Call for Applications: Methodological Training in Social Sciences

Call for applications


“Collecting, analyzing and producing biographies”

Methodological Training in Social Sciences

Fort Portal, Uganda, October 24 – November 3, 2016

IFRA-Nairobi in collaboration with Mountains of the Moon University (Fort Portal) the Centre for Population and Applied Statistics (CPAS, Makerere University, Kampala), the Institute of Research for Development (IRD, France), the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED, France), the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, France), the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI, Switzerland), as well as Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Departments (SCAC) of the French embassies in Uganda and East Africa is pleased to welcome applications for the training.

Grounded in intensive fieldwork, a two-week methodological research training in social sciences with a strong focus on biographical approaches will take place at Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal, Uganda, from October 24th to November 3rd 2016. Its main objective is to enhance international and multidisciplinary scientific exchanges and to contribute to capacity building. It targets advanced MA and PhD students. Staff in East African Universities are encouraged to apply.

It takes just a visit to a bookshop in East Africa to notice how many biographies and autobiographies, both academic and non-academic, are produced locally. Historians, political scientists, demographers, sociologists, geographers and anthropologists, each in their own way, collect and interpret biographical material, crossing biographies with other sources and complementing biographical methods with other approaches, using them to reflect and write on social reality. In demography, sociology, geography and anthropology, contrasting approaches coexist, ranging from the systematic collection of life histories to in-depth interviews. They help in assessing individual or collective trajectories, grasping turning points, situating individuals (or groups of individuals) in different social settings. In history and political sociology, biographies and autobiographies are used as a source material. They can also be the outcome of research work. The complexity of one’s life might illustrate the depth of qualitative inquiry but might also be misleading. Talking about oneself, both silences and emphases, reveal personal (or social) stakes in self-(re)presentation that the researcher needs to decipher in order to progress in the understanding of social transformations. The goal of the training session is both to develop skills in collecting biographical material and to analyse it from different disciplinary perspectives. A collective and individual writing project is one of the expected outcomes of the training session.

How to apply:

  1. Return the application form carefully filled in section “Biography in my research work” to: Whether you have already used biographical approaches as a tool for research or whether you plan to do so, explain what you have done so far and/or what you intend to do (1000 words). Deadline for the application is May 30, 2016.
  1. If short listed, you will be contacted by June 30, 2016 and requested to send a sample of collected written or audio material, which you will be invited to discuss briefly during the training.
  1. Participation will then be confirmed by July 30, 2016. A selected bibliography will be circulated to allow participants to read and prepare for the training as well as for the presentation of their project scheduled during the training.

Download the Application Form

Biografrica – Abstract

Please note that only basic transport and accommodation will be provided for the participants.


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