University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) Program 2021/2022 (Fully-funded)

University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) Program 2021/2022 (Fully-funded)

Deadline: October 15, 2020

Applications are open for the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) Program 2021/2022. Strengthening African universities is one of the most effective ways to contribute to the continent’s growth and continued excellence. The U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) program has helped retain and strengthen faculty members working in African institutions of higher education, and empowered them to contribute to international academic networks and set their own research agenda.

The UMAPS Program brings early career faculty from African universities to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scholars are paired with a faculty collaborator during their stay and have full access to the University of Michigan’s (U-M) resources to further their work on a research project, an academic degree, publications, grant proposal, or other relevant activity. The program supports the development of the next generation of African scholars by integrating them into international academic networks, and promotes U-M’s international commitment to research and teaching collaborations across diverse disciplines, from engineering to literature to economics.


Selected scholars will receive:

  • Five months of residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, paired with a faculty collaborator with full access to the university’s resources;
  • Round-trip airfare from their home country to Ann Arbor, Michigan;
  • Free housing, medical insurance, a research allowance, and a modest stipend to cover living (Important note: The UMAPS program is unable to accommodate spouses and/or dependents);
  • Office/Laboratory space;
  • Opportunity to present research to the U-M community.


In this application cycle, the UMAPS program accepts direct applications from faculty members of colleges or universities from only a limited number of countries, namely Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. For applicants from Kenya only, note that preference will be given to scholars working in the domains of agriculture, environment, tourism, or technology.

All applicants must:

  • Be an early career faculty member who has taught in the higher education system for less than ten years, and who is presently teaching in a college or university in Africa;
  • Be able to demonstrate support from home institution with letter of recommendation from head of department, dean, or vice chancellor;
  • Be able to remain in residence for five months.
  • Previous recipients of the UMAPS fellowship are not eligible to apply.
  • Preference will be given to applicants without extensive international experience outside the continent.

Selection Criteria

Review and selection will be made by a multidisciplinary faculty committee at the University of Michigan and will be based on the following:

  • Academic quality of the candidate and of the proposed program of scholarship.
  • Academic fit of the candidate with others selected in the cycle and with the areas of interest described in the Scholarly Program section.
  • Equitable representations of scholars aligned with ASC’s three disciplinary initiatives.
  • Support of the candidate’s home institution.

Priority will be given to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds. Promotion of gender equity in the current class of scholars and in the African academy will also be prioritized. Preference will be given to candidates who do not have significant international experience outside the continent.


Nomination is required for applicants from outside Ghana, South Africa, or Kenya, and needs to be completed by a U-M faculty member familiar with the work of the prospective applicant. The nominating faculty must:

  • Complete the online nomination form (for University of Michigan faculty only and access requires U-M login)
  • Submit/upload a letter of endorsement that indicates their willingness to serve as a mentor during the length of the residency, commit to meet regularly, and if possible provide an office space for the prospective participant

As soon as the complete nomination form and letter of support is received, they will send the nominated candidate an email invitation with a link to the application portal for nominated applicants; please do not use the regular application portal.

All applicants must:

  • Complete the online application form (In this application cycle, this link can only be used by applicants from the following countries: GhanaSouth Africa, or Kenya)
  • Upload a curriculum vitae using the online application
  • Upload a scholarly program/research proposal (not to exceed five pages). Applications from a wide range of disciplines and schools are welcome; applications that align with the center’s disciplinary initiatives—AHHIASRI, and STEM-Africa—are encouraged.
  • Provide complete name and contact information of the department head, dean, or vice chancellor at the applicant’s home institution who will be writing their letter of support

For more information, visit University of Michigan.