Research Management fellowship opportunity for leaders from Africa or Eurasia

Research Management fellowship opportunity for leaders from Africa or Eurasia

Photo of a participant taking notes in front of a laptop during a presentation

IREX believes that research management capacity is essential to research excellence. The University Administration Support Program (UASP) Fellowships in Research Management, developed and implemented by IREX and kindly supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, assists mid- to senior-level university leaders (managers, administrators, and faculty) from Africa and Eurasia to develop their capacity to manage research and knowledge transfer through a six-week fellowship in the United States.

The program supports participants to develop insights and reform plans on approaches, activities, policies, procedures, organizational arrangements, and professional development to advance their universities into leading research institutions that have real impact in their communities.

The fellowship model includes:

  • Two weeks of intensive training in Washington, DC
  • A four-week placement observing and analyzing research management operations at a respected US university
  • Peer-to-peer learning
  • A virtual learning environment to share resources and network with peers remotely
  • Post-placement support implementing reforms, including a small grants competition

The Research Management fellowships have supported a variety of roles in the research ecosystem, including rectors, deputy vice chancellors, heads and deputy heads of departments or research institutes, deans and deputy principals, principal investigators, registrars, research officers, administrators and managers. At its core, the UASP aims to grow the new generation of university leaders who understand and can adapt international trends and best practices in research and knowledge transfer management, who actively disseminate their knowledge within and beyond their institutions, and who apply their ideas, skills and networks to drive improvement to institutional performance. 

IREX is currently receiving applications for up to 32 competitively awarded fellowships.

2020–2021 Application Timeline

  • March 3, 2020: Application Deadline
  • March–April 2020: Application review, selection, and notification of awards
  • September–November, 2020: 6 week Cohort 1 fellowship in the United States
  • January–March, 2021: 6 week Cohort 2 Fellowship in the United States

Eligibility and Selection

Applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of and reside in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda at the time of application and participation;
  • Hold a full-time mid- or senior-level position focusing on research management at an eligible university (seniority should be sufficient to demonstrate capacity to be a catalyst for change).*
  • Demonstrate engagement with the DVC/Director Research or an equivalent post and clearly articulate alignment of the proposed fellowship area of focus with institutional priorities;
  • Have a sufficient level of proficiency in written and spoken English to work independently in the United States and engage colleagues;
  • Be able to receive and maintain a J-1 visa. Please note, your passport should be valid at least 6 months after the fellowship program end date;
  • Be available to participate in the fellowship in the United States for approximately six weeks during Fall 2020 or Winter 2021;
  • Be committed to producing several fellowship-related assignments, including a comparative case study and implementation plan on a topic of research management; and
  • Not be a current IREX employee and/or consultant or an immediate family member (spouses, children, parents, siblings) of an IREX employee or consultant

*Eligible African universities are those who are members of ARUA, the African Research Universities Alliance, listed on page 2 of this PDF.

Eligible Eurasian universities are those listed on page 2 of this PDF.

Please note: Fellows are not allowed to have dependents (including spouses and children) accompany them during the Fellowship.

Submitted applications for the UASP will be reviewed against the following criteria

  • Quality, thoroughness, and relevance of applicant’s answers to application questions;
  • Extent to which applicant has a strong track record working in their university’s research ecosystem;
  • Extent to which applicant has a clear understanding of the issues facing their institution and a vision for performance improvement;
  • Extent to which applicant has the experience and institutional support to fully benefit from the program and drive change after the program (including demonstrated engagement with their DVC/Director Research and a letter of support);
  • Alignment of fellowship application with institutional priorities and commitment to creating or expanding systems to support their university’s growth as a recognized and respected research university;
  • Extent to which applicant is committed to serving as a resource in the field of university research management, knowledge transfer, and to capacity building for peers in their academic and administrative communities;
  • Sufficient proficiency in English to converse and conduct work independently at the Washington DC workshops and at the US host university (For participants who do not use English as their primary professional working language, an interview will be held if no recent IELTS or TOEFL is available).

Other considerations by the selection committee

  • In Africa, IREX will maximize coverage across the ARUA network by selecting the highest scoring candidate from each participating country, if minimum standards are met. Subsequent places will be filled strictly on merit. Although there will not be quotas or restrictions on the number of places per country or institution, placements will be distributed between institutions where application scores are comparable. 
  • In Eurasia, IREX is working with the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRCs). IREX will select two candidates from each country from a short list provided by the CRRC directors. 
  • Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. IREX is committed to fairness, equity, and inclusion.
  • The main purpose of the UASP fellowship is institutional reform, for which the buy-in of senior management is always required. Therefore, to be competitive, applicants should meet with their supervisor (and ideally other key decision-makers like the DVC Research) before submitting an application, to identify fellowship focus areas that align to the University's strategic priorities and relay these discussions in the application.

Application Material and Submission 

The application, with all instructions embedded is available online here:

APPLY NOW

All applications should be submitted no later than March 3, 2020.

The application will ask applicants to prepare and upload the following support documents with their application

  • Curriculum Vitae (Resume)
  • Letter of support from immediate supervisor: please download the form template for this here , provide to your supervisor, and then upload with your application submission
  • Letter of support from home institution Deputy Vice Chancellor Research (or equivalent post)
  • Home institution organizational chart
  • See application form for instructions for the required format for each support document).