African Social Research Initiative (ASRI)

The African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) builds on, and is informed by, a decade of U-M research partnerships in economics and public health in South Africa, and seeks both to enrich ongoing collaborations and propagate new intellectual engagements between U-M, South Africa and Ghana with planned expansion to other African countries in the future.

ASRI Summer Scholars Program

Call for Applications

The African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) at the University of Michigan seeks applications for up to four visiting scholars to attend courses in social science research methods and analysis at the University of Michigan during the months of June-August, 2014.  The program is open to academic researchers who are enrolled in or have completed PhD programs in the social sciences and who are from, or reside in, one or more of the following countries: Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa, and Uganda.

Application deadline: February 14, 2014

For complete details, download the application in PDF / in WORD

Funding: ASRI Seed Grants(Application closed)

Overview of Grant Opportunity




African Social Research Initiative Collaborative Faculty Seed Grant


To provide faculty at the University of Michigan and partner institutions in UM-priority countries of Africa seed funding to conduct pilot research grants on important social research topics that can be used to advance scholarship and policy and leverage future funding.

Award Amount


Anticipated Number
of Awards


Program Elements

  • Encourage Co-investigators from any country in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Foster new, interdisciplinary teams;
  • Deepen scholarship on focal areas of ASRI: survey research methodology, labor & economics, governance & politics, public health; gender, ethnic & racial inequality;
  • Provide data of critical policy value – describe a plan to translate research to action;
  • Support junior faculty; and/or promote faculty collaboration across institutions and rank;

Key Dates

Proposal Due Date: January 10, 2014
Notice of Award: February 14, 2014
Disbursal of funds: May 2, 2014 or after


Structure/Collaborative Partners

ASRI has an international steering committee that consists of faculty members from the University of Michigan, South Africa and Ghana representing various disciplines from political science and health sciences to economics and medical anthropology.

ASRI currently consists of three intersecting subgroups organized around research on

  • Democratic Governance
  • Income Dynamics and Poverty
  • Gender, Health and Development

Each subgroup endeavors to sustain scholarly partnerships that rely on multi-method approaches to engage in data collection and analysis. This list may expand as new faculty join ASRI or current faculty change or adopt new research interests.

The cross-fertilization among the subgroups through shared research agendas and conferences underscores the value of inter-disciplinary approaches and has contributed greatly to the high visibility that ASRI enjoys on the UM campus and among its partner institutions. ASRI now has a sufficient institutional presence that it was also named as a critical resource in the successfully funded $1.75M Ghana-Michigan PARTNER grant, a 5-year initiative that supports teams of US and Ghanaian interdisciplinary post-doctoral fellows and their mentors to focus on critical global health challenges. ASRI was also included as a key contributor to several grant proposals, including the concept note submitted to USAID for the creation of an Institute of Development put together by ISR and the International Development Lab proposed by Dean Yang at the Ford school for the same grant. A third proposal consisting of a consortium of universities led by UM advanced to the second round of the call for proposals. ASRI contributed to that proposal for the second round and it is now being considered in the third round.

Current Institutional Partners

  • INDEPTH Network
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
  • University of Cape Coast
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Fort Hare
  • Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of Kwazulu-Natal
  • Witwatersrand University

Committee Members

  • Clement Ahiadeke , Institute for Statistical and Socioeconomic Researc h (ISSER, Ghana)
  • George Alter (Director, ICPSR; History)
  • Kelly Askew, Director, ASC (DAAS; Anthropology)
  • James Jackson (Director, Institute for Social Research)
  • David Lam (Economics; Population Studies Center)
  • Cheryl Moyer ( Medical School, Global Reach)
  • Abena Oduro (Economics, University of Ghana)
  • Anne Pitcher , ASRI Initiative  Coordinator (DAAS; Political Science)
  • Rachel Snow (ISR)
  • Howard Stein ( DAAS)