Africa-UBC Oceans & Fisheries Visiting Fellows Program

Engaging exceptional young African researchers to build international networks that can develop ocean and freshwater sustainability solutions

The Africa-UBC Oceans & Fisheries Visiting Fellows Program will allow talented early-career academics from sub-Saharan African universities and research institutes to engage with leading researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC), to facilitate diverse, equitable, mutually beneficial research collaborations.

The fellowship is designed to allow exceptional sub-Saharan African researchers to build international networks and focus on a project of their choice in collaboration with UBC-based scholars. The goal is to make available to fellows the vast resources available at UBC for research and collaboration with UBC-based scholars. By expanding the networks of both African and UBC scholars and their students, all participants will share and co-create interdisciplinary knowledge and insights that would benefit their universities, their countries, and the world.

Ultimately, this program will make a tangible contribution to the sustainable management of ocean and freshwater resources in Africa, Canada, and the rest of the world.

Terms of the Fellows Program

  • Up to two fellowships will be awarded each year.
  • The fellowship is open to researchers across all academic fields who are focused on ocean sustainability, and how to make the ocean economy work for the people who call Africa home.
  • Fellows will be affiliated with UBC for 12 months, including eleven months of virtual engagement and a one-month in-person visit to UBC.
  • The fellowships will cover one economy return ticket and per diem for accommodation and subsistence.
  • Fellows are expected to make a presentation of their work during or at the end of the fellowship when they visit UBC.
  • Fellows are expected to lead the writing of a collaborative paper to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant for the Africa-UBC Ocean Visiting Fellowship must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Have a Ph.D. or research equivalent.
  • Be a legal resident of a sub-Saharan African country.
  • Hold an appointment in a sub-Saharan African academic or research institution.
  • Have published a book or at least two book chapters or journal articles in internationally reputable outlets.

The Application Package

An applicant for the Africa-UBC Ocean Visiting Fellowship must submit:

  • A research proposal that clearly outlines the theme of the proposed work to be undertaken during the fellowship, and how the period of the fellowship will lead to the completion of their project. (Min. 3 pages)
  • Applicants should indicate which UBC-based researcher or research unit they would like to name as their collaborator(s) on their application.
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV), including a complete list of publications (no page limit)
  • Two to three letters of support from academic references, detailing the specific contributions of the applicant to particular fields of study, and how a visiting fellowship will support their career progression.

    These letters of support are critical to the selection process and should be objective assessments of the nominee’s suitability for the prize. It is preferred that referees be at arm’s length, and not include thesis or dissertation supervisor(s) or anyone with whom the nominee has collaborated (as co-author or co-investigator) within the past 3 years, though this will be allowed as long as the conflict of interest with the nominee is clearly indicated. Letters in excess of three will not be considered.

The pre-selection will be managed by a Committee at the African Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

This Centre is uniquely qualified to serve this function as it is Africa’s preeminent continent-wide ocean and fisheries research Centre. Director Denis Aheto (and his Vice Chancellor) have enthusiastically agreed to carry out this function. This committee will preselect 8-10 candidates using their wide network in the continent for the final section committee to work with.

Application Submission Date

The application period for the Africa-UBC Visiting Fellows Program is expected to open in February 2024. More news to follow.