On this page, you will find information on grants awarded by the Committee on African Studies, general information and funding opportunities for language programs both on and off campus, as well as external sources of funding such as campus employment opportunities.


University of Chicago Graduate Student Small Grants

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These grants are for projects that will advance the research agendas and professional training of doctoral students. Students may use these awards either alone or in combination with African Language Funds to support independent research and travel related to dissertation fieldwork and language study. Priority will be given to projects that are carried out on the African continent and that are likely to enhance the applicant’s ability to obtain outside funding for dissertation research. It is also possible to use small grants for follow-up research or for other initiatives; please confer with faculty members before the deadline in such instances. Consistent and committed participation in the African Studies Workshop is required of all awardees. Please submit your application, which should include a one-paragraph summary and justification of the proposed research, a cv, and a budget by Friday, January 24, 2020. Awards will not exceed $3,000 and in some cases may be considerably less.

The Graduate Student Small Grants are made possible by support from the Office of the Provost.


African Language Fund

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The African Language Fund (ALF) offers limited support for students preparing for doctoral research. These funds may be used to defray the costs of tuition, tutoring fees, textbooks, or other language-learning materials, or to assist with travel to language programs offered elsewhere, including in African countries. In exceptional circumstances, ALF may also be used for other scholarly projects. If you wish to apply, please write a brief letter of application which includes a paragraph on your proposed doctoral research, as well as a discussion of your need for language training, your plans for undertaking it, and a budget. Please send applications by January 24, 2020. No budget should exceed $1,500, and actual awards may be less. Consistent and committed participation in the African Studies Workshop is required of all awardees. 

The African Language Fund is made possible by support from the Dean of the Social Sciences.


Graduate Assistant in Dakar, Senegal The College’s “Dakar: African Civilizations” program requires a Graduate Assistant (GA) to serve as a program and course assistant in Dakar.  The program includes three intensive African Civilizations courses taught in English by two University of Chicago faculty members and a faculty member from University Cheikh Anta Diop. More information available here.
African Studies Workshop Coordinator Every year, a graduate student coordinator works with the ASW faculty advisors to manage the logistics and organization of the workshop.  Duties include working with faculty advisors to organize the ASW schedule; coordinating with with presenters and recruiting discussants; distributing papers and setting up each ASW meeting; managing the ASW email list and Chalk site; coordinating visits of and publicity for outside visitors, including those who come to speak in the Distinguished African Studies Lecture series; working with Northwestern for the bi-annual Red Lion seminars; maintain ties with the Committee for Advanced Study (CAS) and the Center for International Studies (CIS); soliciting applications for the African Language Fund (January 15) and publicizing faculty and graduate student Small Grants; working with webmaster to ensure that ASW and Lecture Series pages are updated; working with faculty coordinators to prepare and submit workshop renewal forms. For more information on the duties of workshop coordinators, see the CAS website.
Research Assistantships & Work-Study Faculty members often hire individual graduate students to help with their research and other projects. If you are eligible for work-study, contact your department and also talk with faculty members with whom you would like to work.


Graduate Student Affairs An extensive list of external funding opportunities is maintained by Brooke Noonan and the Graduate Student Affairs committee.
Boston University’s WARA Grants and Fellowships WARA offers several exciting funding opportunities to both U.S. and West African scholars.
Boren Fellowship Boren Fellowships provide graduate students with up to $30,000 to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency.The African Languages Initiative (AFLI) offers Boren Scholarship and Fellowship applicants the unique opportunity to learn African languages and cultures in a domestic and an overseas programs. More information on the AFLI available here. Contact Jessica Smith to set up a campus advising session.