The West African Research Association (WARA), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation has announced its support for young West African scholars through its Ideas Matter Doctoral Fellowship program. The program is a reflection of our joint commitment to increasing opportunities for emerging West African scholars, people who are transforming ideas into active solutions to the challenges facing not only the region, but also throughout the globe. Interested candidates are advised to apply

The Fellowship is open to support doctoral students under age 35 who are based in West African institutions of higher education, for research on the continent. Priority will be given to research projects focusing on women, technology and entrepreneurship.

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Key Scholarship Details

These are some of the key details about the ongoing MasterCard Foundation/WARA Ideas Matter Doctoral Fellowship;

  • Scholarship Sponsor(s): MasterCard Foundation/WARA
  • Host Institution(s): West African institutions
  • Study Level: PhD
  • Scholarship Type: Grants, Fellowship
  • Scholarship Worth: $4,000
  • Number of Awards: 5
  • Nationality: All Nationalities

Eligible Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo.

Eligibility Criteria for the MasterCard Foundation/WARA Ideas Matter Doctoral Fellowship

This competition is open to West African Citizens who are currently enrolled in graduate programs at institution of higher education in West African countries. Priority will be given to applicants who are at the pre-dissertation stage and who demonstrate financial need

Benefits of the Fellowship

The Ideas Matter Doctoral Fellowship will award one pre-doctoral grant of $4,000 for travel to West Africa to conduct research.

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How to Apply

  • Abstract (50-80 words) 
  • Proposal (6 pages – double spaced) 
  • Resume or CV 
  • Itemized budget (including estimated costs for housing, food, travel, equipment, printing/photocopying, and institutional affiliation fees) 
  • Graduate transcripts (Scan and upload official transcripts) 
  • Bibliography 
  • Three letters of reference signed by the recommender. 
  • Statement explaining how your research will contribute to meeting critical needs on the continent 

The proposal statement should describe the concept, methodology and the significance of the proposed research project to the applicant’s academic field, and how this research contributes to the objective of the Ideas Matter Fellowship.  The language should be understandable to non-specialist readers. (An excellent resource for preparing applications, On the Art of Writing Proposals, can be found on the SSRC website.)

Start Application

Visit Program Webpage for details

Application Deadline: 14th August 2022

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