East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative: 2019-2020 Visting Fellowship Application
Deadline: March 1, 2019
About the Fellowship
The EASST Visiting Fellowship seeks to equip East African social scientists with the skills needed to carry out rigorous evaluations of economic development programs. Researchers will be based at the University of California, Berkeley for four months during the fall academic semester (approximately August 20th - December 20th 2019) or the spring academic semester (approximately January 16 – May 16th 2020).
Each Visiting Fellow will be paired with a faculty mentor affiliated with the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), a research network based in the United States. A list of CEGA faculty affiliates is available online at http://cega.berkeley.edu/faculty/. CEGA staff and Ph.D. students will provide additional mentorship during the fellowship and after the scholar returns home. The EASST program will cover the costs of room and board in Berkeley, health insurance, a monthly stipend, visa fees, and round-trip economy airfare for selected Fellows. Please note that the fellowship does NOT provide financial support for spouses or other family members.
Upon completing the fellowship, scholars are expected to return to a university or research institute in East Africa and assume a leading role in promoting the use of rigorous evidence in economic development. After successful completion of the fellowship, fellows will be eligible for: 1) “catalyst grants” of $5000-$7500 to administer trainings in impact evaluation methods and work to build institutional capacity to conduct rigorous evaluations; 2) research grants of up to $50,000 to work with a CEGA affiliate to conduct an impact evaluation to answer an economic development question in East Africa; and 3) policy engagement grants of $8000-$10,000 to facilitate the scale-up of research and forge meaningful linkages with policymakers.
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 regional 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 at: http://www.easst-collaborative.org.
During the fellowship period, visiting researchers will:
- Participate in seminars and conferences on research in social and economic development;
- Present their own work during seminars and workshops;
- Audit courses, including rigorous doctoral-level seminars in impact evaluation;
- Carry out an independent research project under the mentorship of 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 or students in multiple academic departments;
- Design impact evaluation curricula that will be taught at an East African institution;
- Participate in policy dissemination by contributing to policy briefs, attending meetings with policymakers and stakeholders, and presenting at events; and
- Work with the World Bank and other partners to identify opportunities for future research.
Eligible candidates for all EASST programs must:
- Be a national of an East African country participating in EASST (i.e. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi, 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 for at least 1 year after the fellowship.
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, using 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 2019-2020 Academic Year. Of these, two slots will be reserved for fellows interested in studying 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.
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.
Carefully review Appendix A: Detailed Application Instructions in the Visiting Fellowship Announcement, here.
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 March 1st, 2019: https://cega.submittable.com/submit/130532/easst-2019-2020-visiting-fellowship-application.