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Postdoctoral Fellows at the Africa Initiative at Watson Institute for International and Public Affai

Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island
Posted Date
Sep 21, 2023

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Postdoctoral Fellows at the Africa Initiative at Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, 2024-2026

As part of a broader commitment to develop its programmatic focus on Africa, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University seeks to appoint two two-year postdoctoral fellows who will participate actively in the ongoing Africa Initiative. Broadly, the Watson Institute aspires to promote a just and peaceful world through research, teaching, and public engagement. The Africa Initiative postdoctoral fellows will contribute to this core mission with a specific focus on Africa. A main aim is to galvanize the careers of young social scientists conducting research in Africa related to the Institute’s three core thematic areas: development, governance, and security. Participants in this program will join an interdisciplinary community of scholars engaged in theoretically and substantively important research addressing the most pressing global issues of our time. Fellows receive two years of support, with the expectation that they will pursue research and participate fully in the intellectual life of the Africa Initiative and the Institute. Fellows will also teach one course per year in the Institute or in an affiliated Brown University social science department. Watson Institute is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community

Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Brown University students, faculty, and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact on the world. Brown is a place where rigorous scholarship, complex problem-solving, and service to the public good are defined by collaboration, intellectual discovery, and working in ways that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The fellowship competition is open to candidates from the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology. The selection process is open with regard to nationality. Candidates from or located in Africa strongly encouraged to apply. Scholars who have received their PhDs within three years of the application deadline are eligible to apply. Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $75,000, for this benefits-eligible position. Additional funding will be made available for research expenses and research-related programming on campus. Candidates selected for the postdoctoral fellows’ positions who have not completed their dissertations by July 1, 2024, will be paid a reduced salary until their dissertation is defended.

To receive full consideration, the following materials should be submitted by November 15, 2023, to the application portal:

·      A cover letter stating the applicant's academic field, status of their dissertation, and proposed research to be conducted during their fellowship period. The cover letter should not exceed 2,000 words and should make clear the focus on Africa as well as where in the Institute's core areas of security, development, or governance the proposed research best fits. Please also include a statement about teaching in a diverse and inclusive classroom.

·      An up-to-date curriculum vitae.

·      A copy of each graduate transcript.

·      A writing sample.

·      Three letters of recommendation from scholars familiar with the applicant’s research.

Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2023; to receive full consideration applications should be received by that date.  Awards will be announced in February 2024.

For further information regarding the Watson Institute Africa Initiative Postdoctoral Fellows position, please contact:

Professor Daniel Jordan Smith, Director of the Africa Initiative, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs:

Brown University is situated on the East Side of Providence, on historic College Hill, overlooking downtown Providence. The area around Brown has a friendly, residential atmosphere, with plentiful housing options, shopping, cafés, and restaurants, all within walking distance of campus. With its low cost of living and historic architecture, the capital city is a vibrant place to live and work that offers a dynamic arts and culture scene, including many music, theater, and art venues. Located in southern New England, the State of Rhode Island features more than 400 miles of coastline and 100 beaches. Beautiful farms, vineyards, orchards, wooded trails, and numerous historic towns cover its 1200 square miles.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.


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