East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative: 2020-2021 Visiting Fellowship Application
Deadline: February 10, 2020
Full RFA and templates found here.


About the Fellowship
The East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative invites researchers interested in developing their skills in impact evaluation to apply for a 4-month fellowship (sabbatical) at the University of California, Berkeley, to be completed during Fall 2020 (August- December) or Spring 2021 (January - May).

To be eligible, researchers must be East African nationals who hold a staff or student position at a research institution, university, or other organization headquartered in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, or South Sudan. Applicants must already have a PhD or be working towards a PhD, except in the case that they are directly referred by an EASST fellow.

Researchers from quantitative social science disciplines are encouraged to apply. 2 of the 4 fellowship slots are reserved for researchers in studying infectious disease with a rigorous economics and implementation science lens, while the other 2 slots are available for researchers interested in any topic in development economics (agriculture, financial inclusion, etc.).

The request for application for the 2020-2021 cohort of EASST fellows will be open until February 10, 2020. Eligible applicants are invited to apply following the directions in the RFA.


About EASST

Launched in 2009, the East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative is a multi-institution research network with a mission to promote rigorous evaluation of social and economic development programs in East Africa. EASST builds local leadership in evaluation research by offering competitive fellowships and grants to junior social scientists at East African research institutions. EASST also facilitates collaboration between U.S. and East African researchers. Through these and other activities, EASST seeks to empower the “next generation” of social scientists to measure the impacts of development interventions, and then translate research findings into better public policies.

Currently, the EASST network is comprised of researchers at Makerere University, Addis Ababa University, the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), the University of Dar es Salaam, the University of Rwanda, Twaweza, Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA), Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), United States International University (USIU), the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), and others in Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. The network is administered by the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at UC Berkeley. Learn more about EASST here.


Fellowship Activities
During the fellowship period, visiting researchers will: 

  • Participate in seminars and conferences on research in social and economic development;
  • Present their own research during seminars and workshops;
  • Engage in UC Berkeley coursework, such as a rigorous doctoral-level seminar in impact evaluation;
  • Carry out an independent research project under the mentorship of a CEGA faculty member (projects can use existing data for retrospective analysis or set-up a study design for future data collection);
  • Meet and collaborate with faculty and students in multiple academic departments;
  • Visit and present at other CEGA campuses, including UC San Diego, UCLA, and/or Stanford University; 
  • Design impact evaluation curricula that will be taught at an East African institution; and
  • Participate in policy dissemination by contributing to policy briefs, attending meetings with policymakers and stakeholders, and presenting at events.


Eligibility
Eligible candidates for all EASST programs must:

  • Be a national of an East African country (i.e. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, or Uganda);
  • Have completed a PhD within the last 8 years, or be enrolled in a PhD program in economics, statistics, epidemiology/public health, or another social science discipline (in exceptional cases, the applicants will hold a Masters’ degree in a relevant field and have plans to pursue a PhD in the future. These cases will require a direct referral by a former EASST fellow);
  • If not a current student, hold a staff or academic position at a research institution, university or other organization in East Africa, preferably one that supports policy-relevant, quantitative social science research;
  • Plan to return to a research institute in East Africa after the fellowship. If currently enrolled in a PhD program outside the African continent, scholars may complete their PhD before their return.

 

Selection Criteria
Successful candidates must:

  • Demonstrate strong analytic skills, with past coursework in economics or statistics
  • Have participated in or have familiarity with impact evaluation research (either randomized or quasi-experimental studies), policy analysis, and micro-level field data collection;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to and experience with engaging policy-makers and implementing bodies and disseminating research findings; 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to building the capacity of African research institutions/universities;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to institutionalizing rigorous evidence within their institution; 
  • Submit a clear and innovative research proposal to evaluate a specific public policy or program in East Africa, using a randomized controlled trial or quasi-experimental methodologies;
  • Be computer literate, fluent in English, and a strong public speaker.

A total of four fellows will be accepted for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. Of these, two slots will be reserved for fellows interested in studying problems associated with infectious disease (HIV excepted, unless in the case of co-morbidities with other infectious diseases) with a rigorous implementation science lens (see here). The other two slots are available for fellows interested in various fields related to economic development—including agriculture, financial inclusion, gender, technology for development, energy and climate change, and others. If your work is focused on evaluating innovations specifically in governance, accountability, and political participation, please see if you are eligible for the EGAP Visiting Fellowship. This fellowship is similar to EASST and will be hosted at UC Berkeley, but will differ in the content of the fellowship. Please see our website for further details. 

Female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will be assigned to fellows who have already completed a doctoral degree (PhD) in a relevant field of study.

Application Instructions:

Carefully review Appendix A: Detailed Application Instructions in the Visiting Fellowship RFA, here. 

Required Documents:

Please ensure that all supporting documentation is submitted in English.

1. Personal Statement (1 page): Please describe your personal motivations for applying to the EASST fellowship--of all fellowships available to you, why are you particularly interested in EASST?  What do you hope to accomplish during the semester and beyond? 

2. Curriculum Vitae/Resume

3. Transcript of any coursework completed within at least the last 5 years (i.e. your scores or grades from university courses). Scanned copy is acceptable.

4. Research Proposal: Not to exceed 2 pages. Refer to Appendix A “Instructions for Research Proposal” and Appendix B “Research Proposal Example” below. During the fellowship, you should work on the proposal you have submitted, unless you decide to change it (with agreement from CEGA staff and your mentor.)  

5. Evidence of Leave Approval from the applicant’s supervisor or department chair demonstrating support and certifying that, if the applicant is selected, he/she will be able to take a 4-month leave of absence. 

6. Letters of Recommendation (2 required, 1 optional)

a) Required: One academic letter that describes the applicant’s research capacity, quantitative skills, and qualifications for the EASST fellowship. Please use the provided recommendation template (Appendix C). 

b) Required: One letter from a government agency or policy maker indicating the fellows past policy engagement or engagement potential.  Please use the provided recommendation template (Appendix D).

c)  If you are applying with only a masters degree (not currently working towards a PhD), you must submit a reference letter from a former EASST fellow to apply. Please use the provided recommendation template (Appendix E). 

7. OPTIONAL: You may attach one working paper or publication.

All documents should be submitted at the following link by February 10th, 2020 at 9 am U.S Pacific Time:  https://cega.submittable.com/submit/153220/easst-2020-2021-visiting-fellowship-application
 

Center for Effective Global Action