2019 ASA Presidential Fellowship Program

Deadline: March 31, 2019.

The ASA recognizes that it is futile to effectively study Africa and meaningfully engage important issues affecting the African continent, without also meaningfully engaging the scholars and practitioners on the ground who are working against considerable odds to bring about change. These actors generate much of the empirical data that goes into informing reports and studies which are published and circulated in the “global north,” however the vast majority of them are unable to access resources, networks and capacity-building opportunities beyond their borders.

The ASA Presidential Fellows Program is responding to this gap by continuing its tradition of providing opportunities for academics and practitioners with a scholarly interest in Africa to travel  to attend the ASA Annual Meeting, visit institutions of higher learning in the United States, engage with academics working on Africa-related issues, take courses and to explore opportunities for collaborative ventures.



This year the ASA will fund approximately five to seven scholars from the following categories of ASA Presidential Fellows:

  • 3 Fellows will be sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/ASA Presidential Fellows Program.The selection process for this category will be managed by the African Humanities Program of the ACLS 
  • ASA member contribution sponsored Fellowship(s). The ASA has two member-nominated fellowships available, with additional fellowships to be made available, contingent on funding.



  • Applicants must be based in a higher education institution or an organization on the African continent and should be able to demonstrate a scholarly commitment to work on issues affecting Africa.
  • All applicants must be nominated by a current ASA member. If you are an applicant interested in the Program, you may consult the ASA’s Membership Directory to find and contact an ASA member who can nominate you. Please note that the Membership Directory is only available to members of the African Studies Association, via the ASA Membership Portal. Please visit the ASA’s Membership Portal to obtain information about becoming a member of the ASA and to register for ASA membership.
  • The nominating member must be willing to host and mentor the Fellow during the conference.  Hosting and mentoring is understood as the following:
  1. Ensuring that the award recipient attends as many conference-related events as possible.
  2. Support the award recipient with networking during the conference.
  3. Arrange for a visit by the scholar to one or more institutions, both for the purpose of presenting their research, and forming networks (travel will be arranged by the host institution unless otherwise agreed). Nominations must include a proposed itinerary during the institutional visit(s), detailing possible events and meetings the Presidential Fellow may have. If possible, please include information about available financial support for the Fellow and the visit.
  • For candidates in academia, preference will be given to emerging scholars – which we understand as scholars about to complete their Ph.D. or within 5 years past completion, particularly those who do not have experience studying or conducting research in North American institutions.
  • For practitioner candidates, the nominating member must be able to demonstrate in their nomination letter how participating in the ASA Presidential Fellows Program will positively impact the candidate’s work/engagement.
  • While applicants may come from multidisciplinary backgrounds, preference will be given to applicants with demonstrable scholarly and/or activist contributions to development initiatives in Africa.
  • Eligible women applicants are encouraged to apply.



ASA members must submit their nominations using the ASA Presidential Fellows Program online nomination form, available here.




ASA Presidential Fellows Program

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