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University Of Michigan 2024-2025 African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS)

Strengthening African universities is one of the most effective ways to contribute to the continent’s growth and continued excellence. The U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) program has helped retain and strengthen faculty members working in African institutions of higher education, and empowered them to contribute to international academic networks and set their own research agendas.

The UMAPS Program brings early career faculty from African universities to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scholars are paired with a faculty collaborator during their stay and have full access to the University of Michigan’s (U-M) resources to further their work on a research project, an academic degree, publications, grant proposal, or other relevant activity. The program supports the development of the next generation of African scholars by integrating them into international academic networks, and promotes U-M’s international commitment to research and teaching collaborations across diverse disciplines, from engineering to literature to economics.

The UMAPS program hosts two cohorts per year—August through December, and January through May—with *one* application round for both cohorts. Applicants will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for a particular cohort during the application process, but placement in a particular cohort (upon acceptance in the program) is not guaranteed.

Unfortunately, ASC is not able to help prospective applicants connect to U-M faculty, nor do we recommend reaching out to them directly.

Since 2009, the UMAPS Program has hosted scholars from Ghana, South Africa, Liberia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Gabon, and Zambia representing a wide range of disciplines that closely align with the following initiatives:

  • African Heritage and Humanities Initiative (AHHI) supports research related to the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences, which highlights the dynamic, contested process by which African cultures and histories are made;
  • African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) promotes social science research on democratic governance and distributive politics; income dynamics and poverty; and gender, health, and development;
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Initiative (STEM-Africa) seeks to nurture the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Africa, which extends scientific knowledge and yields solutions to global problems.

University Of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program

Application DeadlineOctober 15, 2023
Country to studyUnited States
School to studyUniversity of Michigan
TypePostgraduate
SponsorUniversity of Michigan
GenderMen and Women
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Benefits of University Of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program

Those admitted to the UMAPS Program will receive:

  • Four to six months residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, paired with a faculty mentor with full access to the university’s resources
  • Round-trip airfare from their home country to Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Free housing, and a modest stipend to cover living, health care, and research costs while at U-M. The UMAPS program is unable to accommodate spouses and/or dependents 
  • Office/Laboratory space
  • Opportunity to present research to the U-M community

Requirements for University Of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program

Previous recipients of the UMAPS fellowship are not eligible to apply. Preference will be given to applicants without extensive international experience outside the continent.

All applicants must:

  • Be an early career faculty member who has taught in the higher education system for less than ten years, and who is presently teaching in a college or university in Africa
  • Be employed in an ongoing position at a university or college in Africa
  • Be able to demonstrate support from a home institution with a letter of recommendation from the head of department, dean, or vice chancellor
  • Be able to remain in residence for five months

Selection Process

A multidisciplinary faculty committee at the University of Michigan will review and select candidates. Selection will be based on the following:

  • Academic quality of the candidate and of the proposed program of scholarship;
  • The academic fit of the candidate with others selected in the cycle-and with the areas of interest described above;
  • And the support of the candidate’s home institution.
  • Strong emphasis will be given to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Promotion of gender equity in the current class of scholars and in the African academy will also be given strong consideration.

Candidates who already have significant international experience will not be favored for this program.

Application Documents

All applicants must:

  • Complete the online application form » (IN THIS APPLICATION CYCLE, this link can only be used by applicants from the following countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda)
  • Upload a curriculum vitae using the online application
  • Upload a scholarly program/research proposal (not to exceed five pages). Applications from a wide range of disciplines and schools are welcome; applications that align with the center’s disciplinary initiatives—AHHI, ASRI, and STEM-Africa—are encouraged
  • Provide complete name and contact information of the department head, dean, or vice chancellor at the applicant’s home institution who will be writing their letter of support

Applications will be reviewed after the closing date on October 15. Incomplete applications will not be processed. 

Application Deadline

October 15, 2023

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to University of Michigan on webapps.lsa.umich.edu to apply

For applicants from outside Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, or Uganda, nomination is required and needs to be completed by a U-M faculty member familiar with the work of the prospective applicant. The nominating faculty must:

  • Complete the online nomination form (for University of Michigan faculty only and access requires U-M login)
  • Submit /upload a letter of endorsement that indicates their willingness to serve as a mentor during the length of the residency, commit to meet regularly, and if possible provide an office space for the prospective participant

As soon as we receive the complete nomination form and letter of support, we will send the nominated candidate an email invitation with a link to the application portal for nominated applicants; please do not use the regular application portal.

UMAPS Information Webinar (via Zoom) | Aug 31, 2023 08:30 AM EST

This webinar will provide information on the program, covering topics such as (i) eligibility, and (ii) how to prepare an application to the program. 

Click here to registe in advance

For more details, visit University of Michigan website


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