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Posted 02 May 2024

Call For Applications: PhD Fellowship In The Non-Profit Sector’s Contribution To African Economies

The Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School (University of the Witwatersrand), with the support of the Mastercard Foundation, invites applications for Doctoral Fellowship on the Non-Profit Sector and its Contribution to African Economies project. The aim of the PhD fellowship is to provide opportunities for young African doctoral students registered in African universities to participate in research on non-profit organizations and their contributions to African economies. The specific focus of the research project is ‘the creation of dignified and fulfilling work for young Africans by the non-profit sector’.


This doctoral fellowship program offers a maximum of five years of support to twenty (20) selected full time Ph.D students. Each fellow will receive a fully funded fellowship, providing a full scholarship of up to $30,000 per year. The program invites doctoral students exclusively from African universities in the 17 countries targeted by the project. These are Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Doctoral students will be working on topics related to non-profit organizations and their contributions to African economies, particularly those focusing on dignified and fulfilling employment for young Africans. Successful applicants will work closely with Regional Research Leads paired with senior researchers in undertaking their research. Fellows will be selected in line with categories of youth marginality that the project is paying special attention to -gender, disability, geography, refugees and internally displaced persons, etc.

Applications are invited from doctoral students with an interest in the non-profit sector and its role in African economies. In the current call, only those from and focusing on the following countries will be prioritised: Burkina Faso, DRC, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal,  South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


To be eligible for the Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  1. Be currently enrolled as full time students in a relevant doctoral program at an African university focusing on themes and research aligned to the project. 
  2. Have research interest in the non-profit sector’s contributions to dignified and fulfilling work for African youth.  
  3. Demonstrate commitment to the program and the ability to work effectively in a team.
  4. Be available to participate in the program for its entire duration.
  5. Less than 35 years of age
  6. In the first or second year of their PhD programme.
  7. Be nationals of any of the countries listed above and conducting research on any of them or some of them.


Social and behavioural sciences, including Economics, Development Studies, International Development, Non-profit or Philanthropic studies, Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, Management, Public Policy, History, Human Geography, or any development-related field.

The research should strictly focus on the project’s main objective; The Contributions of Non-profit Sectors to African Economies with specific focus on Dignified and Fulfilling Work for the Youth


Eligible candidates should prepare and submit the following as part of the application package:

  1. Current curriculum vitae (CV).
  2. A personal statement (maximum 500 words) outlining their research interest, motivation, and alignment with the advertised CAPSI Research program.
  3. An outline of their proposed research project (Maximum 2500 words) covering the following.
  • Background of study
  • Problem Statement
  • Research questions
  • Research objectives
  • Literature review and theoretical framework
  • Proposed methodology (covering research design, sampling and, data collection and ethical considerations)
  1. A letter of recommendation from supervisor/proposed supervisor.
  2. A copy of academic transcripts.
  3. Proof of age  ( e.g., passport, birth certificate, etc.)
  4. Proof of admission or registration in an African University

The application must be sent by email to: (applicants from West and North Africa), (applicants from East Africa), and eleanor.chipeta (applicants from Southern Africa)  clearly marked “PHD FELLOWSHIP IN THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR’S CONTRIBUTION TO AFRICAN ECONOMIES,  and copied to  

The deadline for applications is  Friday, May 24th, 2024.

Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, June 14th, 2024.

For more information and to apply, please visit the CAPSI website (

Enquiries should be directed to or any of the emails above.