The University of the Witwatersrand, in South Africa, has set up a residency programme for primarily young and emerging (attained a PhD in the last 5 years) African academics working in universities on the continent (outside South Africa) or who have recently completed a PhD and have recently been appointed to an academic position in an African university. Wits University is an English medium university and therefore fellows should have an ability to operate in English to achieve maximum benefit from and for the residency.

One of the central aims of the residency is to enable and support young and emerging African academics to develop and strengthen a research trajectory through a structured research programme. Another central aim of the residency is to contribute to capacity building in African universities by developing a new generation of young academics.

The residency will enable young, emerging African academics to engage in conversations with academics and students at Wits University and in the South African academy broadly including postgraduate students in ways that are mutually beneficial. The residency programme will therefore be an opportunity for in-depth intellectual engagement between South African academics and students and their African counterparts. This can foster research collaboration and networking that strengthens universities on the continent.

Form of the Residency

The residency will be tenable for a period of 6 months that will be carried out over 3 years. The residency can be structured in two ways: either 3 months in the first year, 2 months in the second year and 1 month in the last year; or 2 months in each year.

Process and eligibility

Applicants should outline a coherent research project and programme that can be conducted over a period of 3 visits to Wits University. The programme should include participation in seminars, conferences and colloquia as well regular presentation of work in progress to appropriate groups of academics and students at Wits University and should lead to publication outputs in peer reviewed outlets. A residency project or programme could include completing the write up of journal papers, book chapters or a manuscript.

All applications should be accompanied by confidential letters of reference and support from the Dean or Head as appropriate, and endorsed by the Vice Chancellor of the applicant’s university.

The Residency grant will cover the following, as well as R50 000 for research purposes:

  1. Airfare (will depend on country/region)
  2. Monthly Stipend
  3. Accommodation
  4. Local Transport
  5. Medical Aid and Insurance
  6. Research Costs


Attachment Name Attachment Type
The Wits Africa Residency Programme DOC PDF PS
Application for Wits Africa Research Grant DOC PDF PS