WACSI Next Generation Research Fellowship 2020 for young African Researchers

The goal of the research fellowship is to offer young researchers with the dire opportunities to document indigenous practices on civil society sustainability, women and youth leadership, technology for development and enabling environment for civil society in West Africa. This will be done by creating spaces for interaction between relevant stakeholders, including decision-makers, development practitioners, CSO leaders and their constituents.


Specific objectives of the research fellowship are to:

  • Identify and nurture early career academics who have demonstrated leadership potential and/or an interest in the development sector in West Africa;
  • Support fellows to apply the acquired skills to conduct research that is relevant to the development of their careers and increase their impact on the community;
  • Increase indigenous knowledge production on civil society issues that will better inform development agenda and planning;
  • Build a community of practice (CoP) spanning across disciplinary boundaries, with academia, civil society actors and other stakeholders in West Africa to exchange ideas, opportunities and solution to advance the development agenda in the region.


At the end of the programme, fellows are expected to have hands-on knowledge and contextual evidence on civic leadership and governance in West Africa produced by young research fellows. The results of the various research projects will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders in the region and regularly discussed at the policy roundtables as a tool for action. The fellowship would contribute to strengthening thought leadership in the civil society sector in West Africa.

Active participation in this fellowship offers aspiring academicians or fellows with a keen interest in civil society access to a wide range of benefits to help successfully conduct their research or engage in a knowledge documentation project. The findings from the research and the general experience of the fellows will be used to promote good practices in West Africa. They will provide the necessary data and information as evidence for informed policymaking in the region.

During the research fellowship, candidates can get a wealth of opportunities and it gives students skills and knowledge to better plan for or advance their future careers.

Fellows will also have other opportunities and benefits such as:

  • A certificate of completion;
  • At least one WACSeries publication;
  • Official recommendation from WACSI;
  • Free access to WACSI’s rich civil society resource centre;
  • Improved English-language skills (for French speaking participants);
  • Become a member of a regional network of research fellows in the non-profit sector; • A creative and stimulating professional environment for the students;
  • Intercultural working experience with professionals from different West African countries;
  • Networking events and building of strong relationships with seasoned development partners;
  • Visibility of the fellow as his/her work will be disseminated to development actors and partners in West Africa and beyond;
  • Cross-disciplinary exposure and experience in knowledge management, capacity development, policy advocacy and influencing, monitoring, evaluation and learning from the work of WACSI’s respective Units.


  • If you wish to be considered for the fellowship, apply by submitting the following:
  • An application letter clearly stating your career, academic and research goals as well as the period you will like to start the internship. Candidates are encouraged to specify their preferred start dates if known. Candidates must specify their research interests in the application letter;
  • One article (published or unpublished); and
  • A curriculum vitae.

All applications should be sent to WACSI: recruitment@wacsi. org and jcfomunjong@wacsi.org. WACSI’s Knowledge Management Unit will provide close supervision to the research fellows throughout the fellowship period.

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