Call for Concept Proposals for the Structural
Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) project



The Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) fellowship program managed by Cornell University in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and other partners announces a call for concept proposals from early-career African researchers seeking to become STAARS fellows in 2018.

The fellowship will cover travel and training. STAARS fellows will be paired with mentors at Cornell University with whom they will jointly author a paper on a topic of mutual interest relating to structural transformation in Africa south of the Sahara. PIM will support the publication of resulting research findings in high quality journals and as working papers. In addition, PIM and Cornell will facilitate fellows’ participation in scientific and policy conferences.

About STAARS

The STAARS project is a collaboration between Cornell University, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), and the World Bank. The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) established a collaboration agreement with Cornell University to provide technical mentorship and funding support for selected early-career African researchers.

The STAARS project builds on the predecessor Agriculture in Africa: Telling Myths and Facts project led by researchers at the World Bank and relies heavily on the data from the Living Standards Measurement Study Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) initiative. One of the STAARS objectives is to provide opportunities for African and Africa-based researchers to work with and alongside researchers at Cornell University. Read more about STAARS and its objectives here.

The STAARS Fellowship began in 2016 and to date has supported 14 fellows from diverse backgrounds. Find out more about the Fellowship experience here, where two current fellows, Wondimagegn Mesfin Tesfaye and Chiyembekezo Chafuwa, have answered some questions about their involvement in the program.

Scope of Research and Geographic Focus

Prospective STAARS fellows are invited to develop proposals in the following thematic areas.

Eligibility

The call is open for early-career African researchers, either late stage Ph.D. students or those who completed their Ph.D. in 2013 or later. Researchers must be based and working in Africa, with priority given to proposals relating to the research themes indicated above. Qualified female researchers are particularly encouraged to apply. While a Ph.D. is not mandatory, STAARS encourages fresh Ph.D. graduates who can benefit from a mentorship and additional training. Fellows are expected to complete the proposed project by publishing findings as a working paper and submitting to a peer-reviewed journal by December 15, 2018.

Application Process

The application process is now closed. Please check back in early 2019 for next year’s call for proposals.