Visiting Fellowship

PDRI-DevLab Visiting Fellowship for African Scholars

PDRI-DevLab is committed to building capacity for rigorous research on pressing policy challenges facing low- and middle-income countries, by providing training and research opportunities for emerging researchers.

In service of this mission, PDRI-DevLab has launched a fellowship for social scientists from sub-Saharan Africa to spend a semester in residence at Penn in Fall of 2023. This fellowship is being implemented with technical assistance from the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and with generous financial support from Penn Global’s Holman Africa Research and Engagement Fund.

Visiting fellows will have the opportunity to carry out independent research, present and receive feedback on their research, receive mentorship from faculty, audit doctoral-level classes, and launch collaborative research partnerships with Penn faculty and graduate students. Each visiting fellow will be paired with a faculty mentor affiliated with PDRI-DevLab. Each fellow will be further paired with a PDRI-affiliated PhD student.

After completing the fellowship, fellows are expected to return to their home university or research institute in Sub-Saharan Africa and assume a leading role in promoting the use of impact evaluations and evidence-based public policy, while continuing to collaborate on research projects initiated with Penn colleagues.

During the fellowship, visiting researchers will:

  • Audit doctoral-level courses on international development, impact evaluation, and research methods taught by PDRI-DevLab-affiliated faculty and other instructors from across Penn’s schools.
  • Present their own research during seminars and workshops, and give guest lectures in classes or other events at Penn.
  • Carry out an independent research project under the mentorship of a PDRI-DevLab faculty member.
  • Launch collaborative research projects with PDRI-DevLab-affiliated faculty, graduate students, and other researchers at Penn.
  • Potentially visit and present their research at other universities in the Northeast region.
  • Participate in policy dissemination by contributing to policy briefs, and attending meetings with policymakers and other stakeholders.
  • Participate in monthly “extracurricular” activity in the Philadelphia region (e.g., a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, local historical sites, etc.)

Eligibility criteria: Applicants to the PDRI Visiting Fellowship must:

  • Be a national of a Sub-Saharan African country and be fluent in English; we follow the World Bank regional classification for Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Have completed a PhD within the last 8 years, or be enrolled in a PhD program in political science, economics, statistics, sociology, education, epidemiology/public health, or another social science discipline;
  • Have a current affiliation with a research institution, university or other research organization in Sub-Saharan Africa, preferably one that supports policy-relevant, quantitative social science research;
  • Plan to return to a research institute in Sub-Saharan Africa after the fellowship.

The application period for the 2023 Visiting Fellowship for African Scholars has passed.