2016 University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program

The University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program

The University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) opens for applications for the 2016/17 session. The Program brings early career faculty from African universities to Ann Arbor, Michigan for residencies that begin in late August, generally lasting up to six months.

Scholars are paired with a faculty mentor during their stay and have full access to the University of Michigan’s resources to further their work on a research project, an academic degree, publications, grant proposal, or other relevant activity. The program supports the development of the next generation of African scholars by integrating them into international academic networks, and promotes U-M’s international commitment to research and teaching collaborations across diverse disciplines, from engineering to literature to economics.

Since 2009, the UMAPS Program has hosted eight cohorts of scholars (107 total) from Ghana, South Africa, Liberia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania representing a wide range of disciplines that closely align with the following initiatives:
  • African Heritage Initiative (AHI) supports research related to the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences, which highlights the dynamic, contested process by which African cultures and histories are made;
  • African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) promotes social science research on democratic governance and distributive politics; income dynamics and poverty; and gender, health, and development;
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Initiative (STEM-Africa) nurtures the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Africa, which extends scientific knowledge and yields solutions to global problems.


Review and selection will be made by a multidisciplinary faculty committee at the University of Michigan and will be based on the following:

  • Academic quality of the candidate and of the proposed program of scholarship
  • Academic fit of the candidate with others selected in the cycle and with the areas of interest described in the Scholarly Program section below – it is our hope to facilitate scholarly networks
  • Support of the candidate’s home institution

Priority will be given to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds. Promotion of gender equity in the current class of scholars and in the African academy will also be prioritized. Applicants who already have significant international experience will not be favored.

Worth of Award

Those admitted to the UMAPS Program will receive:

  • Four to six months residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, paired with a faculty mentor with full access to the university’s resources
  • Round-trip airfare from their home country to Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Free housing, and a modest stipend to cover living, health care, and research costs while at U-M.
    Important note: The UMAPS program is unable to accommodate spouses and/or dependents
  • Office/Laboratory space
  • Opportunity to present research to the U-M community

Faculty members of colleges and universities in all other African countries cannot apply directly to the UMAPS program without first being nominated and invited to apply by a U-M faculty member with whom s/he already has a pre-existing relationship.

All applicants must:

  • Be an early career faculty member who has taught in the higher education system for less than ten years, presently teaching in a college or university in Africa
  • Be able to demonstrate support from home institution with letter of recommendation from head of department, dean, or vice chancellor
  • Be able to remain in residence from four to six months

How to Apply

  • Applicants outside of Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, or Uganda must be nominated by a U-M faculty member with whom the interested applicant already has a pre-existing/established relationship.
  • The nominating faculty must:
  • Complete the online nomination form »
  • Submit a letter of endorsement that indicates his/her willingness to serve as a mentor during the length of the residency, commit to meet regularly, and provide an office space for the prospective participant

Upon receipt of the U-M faculty’s nomination form, ASC will send the invitation to apply to the potential candidate.

All applicants must:

  • Complete the online application form »
  • Submit a curriculum vitae
  • Submit a scholarly program/research proposal (not to exceed five pages)
    Applications from a wide range of disciplines and schools are welcome; applications that align with the center’s initiatives—African Heritage, African Social Research, and STEM-Africa—are encouraged
  • Provide a complete name and contact information of the department head, dean, or vice chancellor at the applicant’s home institution who will be writing their letter of support

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed after the closing date on October 15. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

  • Only applications submitted through the online system will be considered. ASC does not accept electronic (PDF) or hard copy submissions of the application.
  • Residency period: Late August-Early February

For further inquiries, please contact: asc-contact@umich.edu

Click here for more details and to apply


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