Home Education Iso Lomso Fully-funded Fellowships for Early Career African Researchers 2017

Iso Lomso Fully-funded Fellowships for Early Career African Researchers 2017


Iso Lomso Fellowships provide an exceptional early career opportunity for Africa’s brightest minds in academia. Iso Lomso means ‘the eye of tomorrow’ in isiXhosa: seeing towards the future, laying the foundations for tomorrow.

Application Deadline: 15th November 2017

About the Award: The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study is a high-level research institute dedicated to innovative thinking, the production of new knowledge and the nurturing of emerging leaders. It was established in 1999 as an
independent Public Benefit Organization with its own Board of Directors. Over the past decade STIAS has emerged as a prime research destination on the continent of Africa.

Its aim is to provide a creative space for the mind where leaders in their respective disciplines can devote their undivided attention to innovative projects of their own choosing, free from the distractions of lecturing and administrative responsibilities.

While it belongs to the family of institutes for advanced study, for example Princeton, Berlin, Uppsala, Stanford, Harvard and Nantes, STIAS is distinguished by three aspects: It serves all disciplines, not only the natural sciences, social sciences or the humanities; it concentrates on interdisciplinary discourse and projects; and it has a special focus on Africa.

Iso Lomso aims to address the gap that exists between completion of the Ph.D. and becoming an established scholar in Africa. While there is increasing support for doctoral study and for post-doctoral fellowships, it is during the extended post-doctoral period that the greatest loss of talent occurs.

Iso Lomso takes its cue from the ethos and objectives of STIAS. It does not offer an alternative programme to the regular fellows’ programme, but complements and builds on the proven and successful model of the Institute. It aims at enhancing the existing cross-fertilization of minds by broadening its scope through the inclusion of a younger generation.

Fellows are expected to be present at STIAS for the duration of their STIAS residency, with no academic obligations other than pursuing the proposed research project. The only other duties are to share in the discussion over lunch which is served daily, and to participate in the Thursday STIAS fellows’ seminar where fellows in turn present their work to other fellows and invited academics from the local community.       

Type: Fellowship

Eligibility: The programme is aimed at African scholars who have obtained a doctoral degree within the preceding seven years and who hold an academic position at a university or research institution anywhere in Africa. Candidates should have established a research programme and have completed a post-doctoral fellowship or equivalent post-PhD programme. All disciplines are considered.

To be eligible applicants must:

• be a national of any African country;
• be born after the 1st of January 1976;
• 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 2011;
• 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 the second half of 2018 or the first half of 2019.

Selection Criteria: 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.

Number of Awards: 20

Value of Award: Iso Lomso Fellows will enjoy:

  • a three-year attachment to STIAS during which time they may spend a total of ten months in residence at STIAS to develop and pursue a long-term research programme;
  • the possibility of a residency at a sister institute for advanced study in North America, Europe or elsewhere;
  • funding to attend up to three international conferences or training workshops anywhere in the world;
  • support to convene a workshop with collaborators at STIAS;
  • lecturer replacement subsidy for the fellow’s home institution during residency periods.

Duration of Program: 3 years

How to Apply: Download the Iso Lomso Application Form 2017

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers:  Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study  (STIAS)

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