Chatham House Academy Africa Fellowship

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The fellowship is open to citizens of Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, or South Africa. 
Applications will be accepted from applicants holding dual nationality which includes one of these countries.


It is required that the applicant holds a completed BA degree or equivalent, Masters degree with an international focus is preferred.


The fellowship is aimed at candidates at the mid-stage of their career and who come from academia, NGOs, business, government departments, civil society or the media. They should possess knowledge of, and an interest in, one of the policy-related challenges laid out in the research topics in ‘Research Topics.’
The recruitment round for 2017 is between 3 April and 31 May, applications made outside of this period will not be considered. Apply using our online application portal.
The fellow will receive a monthly stipend of £2,160.  Modest provision is made for the costs of relocation, fieldwork, and possible publication costs.
A fellow’s time will be split between three key areas: 
  • Completing a personal research project of the fellow's own design undertaken with the guidance of a Chatham House expert, (approximately 50%).
  • Contributing to the ongoing research activities of their host research team and other Chatham House teams as appropriate (approximately 20%).
  • Participation in the Academy’s Leadership Programme (approximately 30%). The Leadership Programme is a key part of the Academy fellowships. It provides fellows with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, network and self-awareness, which they can then draw upon in their future careers as effective leaders in their field. 

Leadership Programme

All Academy fellows participate in, and contribute to, the Academy’s Leadership Programme which encompasses the following components:
  • Intensive induction week
    Academy fellowships begin with an intensive five-day induction week at Chatham House to become familiarized with the elements of the fellowships and the Leadership Programme, meet their host research programme, and have their first personal development coaching session.
  • Weekly discussion seminars
    These sessions highlight the principal substantive and skills-based areas the Academy believes vital for informed and effective international leadership. Fellows are expected to contribute to and learn from one another’s experience.
  • Global Introductions off-site visits
    These half-day visits take place approximately every two months and allow fellows to meet with leaders and senior decision-makers from a variety of sectors. Previous visits have included the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, Standard Chartered, and Thomson Reuters.
  • Leadership workshops
    Every two months fellows participate in half-day workshops focusing on specific aspects of leadership such as ‘Leadership in a new role’ and ‘Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship’
  • Project presentations
    Fellows present updates on their research projects which  help fellow develop presentation skills, provide a valuable forum for peer-review and to think about and analyse issues outside their own area of expertise.
  • Personal development coaching
    Fellows join the Academy seeking to grow their self-awareness through monthly one-on-one sessions with a dedicated coach, with whom they set personal development objectives which they work to meet during their fellowship and beyond.
  • Media training
    Fellows learn how to interview effectively on television and radio, culminating in a mock interview from which they receive feedback on their presentation style and any areas of improvement
  • ‘Leaders Who Lunch’
    Academy fellows will have priority in participating in the ‘Leaders Who Lunch’ series giving them the opportunity to discuss leadership experiences and lessons in an informal setting with acknowledged leaders from government, business, media and the non-profit sectors.
  • Career mentors
    Fellows have the option to have an external career mentor during their fellowship. Mentors are independent of the Academy and Chatham House and are picked individually for each fellow based on their career objectives.
The fellowship is for a 10-month term from mid-September 2017 to mid-July 2018.
The fellow will be based full-time at Chatham House, London.
Fellows are hosted by and based in research teams at Chatham House. During the fellowship, the fellow will conduct a research project of their own design which falls within the research topics below.
The parameters for the research topics have been designed in broad terms to allow applicants to devise a project that appeals to their own research interests.

Research topics with the Africa Programme

Iran’s role in sub-Saharan Africa
Ensuring a steady supply of uranium for its nuclear programme, the export of armaments and the use of Africa as a transit point for supplying its partners in Lebanon and Palestine have all been paramount to Iranian engagement on Africa.  Although Iran remains mired in a number of active and ideological conflicts closer to home, Africa is likely to become increasingly attractive to a newly empowered post-sanctions regime in Tehran. This research would build on the Africa Programme’s existing project on emerging powers’ engagements in Africa, and examine whether and how Iran’s engagement with African countries is changing.
Africa’s maritime security and development
Maritime security in Africa is threatened by complex and interlinked crime, including piracy and armed robbery at sea, the overexploitation of fisheries, oil theft and the smuggling of illicit goods. The African Union has identified the continent’s maritime domain as a key driver of economic growth and social development and created the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy to promote protection and sustainable exploitation of the African maritime domain for wealth creation. This research would explore how African governments can enact policies that favour the emergence of a blue economy, and make the sea a key driver of development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Decentralization and local governance structures in sub-Saharan Africa
In recent years, an increasing number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have gone through decentralisation processes and held local elections. The prime objective of the decentralisation process is to improve the efficiency of governance; however, as some countries have demonstrated the process can be derailed, particularly if there is a lack of clarity over division of responsibilities. This research would track the strengths and weaknesses apparent in local governance arrangements in sub-Saharan Africa. It would support better understanding of how strong elected local governments can contribute towards improving efficiency of state delivery and democratic accountability, and how the international community can better engage with African local structures. 
For more information about the work of the Africa Programme and the context for this research topic, please click here.

Research topics with the International Security Department

Cyber security in Africa
The research will be aimed at informing policymakers of improved approaches to cyber security in Africa. This project is based on the need for a multi-faceted approach to combating cyber-crime, providing effective measures against criminal activities to reduce harms, whilst promoting enabled gains and dividends through an improved digital economy to encourage users to better manage their cyber hygiene.  This project will aim to build an evidence base of research on the extent, trends and causes and contributing factors to cyber vulnerabilities of the digital economy in Africa.
More information about the work of the International Security Department and the context for this research topic, please click here.

Research topics with the Energy, Environment and Resources Department

Access to sustainable energy – governance, incentives and capacities needed to achieve it
SDG 7 commits the world to achieving “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030.  International donors have enthusiastically embraced this agenda with high-profile schemes such as ‘Energy Africa’ and ‘Power Africa’. Yet although the focus is on growth and increased supply, sustainable energy access means not only installing greater capacity, but also creating the supply chains, market mechanisms and governance regimes to ensure that this supply delivers what is intended. Linked to our innovative work on improving energy for displaced people, EER is seeking research proposals (either at the national or regional level) that identify and help enable sustainable energy access goals – both in terms of business models, and the governance and policy changes that would be needed to support them.
For more information about the work of the Energy, Environment and Resources Department and the context for this research topic, please click here.

Research topics with the International Law Programme

African perspectives on international law
African governments may differ from those in the West and elsewhere in their perceptions and approaches to various aspects of international law. There is evidence of this, for example, in attitudes to international criminal institutions, to the jurisdictional reach of national courts, and to the institutional relationship between the African Union and the United Nations. Project proposals should focus not so much on the academic discourse stemming from ‘third world approaches to international law’ but on solutions which encourage the universality of international law. This project would complement the International Law Programme’s existing work on rising powers and international law.
For more information about the work of the International Law Programme and the context for this research topic, please click here.
Should you have any further queries please contact us at  

The Africa Fellowship is a joint initiative between Chatham House and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation


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