Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2020/2021 | Up to US$15,000


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is now accepting applications from eligible citizens of any sub-Saharan African country for its 2020/2021 Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship. The deadline for submission of applications for the SSRC Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship is 1st February, 2021.

SSRC's Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program

The Social Science Research Council offers fellowships to support the completion of doctoral degrees and to promote next generation social science research in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The fellowships support dissertation research on peace, security, and development topics.


The doctoral dissertation research fellowship supports 6-12 months of dissertation research costs of up to US$15,000 on a topic related to peace, security, and development. This program also offers two workshops each year to help fellows to further develop and strengthen their research, engage key literature in their fields, embark on fieldwork-based research, and develop their capacity for scholarly writing, including academic publications.

SSRC Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship Eligibility.

All applicants must:


  • be citizens of any sub-Saharan African country
  • be enrolled and working towards a PhD in an accredited university, or affiliated to an institution in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda
  • have a fully developed doctoral dissertation research proposal approved by a graduate school/program at an accredited university in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania or Uganda.
  • in the very initial phase of field research, or preparing for the fieldwork phase of their dissertation 

SSRC Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship Thematic Priorities.

The program features a thematic focus on peace, security, and development in order to renew basic research agendas and strengthen interdisciplinary social science research capacity addressing these issues.

The program encourages innovative research on peace, security, and development topics, moving the boundaries of scholarship and research by exploring concrete linkages between these themes. They envision supporting a diverse set of projects seeking to shed light on a range of economic, political, social, conflict and peacebuilding processes using evidence-based research.

Some projects, they hope, will examine large-scale phenomena and others small-scale social processes. The strongest projects typically will explore connections across these scales. Some research projects will rigorously explore elements of governance, civil society, human rights, peacebuilding mechanisms/institutions and processes, and rule of law. Others will explore root causes of conflict, human insecurity, emerging trajectories and forms of conflict, insecurities, and human mobilities. Above all projects should advance important fields of study and social science knowledge.

SSRC Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship Evaluation Criteria.

Strong proposals will offer clear and concise descriptions of the project and its significance. Proposals should display thorough knowledge of the relevant social science literature that applicants will engage and the methodologies relevant to the project. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that all proposed activities are feasible and can be completed in a timely manner. All proposals will be evaluated for these criteria by an independent, international committee of leading scholars from a range of social science and related disciplines.

How to Apply for SSRC Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship.

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal.

Strong proposals will offer clear and concise descriptions of the project and its significance. Proposals should display thorough knowledge of the relevant social science literature that applicants will engage and the methodologies relevant to the project. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that all proposed activities are feasible and can be completed in a timely manner. All proposals will be evaluated for these criteria by an independent, international committee of leading scholars from a range of social science and related disciplines.

The next application deadline is February 1, 2021. Award decisions will be announced in May 2021, and all Next Gen funded research must take place between July 2021 and July 2021.

Apply Here Official Link

Deadline: 1st February, 2021. 

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