plan are convincing and realistic.

During final selection, additional consideration will be given to:

  • Gender representation;
  • Diversity of nationalities;
  • Diversity of disciplines;
  • Participation in previous or current research projects;
  • Previous international experience.


The completed application form (download here in MS Word format or Open Document format) should be signed, dated and submitted together with the following documents, all in PDF format:

  • A motivational cover letter of not more than one page in length.The letter should include a description of the applicant’s academic career, detailing the ideas and experiences that have shaped and motivated his or her intellectual work.
  • A pre-proposal for a three-year research project. This is a short essay of two to three pages which provides (i) a summary of the applicant’s current research/work, (ii) the main thesis of the proposed research project, including the problem statement and aim of the project, (iii) an overview of existing literature and other sources for the project, (iv) the project’s theoretical background and methodological approach, (v) the significance/relevance of the project for African scholarship, and (vi) a provisional time framework with proposed periods of residency at STIAS, additional activities, and research outputs.
  • One or two recent writing examples authored by the applicant (articles or book sections) related to the proposed project.
  • A copy of the applicant’s doctoral certificate.
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s home institution (either from the head of department, dean of faculty, principal of college, or equivalent).
  • Two letters of recommendation from scholars who are familiar with the applicant’s work, preferably one from the applicant’s current home institution and one from another institution. The letter should be printed on an official institutional letterhead and should include the name of the recommender, the academic position of the recommender, an indication of how long and in what capacity the recommender has known the applicant, and an evaluation of the merit of the applicant’s proposed project and ability to complete the proposed work during three years. The letters of recommendation will be confidential and should be sent by the recommender directly to [email protected]

Applications may be submitted electronically via email to [email protected] by the end of Tuesday, 15 October 2019 (Central African Time). For entries by postal service, courier or facsimile, please contact the Iso Lomso Coordinator in advance by email or telephone to confirm delivery arrangements.

For more information, visit Iso Lomso Fellowships.