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South African Initiatives Office (SAIO)

ATTENTION: The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th.

Associate Vice Provost, Lester Monts, established the South African Initiatives Office in honor of Charles D. and Christella D. Moody in 1996.  The purpose of SAIO is to fund scholarly travel, research and exchanges between the University of Michigan and countries in Africa, especially South Africa.  Since its inception, numerous students and faculty have taken advantage of this program.

 The SAIO contributes to the support and growth of African Studies within DAAS in many ways, including helping to fund visiting scholars from South Africa and other countries through the UMAPS-Moody Scholars program administered by the African Studies Center. It also assists U-M faculty and students (both graduate and undergraduate) to travel to southern Africa for the purposes of research, creative collaborations, internship opportunities and/or community-based or experiential learning projects.

DAAS currently administers one fellowship and several small grants from SAIO, which are of interest to graduate students, the SAIO Fellowship for incoming Ph.D. students from Africa and SAIO Grants for U-M Ph.D. students wishing to pursue research or internships in Africa, especially South Africa.

South African Initiative Office Fellowship:
The SAIO Fellowship funds an incoming graduate student for the first year of graduate study at the University of Michigan. The students nominated must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.  Departments and schools are encouraged to nominate students they want to be considered for the fellowship.  The fellowship can be used for funding packages including cost-share in recruitment or GSI support; however, the SAIO Fellowship cannot be used to support Research Assistants (with or without tuition waivers). The Fellowship is awarded by and distributed through the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Eligibility:
 Fellowship funds can be used to recruit international as well as domestic students.
 The students nominated must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.
 Funds will be awarded only if students have been accepted to the University of Michigan graduate program and if there is an offer of departmental/program support and a pledge of departmental resources.

Funding: One fellowship is granted to one incoming Ph.D. student to fund the first year of graduate work.

Selection Criteria:
 The DAAS SAIO Fellowship & Grant Committee will review nominations for the SAIO Fellowship. The committee is composed of DAAS faculty members. The committee makes recommendations to the Chair of DAAS, who has final approval.

Nomination Materials:
 Chairs/directors of Departments as well as the Director of Graduate Studies should formally nominate candidates with a letter to the DAAS SAIO Fellowship & Grant Committee. Please include a copy of the candidate's application file with the nomination letter for review.


Application Deadline:
 The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th.

Award Notification: 
Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 31.

 

South African Initiative Office Grant:                                                                                                

The SAIO provides small grants on a competitive basis for current U-M graduate students interested in African Studies. Each academic year, funds will be available to support graduate students who are studying or researching in the field of African Studies to help cover research expenses.  Applicants must indicate where they have applied for additional sources of funding and how much they have obtained from other sources for research activities.

Eligibility: 
Current University of Michigan graduate students are eligible to apply. Applicants must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.

Funding: 
Students can apply for small grants to support summer, thesis and dissertation research. The number of grants and amounts awarded are competitively based upon the strength of applications and required documents submitted by students.

Selection Criteria: 
Applications for the SAIO Grant will be reviewed by the DAAS Fellowship & Grant Committee. The committee is composed of DAAS faculty members. The following factors are taken into consideration when selecting grant recipients:

1. The applicant's academic background (curriculum vitae and transcript).

2. The relationship of the proposed project to African Studies.

3. The significance of the proposed project to the applicant's field and the potential for the project to have an           impact on the field.
4. The relationship of the research questions being explored and the proposed project activities.

5. The viability for the proposed project and the likelihood that it will be completed in the time period specified.

6. The clarity of the research proposal.

7. Strength of the letters of recommendation.
8. The applicant's participation in DAAS activities.

Conditions of Awards: 
Recipients of the award are expected to be actively involved in the life of the Department. In particular, they are expected to participate in DAAS' Africa Workshop and make a presentation of their work or studies at the Department. Participation in activities in DAAS will be considered for applicants seeking funding.

Application Materials: The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th. Your references will be notified by an automatic email that is generated when you submit their names. To insure that they are able to meet the February 18th deadline, please submit their names as soon as possible. See the online database here

See instructions for how to combine all your materials into one PDF below. If you have any problems uploading your materials, please email Desa Blount at: desab@umich.edu.

The following materials should be submitted to the online application database:
1. A completed SAIO Grant application.

2. An application cover letter - can include biographical information, an indication of the applicant's intellectual path and their knowledge of DAAS.
3. A curriculum vitae that includes the applicant's academic background: work history, list of honors, grants, scholarships and awards; publications or research papers; conference and workshop participation; membership in professional associations; past teaching experience; and language proficiency.

4. Applicants applying for grants must submit a research proposal that includes literature review, research questions, significance of the project, methodology, a budget, schedule of activities, and bibliography. Five single-spaced pages maximum (or 10 double-spaced).

5. A transcript (original or a copy of one).                                                                                                

6. A Financial Statement

In addition to the above materials, two letters of recommendation must be submitted via our new application database. Your references will be notified via an automatic email. Your application does not have to be completed in order to submit your references' names and emails so please submit their names as soon as possible to insure that they can send their letters by the February 18th deadline. See the online database here.

How to combine files to create one PDF:
In Adobe Acrobat Pro, under ‘file’, see ‘combine files into a single pdf’. Select the files that you want to combine. Save your new file. Files should be no more than 3 MB.

Application Deadline:The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th.

If you have any problems submitting any or all of your applications to the database, please email Desa Blount at: desab@umich.edu. Please type 'SAIO Grant' in the subject line.

Award Notification: Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 31.