Fieldwork Grants 2019, round 1 / closed

IFRA-Nairobi invites applications for fieldwork grants from Masters and PhD students who conduct research in social sciences and humanities in the East African region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eastern Congo).

IFRA will prioritize support to the following research themes:

  • Devolution and Local ‘Politricks’ in Kenya: Support will be given to research on Devolution and the role played by the new County positions in Kenyan politics. Research topics include the political identities of the new electoral constituencies and the making of ethnic identities, the sociological profiles of local leaders, their policies and projects on the ground, as well as the strategies of the citizens and specific groups (council of elders, associations, NGOs, community-based organizations, etc.) to challenge or benefit from the new devolved system;
  • Workers, Labour, and Employment: This research area targets studies on workers in industries, factories and on plantations in East Africa, focusing on working conditions, workers relations (considering gendered issues), workers/employers relations, organized protest or consent, the growth of a working class culture, etc. Both case-study approaches and comparative approaches are welcome;
  • Decolonizing Knowledge and the Epistemology: this research theme is concerned with the contexts, conditions and actors of the production and use of knowledge in social sciences, philosophy and art in relation to (East) Africa; it will support studies on (East) African thinkers and intellectuals, including artists, to understand activism, epistemological renewal and critical thinking in and about (East) Africa;
  • Gender & LGBT in Words and in Practice: this theme concerns gendered identities in African postcolonial politics; it explores the construction and uses of gender in various settings; it notably wishes to focus on frictions between LGBT activists and the state, and on the interplay between global gendered identity and local conceptions and practices.

Beyond these priority research themes, IFRA aims to foster research in general in the East African region and grants may be given to non-priority project proposals when considered relevant. 

Kindly send your duly filled application forms to by 22nd October 2018. To obtain the form, please send us a request on

Your application must be sent in English or French. It notably includes a cover letter (max 2 pages), a curriculum vitae, and a research project (max 4 pages).

Feedback to all applications will be made shortly thereafter.


– About the grant: Grants offered are not subject to taxes, and do not include open rights to social security. They are awarded as contributions towards actual research costs and do not include institutional overheads or stipends for applicants;

– Deliverables: Grants beneficiaries will be requested to provide a working paper or an academic article that might be published by IFRA after peer-review. They might also be offered the opportunity to present the results of their work during an IFRA seminar or participate in a conference;

– Advice to applicants: IFRA’s research funding is competitive as we receive more applications than what we can fund. Your application must, therefore, state in a clear and compelling way its relevance and interest for research in East Africa and its possible contribution to IFRA’s main programmes.

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