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CARI Fellowship program

About the CARI Fellowship Program

Photo by 2015 fellowship winner Thomas Narins.

The China Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies proudly runs the SAIS-CARI Fellows program. SAIS-CARI Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis or by invitation to researchers, policy-makers, or journalists who wish to spend a concentrated period of time (1 to 2 months) writing or doing field research on an under-explored policy issue related to China’s African engagement.

Applicants may either apply to (1) spend a month at SAIS, leveraging the resources of Washington, DC, SAIS-CARI and the SAIS faculty, working on a China-Africa related topic or writing up field research that has already been conducted. Or they can (2) propose to spend one or two months conducting new research in China, or in Africa, on a China-Africa policy issue.

We particularly encourage teams of two people, one of whom has extensive first-hand experience in Africa and the other of whom is fluent in Chinese, to propose research topics that could be investigated in Africa, drawing on each researcher’s comparative advantage. All projects must be policy-relevant and based on case studies and fieldwork.

Photo of 2015 Fellowship winner Wendy Leutert doing fieldwork in China.

We especially welcome proposals that focus on China’s energy engagement in Africa (petroleum, natural gas, solar and hydropower, electricity projects). We are also interested in case studies of manufacturing (including mineral processing and oil refining) or agriculture investments, with a focus on technology transfer, training, and local skills development). In addition, we have an interest in proposals that pair analysis of cases of Chinese investment, aid or finance in Africa with that from the United States.

Grants can range from $2000 to $10,000 per person, covering economy flight, accommodations and meals, local transport, and other reasonable research costs.

  • Proposals should be no more than three pages, single-spaced, including an overview of the research project and methodology, a budget, and the names and professional email addresses of two referees whom we can contact.

  • In your package, please also include a separate CV and up to two writing samples.

  • We encourage applicants to show that they have policy “buy-in” for their topic – that they have discussed their proposed research with people in government or in another part of the policy or professional world and gotten a commitment from them to play an informal advisory role in the research.

Successful applicants will be expected to produce a working paper for the CARI working paper series, and depending on the research topic, grantees may be invited to present their research at the annual CARI conference. We regret that due to our small staff, we cannot offer feedback to applicants whose applications have not been funded. 

The SAIS-CARI Fellows Program is supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.