West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) Research Fellowship Programme 2024 for young Researchers.

May 16, 2024

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Bursary Description

Application Deadline: 31 May 2024

Applications are now open for the 2024 West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) Research Fellowship Programme.

The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was created to reinforce the institutional, operational and knowledge capacities of civil society in the region as well as enhance knowledge on civil society in the region. WACSI serves as a resource hub for training, research and documentation, experience sharing, and policy dialogue for organised civil society in West Africa.

The fellowship is open to all young researchers from West Africa. Other young researchers who are not from the region but are interested in understanding and documenting civil society praxis in West Africa can be considered.

In this year’s fellowship, priority will be given to the documentation of indigenous knowledge practices within the work of civil society in West Africa. Indigenous knowledge refers to the unique, traditional knowledge systems, practices, beliefs, and innovations that have been developed and passed down through generations within indigenous communities. For civil society, indigenous knowledge can play a significant role in informing and enriching the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs).  


  • The fellowship is open to all young researchers from West Africa. Other young researchers who are not from the region but are interested in understanding and documenting civil society praxis in West Africa can be considered. 
  • Candidates interested in working on topical issues related to civil society are highly encouraged to apply. The Institute is keen on having candidates interested on topics related to the following: 
  • Local philanthropy, 
  • Technology for development,  
  • The localisation agenda,  
  • Decolonisation of aid,  
  • Resource mobilisation,  
  • Civil society sustainability,  
  • Shift the power,  
  • Leadership and succession,  
  • Strategic partnerships and  
  • Capacity strengthening for civil society in West Africa.  
  • Current master’s or PhD students and/or graduates who completed their master’s or PhD studies within the last two years. 
  • Applicants must demonstrate strong analytical skills and the ability to perform independent research. 
  • Interested applicants should be able and ready to cover all costs related to the fellowship. 
  • Applicants must be able to communicate fluently either in English and/or French. French speaking candidates are highly encouraged to apply.  


  • Active participation in this fellowship offers fellows with a keen interest in civil society access to a wide range of benefits to help successfully conduct their research or engage in a knowledge documentation project. 
  • Fellows will be assigned to mentors who will guide them throughout the fellowship. 
  • The research findings and the fellows’ experience will be used to promote good practices in West Africa and beyond. 
  • Research fellows will receive monthly stipends and a research allowance from the Institute. 
  • Fellows are provided with a wealth of opportunities, skills and knowledge to better plan for or advance their future careers. 
  • Candidates would develop at least one WACSeries publication that will be published on the Institute’s website. 
  • Official recommendation from WACSI. 
  • Free access to WACSI’s publications. 


  • Production of at least two publishable research reports or policy documents. This can be either an Issue Paper, an Op-Ed and/or blogs articles
  • Contribution to ongoing research conducted and or commissioned by the Institute. 
  • Documentation of best practices, case studies and/or success stories. 


 The fellowship duration is six months (July – December 2024). This will be based on the alignment of the fellowship goals with the student’s current academic, career and/or research interests. However, applicants can be selected on a case-by-case basis. 

Application Process:

Interested candidates should submit the following: 

  • A motivation letter stating their duration and theme of interest 
  • A curriculum vitae 
  • A synopsis of not more than one page on the specific theme of interest you would be working on during your fellowship 
  • Sample of an authored article or paper. Provide evidence of any published works if available. 


  • 6 May 2024: Application opens. 
  • 31 May 2024: Deadline for receipt of applications. 
  • 7 June 2024: Shortlisted applicants are notified by email. 
  • 19 June 2024: Interview with shortlisted applicants. 
  • 25 June 2024: Selected candidates will receive feedback on their applications. 
  • 1 July 2024: Beginning of the research fellowship. Selected fellows can however discuss start dates per their specific cases. 

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the WACSI Research Fellowship Programme