Meaning-making Research Initiatives : Special call for female researchers

Application deadline: May 31, 2018


Established in 1973, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research 
in Africa (CODESRIA) promotes research by African and Diaspora scholars in the 
Social Sciences and Humanities that can contribute to a better understanding of 
Africa and its place in the world. This is motivated by the belief that sound 
knowledge of the continent is invaluable to efforts to make Africa a better 
place for its peoples and societies.

In 2017 CODESRIA introduced the Meaning-making Research Initiative (MRI) as its 
principal tool for supporting research. Like previous tools, MRI focuses on 
supporting research that contributes to agendas for imagining, planning and 
creating African futures. MRI replaced five tools that CODESRIA had deployed in 
previous years to support research. These were National Working Groups (NWG), 
Multinational Working Groups (MWG), Comparative Research Networks (CRN), 
Transnational Working Groups (TWG) and postdoctoral grants. One goal of this 
move is to increase the legibility and visibility of the research supported by 
the Council by collapsing previous tools into a single initiative for 
supporting research.

The adoption of MRI marks a recommitment to the tasks of interpretation and 
explanation that saw CODESRIA produce ground-breaking work on thematic issues 
such as democratization and economic reform in Africa. MRI aggressively pushes 
scholars to build on the close observation of African social realities to 
grapple with the tasks of explanation and interpretation. The initiative will 
reinforce support for researchers. It will also better integrate these scholars 
into the Council’s work. Further, it will offer scholars more varied ways to 
present their work, including through books, journal articles and policy 

Key selection criteria: Projects funded under this initiative should meet most 
of the following criteria:

  *   Propose research on important aspects of African social realities that 
fall under CODESRIA’s priority themes as outlined in the CODESRIA Strategic 
  *   Be guided by clear questions that explore puzzling aspects of the social 
realities of Africa and its position in the world while at the same time 
reflecting an interest in questions of diversity including the gendered one;
  *   Be grounded in the thorough exploration of the continent’s social 
realities and history;
  *   Engage constructively and rigorously with African futures;
  *   Be theoretically ambitious with a clear goal of providing new and 
innovative ways of understanding and making sense of African social realities;
  *   Explore multiple spatial, temporal and sectoral settings where this 
contributes to the process of meaning-making;
  *   Demonstrate familiarity with knowledge already produced by CODESRIA on 
the subject researched.

Thematic priorities: All applications must engage with CODESRIA’s 2017-2021 
thematic priorities and cross-cutting issues:

  1.  Democratic processes, governance, citizenship and security in Africa: 
Security challenges and ways of grappling with them, transitional justice, 
democratization, citizenship and migration, the rule of law and human rights, 
governance processes and mechanisms at local, national and international 
levels, language, the changing boundaries and configurations of states and 
  2.  Ecologies, economies and societies in Africa: Land, natural resource 
management, climate change, demographic change, urbanization, food security and 
poverty in Africa and technological innovation as well as the interaction of 
human populations with the rest of the environment in Africa, the forms it 
takes, its histories and trajectories and its impact on a broad set of sectors 
including the continent’s burgeoning economies
  3.  Higher education dynamics in a changing Africa: The role of higher 
education in economic and political transformation in Africa, the rapid 
transformation in the African higher education landscape, the reform of African 
higher education and innovations in higher education leadership

Cross-cutting themes: Applications should indicate the ways in which some of 
these cross-cutting themes are integrated in their proposals: these are gender, 
generations, inequality, rurality and urbanity, memory and history, as well as 
futures and alternatives

Special call for female scholars

Increasing the participation of female scholars in the work and governance of 
CODESRIA has been a long-term goal of the Council. This is because of the 
marginal role that women have often occupied in the African academy and 
research landscape. The Council has over the years made some progress in 
increasing the participation of female scholars in its life and work as well as 
the consideration of gender in the work it supports though programs like its 
Gender Institute and Gender Symposium. We think the Council can do more in this 
regard. This special MRI call is part of a package of measures deployed to 
build on past advances and drastically increase the involvement of female 
scholars in the work and life of CODESRIA during the 2017-2021 strategic cycle.

The call invites applications from groups only. No individual awards will be 
granted. All projects should: 1) be headed by female scholars; and 2) have only 
women as members. Only in exceptional cases, and with proper justification, 
will the Council admit a group that has a majority of female applicants with a 
small number of male members. The members of a group may be from one country or 
multiple countries. Each group should have between 3 and 5 members and should 
take into account CODESRIA’s core principles of linguistic, intergenerational 
and interdisciplinary diversity. All members of a group should have a 
demonstrated ability to contribute meaningfully to the work of the group. The 
Council will offer up to USD 35,000 for each winning project.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit application packages containing the 
following required materials as Word documents. Please note that applications 
that lack any of these elements will be discarded.

  *   A proposal with the following clearly titled sections: an introduction; 
statement and contextualization of research question; brief review of 
literature and/or competing hypotheses; study design and research methodology; 
theoretical and practical significance of the study; research plan and a brief 
summary of budget. Proposals must be submitted as Word documents and should not 
exceed 10 pages long (font type: Times New Roman; font size: 12; line spacing: 
  *   Completed budget template: A completed version of the budget template 
attached to this call. Budgets should take into consideration the fact that 
these grants have strict 16-month lifespans.
  *   Annotated plan of deliverables: One-page annotated table of contents for 
two scholarly articles.
  *   A cover letter listing full details- names, email and physical addresses 
and telephone number- of the members and coordinator of the project
  *   CVs of the members of the project
  *   Institutional affiliation: A letter indicating institutional affiliation 
of each member
  *   Identification sheet: A completed version of the identification sheet 
attached to this call. Please leave the document as an Excel file.

The deadline for submission of applications for both individual and group 
grants is May 31, 2018. Notification of the result of the selection process 
will be done by July 30, 2018 and applicants who will not hear from us by then 
should consider their applications unsuccessful. All applications should be 
sent by email to “2018 Meaning-making Research Initiatives,” CODESRIA at<>. When sending your email kindly use 
the subject line ‘MRI FS 2018’ to facilitate the processing of your application.

To learn more about CODESRIA’s Meaning-making Research Initiatives please 

Research Program
BP 3304, CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal
Tel: +221 - 33 825 9822/23
Fax: +221- 33 824 1289

  Modèle de budget / 
      Excel   31.4 kb
  MRI Budget 
 Excel   31.4 kb
 Excel   11.9 kb
 Excel   11.9 kb

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