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10 Years of Building Capacity for Peace in Africa

Doctoral Research

Developing Africa's Doctoral Research Capacity

UPEACE-IDRC PhD Fellowships and Doctoral Research Awards (Governance and Security)

In 2011, UPAP and IDRC have entered into a second phase of building doctoral research capacity in Sub Saharan Africa. This undertaking supports African Doctoral candidates pursuing their PhDs in the areas of governance and security studies in universities based in Sub Saharan Africa. There are two categories in the grant: PhD Fellowships and Doctoral Research Awards. The first category targets candidates that had freshly registered for PhD in governance and security studies and the second one is designed to support PhD candidates who are advanced in their studies and required support to finalize their studies. The maximum grant offered in the first category per candidate is 45,000 USD over a period of three years; while 10,000 USD is offered per candidate over a period of two years in the second category. The Programme was financially supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

So far, 56 PhD grants; 4 PhD Fellowships and 26 Doctoral Research Awards are offered in two rounds. The first round of applications was announced in November 2011, which attracted 88 applications. 42 applications were made for the PhD Fellowship category and 46 for the Doctoral Researchers group. Out of the submitted applications, 15 candidates (4 PhD Fellows and 11 Doctoral Researchers) were selected in May 2012. The candidates come from 11 universities based in 10 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. Six of the candidates (2 of the PhD fellows and 4 of the Doctoral Researchers) are women.

The remaining 15 Doctoral Researchers were selected in the second round of selections, which was held in February 2013. For the Award, 58 applications were submitted from citizens of 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The candidates are based in 28 universities across Sub-Saharan Africa. Out of the submitted applications, 15 candidates were selected, who come from 11 universities based in eight countries. Six of the candidates are women.

In addition to providing financial support for their studies, the programme incorporates different capacity buiding components such as attending two research methodology workshops; publishing an article and a policy brief on the Africa Peace and Conflict Journal (APCJ), a peer-reviewed journal published by UPAP; and being mentored by senior academicians in the field of governance and security. Furthermore, the PhD fellows have the opportunity to attend a semester abroad in a Canadian university.

UPEACE-IDRC PhD Fellowships and Doctoral Research Awards (Peace, Conflict and Development)

From 2008 till 2012, the Africa Programme runs the UPEACE-IDRC PhD Fellowships and Doctoral Research Awards. Similar to the second phase, this grant is also categorized into two categories: PhD Fellowships and Doctoral Research Awards. Under this programme, 26 grants (4 PhD Fellowships and 22 Doctoral Research Awards) were offered in two rounds for candidates that come from 12 universities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The grant focused on supporting African PhD candidates pursuing their studies in Peace, Conflict and Development areas in Sub-Saharan Africa universities.

In addition to the grants, the project also incorporated different capacity building schemes including three consecutive peace research trainings. The final two training workshops were organized in May 2010 and May 2011. The main objective of the workshop in 2010 was to provide participants with general methodological applications and peace-research skills, exposing issues related to contemporary peace and conflict research, and creating a platform to share and exchange new research agendas and knowledge. In the workshop, 27 participants took part. Similarly, the workshop in 2011 focused on two broad thematic areas, qualitative research and academic publication. Thirteen participants attended the workshop.

Building academic publication capacity of the PhD candidates was also a core aspect of the project. In this respect, UPAP availed the opportunity to publish articles at its bi-annual peer reviewed journal, African Peace and Conflict Journal (APCJ). From 2010 to 2012, APCJ published six issues and three volumes, where 10 of the Doctoral Researchers and 1 of the PhD Fellows contributed.

Regarding the progress of the PhD candidates, 10 of the Doctoral Researchers and 1 of the PhD Fellows graduated. Some of the candidates also participated in different activities conducted by UPAP. Dr. Njageh Ann Rita Karimi, a 2009 Doctoral Researcher, for instance, participated in the Selection Committee of the 2012 UPEACE-IDRC PhD Fellowships and Doctoral Research Grants. Dr. Karimi is working as Deputy Director Directorate of Academic Linkages, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya. In addition, Dr. Fidelis Allen, a 2008 Doctoral Researcher also took part as Evaluator in the Doctoral Research Methodology Workshop that was organized in September 2012 for the 2012 PhD Fellows and Doctoral Researchers. Dr. Allen is a faculty member of Department of Political and Administrative Studies at University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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