Selection Criteria

A set of selection criteria have been agreed on for major activities of Phase II of the AfricaLics Reserch Capacity Building Project, primarily funded by Sida.  All of these activities (PhD Academies, the VFP and the Research Conferences) will be conducted using open calls for participation. As with Phase I (2013 – 2016) participants will be selected on academic merit first and foremost.  During the selection process an attempt will be made to ensure there is a high level of female participants and a good geographical spread of participation from across Africa.

In addition, more specific criteria have been identified for each of the activities’:


An open call for applications is made through the AfricaLics network and social media as well as other network groups. Students who are interested in applying are expected to submit a short abstract of their PhD proposal and their CV with a covering letter outlining why they should be considered. These documents are reviewed by a scientific committee made up of a number of AfricaLics Scientific Board members and other experts from the network as required. Every application is reviewed by a minimum of two members of the scientific committee. Scores are given to each application based on:

  • Quality of the application
  • Relevance of PhD project work for innovation and development studies in Africa, including the AfricaLics research agenda
  • Academic background and qualifications.

The highest scoring applications are accepted up to an agreed ceiling depending on the overall quality of the applications. The remaining places are utilised to ensure geographical spread and sufficient gender balance wherever possible.

VFP – PhD students

These calls will be similar to previous calls for the PhD VFP during Phase I. Applicants are expected to already have secured basic funding for their PhD studies from other sources (e.g. African governments, other organisations, self-financing). They should be enrolled as a PhD student at a university in Africa and have completed their first year of studies before initiation of the study visit. They should be working actively on a subject relevant to the field of innovation and development defined as the study and management of processes that link innovation to development – where innovation is broadly defined as spanning from “new to the world inventions” to the diffusion and use of technology new to the user, including competence building among users of innovation.

Applicants will be required to submit a brief application (3-5 pages) explaining own background, motivation for applying and expected outcomes of participation in the pilot PhD sandwich programme together. The main criteria for selection of the candidates will be:

  • Quality of the application
  • Relevance of PhD project work for innovation and development studies in Africa, including the AfricaLics research agenda
  • Academic background and qualifications.

Selection of PhD students will be done by a small committee made up of staff from Aalborg University engaged in the PhD VFP and members of the AfricaLics secretariat.

VFP – Joint degrees

The selection of candidates that will be offered the option to finalize their PhD as a joint degree will be done on the basis of recommendations from the AAU mentors engaged in the PhD VFP but final decision on whether to offer this option to any of the candidates rests with the Head of Department of Business and Management at AAU.

VFP – Post-Doc Fellows

An open Call for Visiting Postdoc Fellows will go out in 2017. The new sustainable development goals (and in particular Goal 9 and Goal 17) will provide the overall framework within which the Call will be developed. Themes or topics to be prioritized in the Call will be aligned with the AfricaLics research agenda and hence contribute to filling out the gaps in research on these matters in Africa. Postdoc fellows will apply on a competitive basis with project proposals defined under the umbrella theme and with given criteria. The projects will be collaborative projects where the post-docs are matched with AAU researchers already active in the field of innovation and development studies research. To create synergy, the projects run in parallel, not in successive batches. A kick-off workshop will be held in Africa during the first year of the project and a wrap-up workshop will be held during the end of the project period. In addition, outputs will be collated at the end of the project period through preparation of a joint book.

Selection of successful candidates for the post-doc project will be based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality and rigor of research proposal from applicant
  • Relevance of proposal vis-á-vis the Call and themes specified in the Call incl. relevance for AfricaLics research agenda
  • Academic background and qualifications, including proven background within innovation and development studies research e.g. from attendance in AfricaLics or Globelics PhD Academies or other training on innovation and development research.
  • The potential of proposed research project to building a research group in innovation and development, including considerations of institutional strength of the home institution
  • The potential for raising external research funding at the end of the project

Efforts will be made to ensure gender balance and geographical spread in the final selection of candidates. Members of the Globelics Scientific Board may be called upon to help assess the proposals.


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