Pilot African Postgraduate Academy (PAPA)

The Pilot African Postgraduate Academy (PAPA) targets early career scholars who have recently accomplished their doctoral theses and who are based at Universities in Africa. The goal is to foster among them a commitment to the value of scholarship for its own sake, cultivate their interest in conceptual understanding and promote an orientation towards the use of knowledge acquired in Africa to contribute to the further development of science in general.

In order to achieve this, the proposed PAPA will set up a training programme to encourage laureates to engage with fundamental epistemological issues in a critical dialogue with their disciplines, Area Studies and their identity as scholars. The proposed project will consist of the following elements:

  • Two workshops per year bringing together fifteen selected scholars and up to four established researchers in Bamako;
  • A mentorship programme bringing together senior researchers and laureates at their home institutions;
  • A strong network amongst the scholars themselves;
  • A strong intellectual centre based at Point Sud, an independent organization with a long-standing expertise in organizing scientific events and providing high level training to young scholars.
  • A focus on early career scholars from francophone African countries, which in spite of remarkable strides over recent years continues to play a minor role in global knowledge production. The project has the ambition to make early career scholars more productive in that regard. All candidates must be fluent in French and have a working knowledge of English, as a significant part of the bibliography will be in English.
  • Linkages with established African researchers living outside Africa with colleagues from African universities; in this way, not only does it promote networking between the scholars but also between diaspora lecturers and Africa.

The programme is committed to the promotion of scholarship as opposed to policy relevant research. It acknowledges the crucial role which scholars of Africa can play in the further development of the social sciences and humanities owing to Africa’s particular historical circumstances and the special epistemological issues raised by knowledge produced on Africa.

Full project description [PDF]

Actual call for application [PDF]

More information:  Dr. Stefan Schmid, ZIAF, s.schmid@em.uni-frankfurt.de