The University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program

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The University of Michigan
African Presidential Scholars Program

Program Description:

The University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS) is designed to enhance collaboration between early career faculty from Ghana, Liberia, Uganda and South Africa and students and faculty at the University of Michigan. It is also designed to support faculty development in Africa and capacity building for African home institutions. The University of Michigan offers support in cultivating the next generation of African scholars by bringing them to the University of Michigan for periods of four to six months, and it seeks to build and strengthen lasting scholarly relationships with those scholars and their institutions. At the University of Michigan, they will have access to library and research materials that can assist them in working on a research project, academic degree, new course, grant proposal, or other relevant activity. While in residency, they will also be paired with a University of Michigan faculty member for collaboration on projects that will help them advance their careers. Eligible scholars may apply to visit Michigan for two months, a semester (four months), or for a half year (six months) beginning in September, 2013.

Research, Mentoring, and African Initiatives at UM:

Faculty representing all disciplines and all subjects are encouraged to apply. Each selected UMAPS scholar will be paired with a University of Michigan faculty member (or faculty research team) with similar interests. Applicants will have a greater chance of success if their scholarly work represents areas of special need and/or capacity building for their home institutions, and represents scholarly areas in which the University of Michigan is particularly able to provide mentorship and collaborative engagement.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the websites of the University of Michigan ( and the African Studies Center ( for additional information about the University.

The University of Michigan is currently highlighting the following areas:

  • African Heritage: research in African history, anthropology, literature, religious studies, and allied disciplines in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
  • African Social Research Initiative. Quantitative social scientific research on income dynamics, urbanization, gender, governance, demographics, urbanization, public health and environmental change.
  • STEM-Africa: research in the domains of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

However, our areas of interest and mentorship are broad and we encourage applications from the widest possible arena.


African Presidential Scholars will be provided with round-trip airfare from their home country to Ann Arbor, Michigan, housing, and a stipend to cover living and research expenses during their residency at the University of Michigan. Scholars would begin their residency in September, 2013.

It is expected that the scholar's home institution will continue to pay the scholar's academic salary during the duration of the fellowship.

Each scholar will be asked to give a seminar with other visiting Ghanaian, Liberian, Ugandan, and South African scholars and U-M faculty and students during his or her tenure.

The scholarship may be combined with other scholarships or funds to support an extended stay.

Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria and Process:

The applicant must be a faculty member from universities in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, or the University of Liberia. Since a primary intent of the program is assistance in capacity building in African academe, strong preference will be given to early career members of the faculty. Mid-career faculty may also apply for consideration.

Early career faculty means faculty who have taught in the higher education system for less than ten years. Applicants may or may not have received their PhD. If they have not received their PhD, the application to UMAPS should detail how a Michigan residency will contribute to that end. If they have PhD in hand, their programme of research in relation to career development should be clearly stated.

All applicants should include a letter of support from Head of Department, Chair, Dean or another person in the university administration recommending the candidate and explaining how this particular scholar will address an outstanding faculty/scholarly need at their university. The letter additionally should confirm the institution's commitment to continue to pay the scholar's academic salary while on leave at Michigan.  Review and selection will be made by a multidisciplinary faculty committee at the University of Michigan. Selection will be based on the academic quality of the candidate and of the proposed program of scholarship; the academic fit of the candidate with others selected in the cycle — it is our hope to facilitate scholarly networks — and with the areas of interest described above; and the support of the candidate's home institution. Strong emphasis will be given to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds. Promotion of gender equity in the current class of scholars and in the African academy will also be given strong consideration. Applicants who already have significant international experience will not be favored for the program.

Guidance on the Project Proposal:

Please ensure your project proposal includes the goals and range of work you hope to complete in the four to six months at UM.  The expectation is that many applicants will be continuing or completing research they have already begun.  If you intend to begin a new area of research, please explain how much of the topic you would be able to cover and how you would complete the work once back in your home country.  Also note the likely outcomes of your work at UM, for instance the completion of a manuscript, submission of articles, etc.

Application and Deadlines:

Applicants must submit:

  • A completed application form
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A scholarly program proposal, not to exceed five double-spaced pages
  • A letter of support from the department chair or program head, dean, or vice chancellor at the applicant's home institution. This letter should: (1) indicate the institution's commitment to continue to pay the scholar's academic salary while on leave at Michigan. It should also (2) describe the candidate's strengths and merits, and (3) explain how this candidate's Michigan residency contributes to central needs of the university.

Applications should be sent to the following address:

Director, African Studies Center
The University of Michigan
International Institute
1080 S. University Ave, Suite 3603
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109-1106
Tel: 734-615-3027
Fax: 734-936-0996

Alternatively, applications, or queries, can be sent electronically to the following electric mail address:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


"Africa can only be as strong as the institutions she creates and sustains to feed her mind, body and soul"

.............................. Anonymous

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden."
..............................Thomas Jefferson

"A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
.............................. Mohandas Gandhi

chda network in action2

Partners & Funders for 2011


                    - ICH Project
                     - Gabon
                     - Wheap


- Newcastle University
  (En-compass Field & Workshop)

- AU - African Union