Susan Ford Dorsey Field Research Fellowship

A Competitive New Research Fellowship from The Center for African Studies  

The Susan Ford Dorsey Innovation Africa Fellowship (IAF) is a $40,000 stipendiary fellowship awarded to Stanford H&S doctoral students whose research shows outstanding originality and the potential to transform our understanding of the African continent and its diaspora.  This new Fellowship provides H&S advanced graduate students with a stipend, TGR fees, and a generous research fund (for professional development, networking, fieldwork, and language costs, and collaborating with institutions and colleagues in Africa).  



  • Applications are welcome from doctoral students across all disciplines in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Applicants whose work ambitiously challenges existing paradigms will be given preference, as will those whose work shows evidence of risk-taking, innovation, and high originality.  
  • The Innovation Fellowship will regard ambitious work that challenges traditional scholarly borders, whether disciplinary, methodological, or regional.  Interdisciplinary or comparative research projects are especially welcome including those with a transnational or oceanic framing.  
  • Susan Ford Dorsey IAF Fellows will be year-long affiliates of the Center for African Studies, taking full part in the intellectual life of the Center. Fellows will be matched with a faculty mentor in an adjacent field, with a view to expanding their intellectual breadth and professional network. Fellowship funding is for three quarters of dissertation writing.  
  • The fellowship stipend for 2021-2022 is set at 40,000 plus TGR fees.  
  • Fellows are offered a research fund of up to $10,000 for professional development and networking, coordinating conferences or seminars, further research, and language study, and building lasting relationships with colleagues at African institutions. We are looking for Fellows who pioneer egalitarian and ethical knowledge production in close collaboration with Africa-based scholars.  
  • Applicants must have advanced to PhD candidacy. 
  • Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD, other than the dissertation (and its defense in departments where the University Oral Examination is such a defense). This includes handling any incompletes. 
  • Applicants must have a formally composed dissertation committee. 
  • Applicants must have a dissertation proposal approved by their committee. 
  • Applicants must have reached TGR status by the beginning of autumn quarter of the fellowship year. 
  • Applicants must have completed supervised teaching, if required by their department, before the tenure of the fellowship. 


  1. Contact and biographical information about the applicant 
  2. A curriculum vitae (C.V.) 
  3. Current unofficial transcript (download from AXESS) 
  4. Timetable for your completion of the degree 
  5.  Provide a concise explanation of the ways in which your project is a significant contribution to African Studies. Assume your audience to be academics who are not specialists in your field. (250-word maximum). 
  6. A brief description (no more than 1,000 words) of your research project. 
  7. A short proposal (500 words) along with a budget and timeline for use of the research fund.  
  8. Two reference letters. One should be from your advisor.  


Application Deadline:  June 14, 2021

Please reach out to Laura Hubbard, with any questions.