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Africa GPS


Africa’s Global Partnership Scholars Program

In an era where complex global challenges demand collective action, the need for international collaboration and knowledge sharing has never been more critical. Recognizing this, the Alliance for African Partnership, in partnership with the African Studies Center and the Tanzania Partnership Program, is introducing Africa’s Global Partnership Scholars Program (Africa GPS) in support of Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) global mission. Africa GPS is a cohort based, mentored program, designed for early- to mid-career faculty at MSU to create and deepen new scholarly partnerships with collaborators and peer institutions in Africa. The objectives of Africa GPS are to:

  • Foster the development of a group of faculty members dedicated to establishing and enhancing international research connections, collaborating on solutions with African partners, and adopting a global perspective in their scholarly work.
  • Support MSU’s 2030 strategic plan goal of discovery, creativity and innovation for excellence and global impact.
  • Connect MSU faculty with potential collaborators and mentors in Africa, expand the scholars' international networks, and offer support for establishing long-lasting collaborations.
  • Heighten global awareness and research dialogue.
  • Elevate the status of MSU’s global mission.
  • Capitalize on opportunities to leverage external resources and form partnerships.


Tenure-stream or fixed term faculty at Michigan State University who are beyond the first year ofappointment or completing the first year of appointment at the time of application, and without prior scholarly experience in Africa are eligible to apply for Africa GPS. 


As part of the application process, the applicant must submit the following materials:

  1. Completed application cover page (see end of document) including the signatures of an academic supervisor or unit leader.
  2. A 4-page max curriculum vitae.
  3. A one-page statement from the nominee that describes her/his reasons for applying, potential research focus, and if known, the AAP consortium institution and African country of interest for the collaboration. As part of the program, AAP can help identify the country, mentor and/or the collaboration partner based on the applicant’s interests.
  4. A letter expressing strong support from the Chair/School Director/Department Head or the Dean. The letter should affirm:
    • The candidate’s international interest, experience, and/or research
    • The candidate’s strengths as a researcher within the context of unit expectations
    • The candidate’s proposed project will advance the mission and goals of the academic unit, be supported by the unit, and benefit international partners.
    • A commitment from the applicant’s unit/college to provide a 20% match.


To facilitate the participation of faculty members selected as Africa GPS Fellows, AAP will provide support for the following:

  • Up to $10,000 in support of international travel and scholarly collaborations with a researcher and/or mentor at an AAP Consortium member institution. The $10,000 may be used to support the MSU faculty members’ individual travel, collaborative research activities or to bring an African partner to MSU. 
  • Connection with potential collaborators, mentors, and institutions in Africa.
  • Structured workshops on establishing and navigating international partnerships.

Financial Guidelines:

  • The financial support must be expended during the first year of the program. 
  • A 20% match from the applicant’s unit, department or college will be required.


Africa GPS participants are expected to develop a sustainable collaboration with peer researchers at an AAP consortium institution. As a result, within two years of being selected for the program, the scholar must submit evidence of: 

  1. A collaborative research paper coauthored with their African collaborator to be submitted for publication. 
  2. A concept note of a proposal to a funding agency to sustain the partnership with the African collaborator.  
  3. Progress reports every six months to AAP documenting how the collaboration is progressing and any challenges that may have arisen.
  4. Attend MSU’s Africa@MSU faculty welcome event in Fall and Spring semesters of 2024 and 2025.


The criteria below will be utilized to evaluate candidates for their selection to the Africa GPS program:

  • Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must demonstrate they are either tenure-track or fixed-term faculty members who have completed their first year of appointment or are in the process of completing it at the time they apply.
  • Commitment Level: Applicants need to show a readiness to dedicate the necessary time to maximize the benefits of the Fellowship year, along with a proven scholarly potential that supports such a commitment.
  • Research Interest: There should be clear evidence of the candidate's enthusiasm for international research and the personal and professional growth opportunities offered by Africa GPS.
  • Unit Support: Candidates must have strong support from relevant departmental or school and college administrators, indicated by enthusiastic recommendations.
  • Alignment of Interests: The applicant’s international research interests should align with the Africa GPS’s mission to foster excellence in international research.


Application materials will be reviewed by a selection committee within ISP. Scholars will be announced by early June 2024. Funds must be transferred to selected scholars by June 30, 2024.


Candidates must submit complete application packets by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, May 10, 2024. Applications must be submitted electronically via the application portal. Applications without all the required supporting materials will not be considered. 

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Justin Rabineau at: rabinea1(at)