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Postdoctoral and Fellowship awards

There are a number of postdoctoral fellowships open to African scholars to undertake a period of research at a UK institution. Some are offered as part of broader schemes, while some are specifically aimed at African academics, often at those at the early stage of their career.

Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowships

These are offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, and enable mid-career academics from developing Commonwealth countries to spend up to 6 months at a UK institution. For details see

British Council Researcher Exchange Programme

Supports new links between postdoctoral researchers in the UK and other countries (not specifically African countries), where contact has already been made but has not yet resulted in collaboration. Candidates must hold a PhD, or be within 12 months of completion of their PhD, and have had no more than 5 years tenure in a university or research institute. Awards will not exceed £5,000, and are for travel and subsistence, for short term exchange visits (a single visit between two weeks and three months or multiple visits). For details see

Newton International Fellowships

Available for postdoctoral researchers to come to the UK for one or two years, with follow-on funding for a further 10 years to enable further visits and collaborative work. Newton Fellowships are co-ordinated by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society and area vailable to researchers in social sciences and the humanities, as well as engineering and natural sciences. For details see

British Academy Visiting Fellowships

Fellowships are offered to enable early-career academics to spend between two and six months undertaking research at a UK institution. Applicants must have secured a UK host academic in order to apply. Grants are provided to a maximum of £7,500 and are intended to cover travel and subsistence costs for the Visiting Fellow for the duration of their stay. For details see



Fellowships offered by individual UK universities

Open University

International Development Centre (IDC) African Scholars Research Grants

Funding is available for African scholars to spend up to 12 weeks at the IDC to work on joint projects and to develop their own research agenda. Four grants are available each year, for visits between March and July. Applicants must hold a PhD and be nominated by an Open University academic or department. For details see

University of Birmingham

Cadbury Fellowship Scheme

(Centre of West African Studies) Funding to enable early career African academics to undertake a residential fellowship at the Centre of West African Studies for up to 10 weeks. A particular theme is announced each year. Two to three fellows are invited each year and the fellowship culminates in an interdisciplinary conference. For details see

University of Oxford

The AERC/JAE Visiting Scholars Programme (Centre for the Study of African Economies)

Provides for short-term visiting fellowships to the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. The aim is to allow AERC (African Economics Research Consortium) members who have recently completed an AERC supported research project to visit Oxford and produce a publishable journal article from their research reports. Visit normally last for a period of two months, coinciding with one academic term at Oxford. For details see

Oxford Research Network on Government in Africa (OReNGA) Visiting Fellowships

OReNGA aims to provide modest amounts of funding to support African scholars to visit Oxford. Two fellows are usually funded each year to a maximum of £2900 each, for a visit not exceeding 10 weeks, and covering the airfare and an accommodation/subsistence allowance for the duration of the visit. For details see

University of Bradford

Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies Visiting Research Fellowship

The Africa Centre runs a Visiting Research Fellowship programme on any aspect of African peace, conflict and security studies. Its aim is to provide visiting fellows the opportunity to use the expertise, facilities and resources available in the University and also affords fellows the opportunity of acquiring practical skills in programme development and implementation in various specialisms through the community outreach programmes of the Centre. Three types of fellowship are offered, all for a period of three months to one year, renewable for a maximum of two years. Fellowships are not funded, and some fees are payable.

  • Visiting Fellowships for doctoral students
  • Postdoctoral Visiting Fellowships for young scholars and professionals in the first five years of their career
  • A Senior Visiting Fellows programme for senior academics and experienced policy/development practitioners.

For details see

University of London

Governance for Development in Africa Initiative (GDAI) Visiting Fellowships (Centre of African Studies, SOAS).

The GDAI Fellowship covers costs to enable scholars to spend 8 weeks in London. It is aimed at young people from sub-Saharan Africa able to show demonstrable leadership potential within their sector (which may be academic, government, or private). SOAS provides weekly workshops tailored to the programme, support for fellows in making relevant contacts and meetings, and library/online research resources. For details see

The Leventis Research Co-operation Programme

is devised to assist early career Nigerian scholars develop their research interests in collaboration with their counterparts in London. Funding is provided for academics to spend three months as visitors of the Centre of African Studies in order to pursue their research in libraries and archives and to participate in the intellectual life of the Centre. The scheme is also appropriate for scholars seeking to work up a PhD thesis into publishable form. For details see

University of Cambridge

African Studies Visiting Research Fellowships Scheme (Centre of African Studies)

The Centre offers fellowships for African scholars holding a PHD to spend a maximum of 6 months in Cambridge, from October of each year. Each award is worth £10,000 for travel, accommodation, maintenance costs and medical insurance. A new research theme for fellowships is announced each year. Previous themes have included 'The Public Understanding of Science in Africa', 'Peacebuilding and Transitional Governance in Africa'. For detail see