Professional development opportunities for African academics

[Updated 26 October 2016.  New entries are marked with an asterisk.]

While there are a decent range of scholarships available for African students doing MAs and PhDs, the professional development opportunities for African academics appear more limited.    I’ve put down what I could find, but I’m sure there are more – please send any recommendations my way!   They’re listed by funding type and by country or region.

I include the link to the current version of the fellowship or grant offered when I found it, so some of the links may now be out of date.  I don’t plan to update all the links every year, so if you find an outdated link, just search for the current information on the program.

African Post-Docs

European Post-Docs

Other Post-Docs

Research Funding

Travel, Conference, and Visiting Scholar Funding


  • The African Institutions Initiative lists training courses throughout Africa in public health and infectious disease
  • The Demographic & Health Surveys fellowship program offers training in the use of DHS surveys to university faculty from Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria and Zambia
  • The Next Einstein Forum offers fellowships and mentoring to young African scientists
  • The African Social Research Initiative at the University of Michigan offers summer research training to African PhD students or academics from Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa, and Uganda
  • The African Studies Association of the UK offers writing workshops where early-career African academics can work on a paper with the editor of a journal
  • The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research offers an intensive training course in research methods for African academics (also via Jon Harle)
  • SOAS runs a residential school on governance for development in Africa, with all costs covered for accepted applicants
  • Thomas Gale scholarships for students from the US and Kenya who would like to attend the SOAS Academic Summer School
  • CODESRIA has just launched a College of Mentors, which connects PhD students at African universities to faculty members in Africa and the US for mentorship *
  • TechWomen is a USAID program which offers training and mentorship to female leaders in STEM fields
  • AuthorAID also connects academics from different countries who are looking for mentoring or assistance with specific aspects of the research and publication processes.  (I’m a mentor there, so look me up if you might like to work together.)
  • Global Colleagues is an initiative from Academics Stand Against Poverty which connects junior scholars from low income countries with senior colleagues around the world
  • The Moremi Initiative offers a yearlong training program for African women from 18 – 25
  • WOMID is a new initiative which connects women doing PhDs in development-related fields with other women currently working in development
  • The World Economic Forum offers a unique three-year professional developent fellowship with academic modules, mentoring and work experience
  • Residents of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are eligible for the Eisenhower Fellowship, which offers two months of leadership training in the US for mid-career development professionals