Iso Lomso aims to bridge the gap between completing a Ph.D. and becoming an established scholar in Africa. While there is growing support for doctoral studies and post-doctoral fellowships, the greatest loss of talent occurs during the extended post-doctoral period.

Fellows are expected to stay at STIAS for the term of their residence, with no academic requirements other than conducting the planned research project. The only other responsibilities are to participate in the daily lunch discussion and the Thursday STIAS fellows’ seminar, where fellows present their work to other fellows and invited academics from the local community.

Application deadline: February 15, 2022

Benefits of STIAS Iso Lomso Fellowships for Early Career African Researchers

STIAS residences are the primary source of support. Residential periods shall be jointly agreed upon by the fellow, his or her home institution, and STIAS, and may range from six weeks to five months per residency. A longer period of residency will normally be taken up in 2022, followed by two additional residencies through 2024. Fellows get regular STIAS fellow support while in residence, which includes:

  • an economy return flight;
  • comfortable accommodation within walking distance from the institute;
  • individual offices equipped with a PC, telephone and printer;
  • a monthly stipend for daily living costs;
  • access to the Stellenbosch University library (including electronic resources) and a high-speed internet connection;
  • participation in the regular STIAS fellows programme, including daily lunch, weekly fellows’ seminars, STIAS public lectures and social events;
  • a child care subsidy for fellows accompanied by young children while in residence.

During residency periods, Iso Lomso fellows’ home institutions will be eligible to apply for a lecturer replacement subsidy. After the fellowships are awarded, this will be handled on a case-by-case basis with the home institution. It will be the obligation of both the fellow and the home institution to find alternative lecturers.

Iso Lomso fellows will maintain their usual academic activities at their home university while not in residence at STIAS. Fellows may apply for a variety of research sponsorship programs throughout these times. These factors will be taken into account in a flexible manner to ensure that they fit ideally into the study program.

  • a subsequent residency at a sister Institute for Advanced Study or relevant research institution in North America, Europe or elsewhere (this will form part of the ten months’ residency allocation; the fellow’s preferences for potential host institutions will be considered);
  • funding to attend up to two relevant academic conferences or research training events (covering travel, accommodation and
  • participation fees);
  • limited project funding for key interventions in the research programme;
  • the possibility of hosting a workshop at STIAS or their home institution as a means of strengthening the fellow’s scholarly network and research impact.

Applicants are advised to think about which of these areas they want to include in the pre-proposal timetable. During their initial residency, Iso Lomso fellows will plan and finalize these elements.

Eligibility Criteria

The program is designed for African researchers who have earned a doctorate within the last seven years and are employed at a university or research organization in Africa.

Candidates must have a research program in place and have completed a postdoctoral fellowship or similar post-PhD program. All disciplines are taken into account.

To be eligible applicants must:

  • be a national of any African country;
  • be born after the 1st of January 1979;
  • have an affiliation at a research or higher education institution in an African country, and continue to do so for the foreseeable future;
  • have obtained a doctoral degree from any recognised higher education institution (worldwide) after the 1st of January 2014;
  • have completed a post-doctoral fellowship or equivalent post-PhD research programme;
  • be in a position to commence a first period of residency at STIAS during 2022.

How to Apply

For complete details on how to apply, applicants may check the official STIAS website

Applications will be evaluated and selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Level: the applicant’s academic excellence and the originality and scholarly strength of the proposed research project;
  • Innovation: the project’s promise of new insights and the potential to produce new knowledge;
  • Interdisciplinarity: whether the project methodology allows for drawing from different disciplines and its potential to facilitate an interdisciplinary discourse;
  • Relevance: the project’s relevance for scholarship and knowledge production in Africa;
  • Feasibility: whether the research design and the research plan are convincing and realistic.

During final selection, additional consideration will be given to:

  • gender representation;
  • diversity of nationalities;
  • diversity of disciplines;
  • participation in previous or current research projects;
  • previous international experience.

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