July 4, 2022

2022 Research Fellowship Program For Young Researchers: The goal of the West Africa Civil Society Institute research fellowship is to offer young researchers with the dire opportunities to document indigenous practices on 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.

Research fellows will receive monthly stipends and a research allowance from the institute. In addition, 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 overall 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 policy making 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.

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Fellows will also have other opportunities and benefits such as:

  • A certificate of completion. This will be provided upon satisfactory completion of all tasks and submission of all agreed deliverables.
  • A monthly stipend.
  • 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.


Fellows can spend between 3 to 6 months at the Institute. This will be based on the alignment of the fellowship goals with the student’s current academic, career and research interests. However, applications will be considered on a rolling basis and applicants will be selected on a case-by-case basis each year.


2 May 2022: Application opens.
16 May 2022: Deadline for receipt of applications.
20 May 2022: Shortlisted applicants are notified by email.
Week of 23 May 2022: Interview with shortlisted applicants.
Week of 30 May 2022: Selected candidates will receive feedback on their applications.
6 June 2022: Beginning of the research fellowship. Selected fellows can however discuss start dates per their specific cases.

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  • The fellowship is open to all young researchers from West Africa. Other young researchers who are not from the region but are interested in understanding and documenting civil society praxis in West Africa can be considered.
  • Interested in working on civil society issues or in the development sector.
  • Recent Master’s or PhD graduates who completed their studies within the last two years.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong analytical skills and the ability to perform independent research.
  • Interested applicants should be able and ready to cover all costs related to the fellowship. Applicants should be able to mobilise the resources to cover costs related to their travel to and from Accra, accommodation and living expenses while in Accra for the agreed period of the fellowship.

WACSI highly encourages female applicants to apply. Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The more important is to have an interest in development work in West Africa.


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
  • One article (published or unpublished).
  • A 300-word synopsis articulating their research interest which must align with the research fellowship focus (see above). This synopsis must present the research objectives, questions and a proposed methodology to pursue the research goals.
  • A curriculum vitae.

All applications should be sent to WACSI: research@wacsi.org by 16 May 2022.

Selected candidates are expected to reside in Accra at the time of the fellowship and work from the institute’s office in Accra, Ghana. WACSI’s Knowledge Management Unit will provide close supervision to the research fellows throughout the fellowship period. However, due to the current threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, interested candidates who are not based in Accra will be considered for the programme. Selection will be based on applicant’s demonstration of their ability to deliver while working remotely.

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Females are highly encouraged to apply

Publications authored by previous research fellows include the following.


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