STIAS provides and maintains an independent ‘creative space for the mind’ to advance the cause of science and scholarship across all disciplines. It is global in its reach and local in its African roots, and values original thinking and innovation in this context. No restriction is placed on the country of origin, discipline, or academic affiliation when STIAS considers a fellowship invitation. It encourages the cross-pollination of ideas and hence gives preference to projects that will tap into, and benefit from, a multi-disciplinary discourse while also contributing unique perspectives to such a discourse. This interaction is fostered by inviting individual fellows or project teams where each team member is evaluated individually.
The STIAS programme comprises projects which are entirely self-generated and proposed by applicants, as well as projects and programmes initiated and led by STIAS, typically with select partner organisations. STIAS fellows are expected to be resident at STIAS for the duration of a fellowship, with no academic obligations other than pursuing the proposed research project. The only other obligations are to share in the discussion over lunch which is served daily at the STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre, and to participate in the Tuesday and Thursday STIAS fellows’ seminar where fellows in turn present their work to other fellows and invited academics from the local community.
STIAS fellows are selected on the basis of academic excellence and the originality of their proposed research project. The following criteria serve as important guidelines:
1. Level : Does the proposal entail research at the highest level?
2. Innovation : Does the project break new ground? Does it hold the promise of new insights and the potential to produce new knowledge?
3. Interdisciplinarity : To what extent does the project draw on different disciplines and what methodology is envisaged for doing so? Will the project facilitate an interdisciplinary discourse?
4. Relevance : Does the project have relevance for South Africa and Africa? Is the project appropriate for the programme of an institute for advanced study?
5. Feasibility : How convincing is the proposed methodology and research design, and how realistic is the research plan? Is the applicant equipped to deliver on the proposed project?
Along with a covering letter, applications should include:
- A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae.
- A list of publications (may be included in the CV).
- One or two recent articles typical of the applicant’s research work, or related to the proposed project.
- A project title and description (2-4 pages) of the planned work and expected outcomes.
- A brief summary/ introductory text (maximum 200 words) of the proposed project accessible to readers from outside the candidate’s specific discipline. This will be posted on the STIAS website (see project summaries for examples).
- A clear indication of the length of fellowship being applied for, together with preferred and alternative dates of residence at STIAS.
- A brief indication of how the applicant became aware of the STIAS programme.
Documentation should be submitted in PDF format.
Ms Gudrun Schirge, STIAS Senior Programme Administrator
Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa