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Collaborative Working Group Research Fellowships to inform peacebuilding practice in Africa | The African Peacebuilding Network

Action alertsCollaborative Working Group Research Fellowships to inform peacebuilding practice in Africa | The African Peacebuilding Network

Request for Proposals

The African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) invites applications from senior African academics and researchers based at universities, training and policy institutions in Africa to assemble and lead collaborative research projects intended to inform policy and practice on conflict and peacebuilding on the continent.

About the APN Collaborative Working Group Research Fellowship

The Collaborative Working Group Research Fellowship is an initiative and key complement to the field-based and networking components of the APN’s programming. This fellowship responds to the need for deep collaboration and engagement of researchers and practitioners on peacebuilding challenges in Africa. It also seeks to connect research to policy, promote mentoring of junior scholars by senior colleagues, foster networking between scholars and practitioners and to increase the likelihood of impacting policy through the knowledge-production process.

Collaborative working groups are expected to produce research-based knowledge and publications that are relevant to—and have a significant impact on—peacebuilding scholarship, policy, and practice on the continent. For its part, the APN will work towards inserting the evidence-based knowledge that this group produces into regional and global debates and policies on peacebuilding.

The APN will support the working group in undertaking original policy-relevant research that focuses on the design, implementation, and impact of peacebuilding mechanisms and processes in conflict-affected African countries and sub-regions. Support is available for research, convening of scholar-practitioner meetings and analysis of issues such as the following:

  • Local peacebuilding cultures, mechanisms, and practices;
  • Inequality, poverty, and natural resource conflict;
  • UN-AU-African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) cooperation on peace and security issues;
  • African Governance Architecture (AGA) and African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA);
  • Women, peace, and security;
  • Transnationalization, migration, youth radicalization, extremism and violence;
  • Climate change, peace and security;
  • Early Warning and Response Systems; and
  • Building synergies between mediation practice and research.


Applicants must be scholars or practitioners based in Africa, with the lead investigator based at or affiliated with an African university. The competition will be open to joint researcher-practitioner teams (of six members) made up of Africans based at or affiliated with universities; regional organizations; government agencies; or nongovernmental, media, or civil society organizations on the continent. While the lead investigator must have a PhD, other members of the research group may be junior lecturers and practitioners, whom are expected to hold at least a master’s degree with two or more years of work experience.

It is expected that teams reflect diversity as much as possible, and include individuals from a range of professional, institutional, national, regional, disciplinary, gender, and generational backgrounds and experiences. The project should also leverage strong mentoring relationships between senior and junior members of the team, while encouraging both scholarly and practitioner participation as well as engagement with universities and regional practitioner/policy institutions.

Team members, either individually or jointly, are also strongly encouraged to contribute to the APN’s Working Paper series, Policy Briefing Note series, digital forum Kujenga Amani, and social media platforms.

Terms of the Fellowship

One APN Collaborative Working Group Research Fellowship will be supported by a maximum award of $60,000 for a period of eighteen months. Members of the working group are expected to collaborate and carry out the proposed research project together, and they are therefore expected to meet several times over the project period. Funding should be used to support new field research, training activities, the review of relevant literature, and the production and dissemination of a range of outputs, from policy briefs and reports to best-practice models, as well as academic publications. These outputs should be published in print and electronic formats.

Application Process

The university-based lead investigator of the collaborative working group, who must also be a senior academic or senior practitioner with a strong research background in African peace and security studies, should submit an application on behalf of the group through the SSRC’s Online Open Water Application Portal. Required application materials include the following:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Lead Investigator’s CV
  • Research Proposal & Bibliography
  • Proposed Research Timeline
  • Proposed Research Budget
  • List of All Team Members, including their names, affiliations, professional backgrounds, and highest degree levels attained
  • Two Reference Letters
  • Language evaluation(s) (if required)

All applications must be uploaded through our online portal and must be submitted in English, with the exception of reference letters, which much be accompanied by an English translation if not originally written in English.

If you have any questions, please contact APN staff at apn@ssrc.org, or by telephone at (+1) 718-517-3669.

All materials must be submitted no later than 11:59pm (EST) on February 1, 2022.

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