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Funding Opportunities

The Center for African Studies is dedicated to promoting initiatives on global awareness and international understanding. We seek funding for new and innovative initiatives as well as for programs we have done well in the past and which we wish to continue. A description of the programs and associated funding needs is listed below—there are needs at a variety of price-ranges suited to donors of all kinds.

Re-Constructing International and Area Studies at Rutgers: [$800,000 for one dorm rennovation]

The Center for African Studies, in conjunction with the other international and area studies programs, urgently needs to raise money to renovate the complex of buildings (the Corwin Dorms) that will eventually house all of the International Programs. Renovations to the building designated for the Center for African Studies would enable the Center to benefit from collaboration with other area studies programs, while providing the possibility for working together to build more suitable space for the following:

Large Seminar Room
Multi-Purpose Events Space for films and lectures
Student Lounge
K-12 teacher Outreach and Public Programs Office
Gallery space for small exhibits

Flexible offices for the CAS staff:
Director
Associate Director
Assistant Director
Secretary
Public Programs Director
3 Visiting Fellows

Culturally appropriate classroom space for learning languages Copy/Printing Center

European and Latin American Studies already occupy a lovely renovated former dorm on the Douglass Campus—please let us know if you would like to arrange a visit to see what the future can hold for CAS.

K-12 Workshops: [$111,000 endowment or $5000 pa]

K-12 workshops are a means of outreach whereby New Jersey’s primary and secondary school teachers receive support on how to incorporate the teaching of Africa into their curricula. This engagement between teaching communities solidifies the service relationship between Rutgers faculty and New Jersey’s public.

Undergraduate Study Enrichment Fund: [$450,000 endowment or $ 20,250 pa]

In the area of Undergraduate study, small investments can support life changing experiences that produce large returns.

The Undergraduate Study Enrichment Fund includes the following:

  • Internships:
    [$111,000 endowment or $5000 pa]

    Internships in African and African-related businesses and organizations are designed to give students practical experience in careers in which knowledge of African Area studies is important. These include sites such as NGOs media outlets, marketing firms, and cultural institutions directly involved with Africa. Students often have difficulty taking advantage of such opportunities because they can not afford travel and other incidental costs associated with internships—we would like to make it easier for them to benefit from their proximity to New York, Newark, Philadelphia and Trenton. An even bigger endowment would enable us to send students to Africa for summer internships.

  • Study Abroad in Africa:
    [$223,000 endowment or $10,000 pa]

    Study Abroad allows for firsthand cultural exposure that a classroom simply cannot provide. Many Rutgers students are the first members of their families to attend college. They often do not have the kinds of resources necessary to take advantage of study abroad, and need financial and moral support to venture into what is, for them, new and exciting territory. Funds will contribute towards travel and program costs for two grants per year, at $5000 each.

  • The Claude Ake Paper Prize for Undergraduate Research:
    [$5600 endowment or $250 pa]

    This contest celebrates the writing produced by an undergraduate student in a seminar or other class. The prize is named after a respected scholar and committed activist who inspired many in African Studies to see the work of intellectuals as having a central role in shaping Africa’s future. Ake died in a plane crash in 1996.

  • The Center for African Studies Honors Thesis Prize:
    [$5600 endowment of $250 pa]
    This contest encourages students to work with Center faculty to produce honors theses on topics related to Africa. The Center solicits all honors theses on Africa each year and presents an award to the student whose thesis represents the opportunities and rewards available to Rutgers students to do serious research at a major research institution.

  • The Model African Union:
    [$223,000 endowment or $10,000 pa]
    The M.A.U. provides college students with the opportunity to study the role, organization and performance of the African Union through research, briefings at the African Embassies in Washington, D.C., and finally through simulation of A.U. meetings. The Program is a year-long academic seminar which prepares students to participate in the Model A.U. exercises to be held annually in Washington, D.C. Funds will support staffing this program each year, as well as providing additional learning materials, travel, and incidental costs for the trip to D.C.

Special Opportunity Fund for Graduate Study: [$1,745,000 or $ 82,250 pa]

This fund would provide students with funding for pre-professional training which would enhance their Rutgers graduate experience in a number of ways which include the following:

  • Language Tutorials:
    [$667,000 endowment or $30,000 pa]

    Language tutorials are in demand from graduate and doctoral students in preparation for their fieldwork. In order for Rutgers to fill this need the necessary funding for skilled tutors is required.

  • Summer Research Support:
    [$333,500 endowment or $15,000 pa]
    The support includes two grants at $7500 each for conferences, short field trips or advanced language study in the graduate student’s country of research.

  • Pre-Dissertation Fieldwork And Write-Up Grant:
    [$900,000 endowment or $40,500 pa]

    The grant includes two fellowships at $20,000 each; renewable for a second year.

  • Conference Travel Grant to the African Studies Association: [$45,000 endowment or $2000 pa]
    The ASA, the largest organization of its kind in the continental U.S. with its headquarters at Rutgers, holds an annual conference that the Africanist community, both faculty and graduate students alike, routinely attend. A travel allotment would support graduate students who wish to attend and present papers. This grant includes two grants, each at $1000.

  • The Ruth First Paper Prize:
    [$5600 endowment or $250 pa]
    This contest celebrates the work of a graduate student who has produced new and valuable scholarly knowledge about Africa through doctoral or masters research. Named after committed labor rights activist and anti-apartheid activist, journalist and editor killed by a letter bomb in 1982, this prize is a tribute to her significance as an author and activist.

Faculty Curriculum Development Fund: [$500,000 endowment or $22,500 pa ]

Africa Across the Curriculum encourages Rutgers faculty to develop new courses with exclusively African content or to enhance existing courses with new modules devoted to Africa. Eleven such courses have already been created or enhanced on all three campuses. It invites interdisciplinary faculty to incorporate Africa into their coursework and encourages a conversation between campuses through faculty workshops to present new curricula. Grants from $1000-$5000 are awarded for various needs such as library and materials support and summer stipends for travel to the continent to create a new course. The program would run every two years.

Visiting Scholars from Africa Fund: [$1,150,000 endowment or $ 57,000 pa]

The work of the Center is immeasurably enriched by exposure to the scholarship, experience, and perspective of African scholars located on the continent of Africa. It is extremely difficult for such scholars to raise funds to spend a sabbatical year in the United States. The Center would like to be able offer a stipend to assist one African scholar each year in spending a year in residence at the Center to conduct research, present work, and interact with Rutgers students in classes and other settings. CAS would collaborate with other research centers at Rutgers to ensure that our visitor had the opportunity to meet many scholars and students across a range of disciplines.  

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Funding for Public Programs: [$1,275,000 endowment or $ 57,375 pa]

CAS is dedicated to promoting “useful scholarship”. We encourage younger scholars to take seriously their responsibility to share what they know about Africa with the community, to enliven public school teaching related to Africa, and to shape media representations of Africa through public programs. This one year renewable residential Post-doctoral Program would encourage this kind of engaged scholarship by providing recent PhDs with an opportunity to make a mark on New Jersey and the broader region through innovative programming in conjunction with ongoing research projects affiliated with the Center for African Studies. Examples of potential projects might include: poetry readings and performances in celebration of the contributions of African immigrants to New Jersey; a city wide project residing in New Brunswick featuring a novel by an African writer; and a workshop to help teachers and students “read” media depictions of Africa. Funds would give a $40,000 stipend and contribute $15,000 towards programming costs.

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contact us Center for African Studies
Lucy Stone Hall - Rm A-346
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8045
Phone: 848.445.6638
Program Coordinator
Email: chika.okoye@rutgers.edu