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Call for Pitches: CARI Writing Workshop

Call for Pitches:
CARi researcher workshop – “Writing for impact”


October 11-12, 2019

As an academic, do you worry about the real-life impact of your writing? With a long lag time between research and publication, findings can become dated by the time articles and books reach their intended audiences. For the general public, academic writing can also be seen as long-winded, overly theoretical, full of jargon, and often without practical, policy-linked conclusions. Given the often-controversial nature of China-Africa engagements, we believe that there is a level of urgency in getting current research published in a more accessible and time-sensitive manner.

The China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) proposes to train China-Africa scholars to improve the impact of their writing, by turning academic research into formats more commonly read by general audiences as well as policymakers. To help bridge the gap, CARI is hosting its first workshop focused on translating academic work into policy briefs, op-eds, and long-form articles. We want to help you make your scholarly research more accessible, and help you reach wider audiences in a timely fashion, including through leveraging social media to circulate your work.

This small-scale (maximum of twelve participants), two-day writing workshop will be held at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12, 2019. Researchers will exchange with editors, policymakers, and China-Africa scholars who have succeeded in disseminating their findings to the non-academic world. Participants will aim to complete a draft of a policy brief, long-form magazine article, or op-ed by the end of the workshop.

Selection criteria:

We are looking for China-Africa scholars (including current PhD students/candidates) who have:

  1. recently completed a research project;

  2. have published (or will soon publish) a journal article or book; and

  3. want to turn their findings into an op-ed or policy brief. We will be selecting, in part, based on your topic's policy relevance and/or potential for general audience interest.

Send your 500-word pitch to by 11:59 pm EST on August 16, 2019, answering the following questions:

  • What is your topic, and why do you believe your findings to be relevant and of interest to policymakers and/or the general public? (Please note that only China-Africa topics will be considered.)

  • What is your format of choice (op-ed/policy brief/article) and why are you choosing this particular form?

  • Who is your target audience?

  • Where would you like to publish this piece?

Please include your full name, affiliation, and contact details along with a copy of your CV and the paper/chapter on which you plan to work. Late applications will not be considered.

If you are selected, CARI will cover airfare and 2-3 nights’ accommodation for your stay in Washington, DC.

For more information, please email us at

This workshop is supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.