The African Studies Center accepts applications from University of Michigan students seeking funds to support African studies related activities. Preference is given to students in Africa-focused undergraduate and graduate degree programs.  

Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in full-time undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree programs at the University of Michigan.

Priority is given to applicants who have not received prior ASC funding and to projects focused on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Conference Travel Grants

Subject to availability of funding, awards will be made to students who will present Africa-focused papers or serve as chairs or discussants for Africa-focused sessions at regional, national, or international conferences. These awards are intended to supplement other University of Michigan conference participation grants.

Award amount: Up to $500 for domestic and $1,000 for international travel to support Africa-focused conference participation.

Application Requirements: Applicants must submit an application form, a copy of the conference program/invitation, a letter of recommendation (preferably from your advisor), and documentation about other funding requests.

Deadlines: Fall term - October 15; Winter term - February 24.

Funding for Research or Internship Support in Africa

ASC seeks applications from University of Michigan students for a limited number of grants toward summer or semester-long research projects or internships at institutions and businesses in Africa. Applicants for research grants may be at preliminary or more advanced stages of their research; applicants for internships should identify the venue for their internship in a governmental agency, business, or non-governmental institution in the region. Grants will not be considered for students graduating in the current Winter Term.

Award amount: Up to $3,000

Deadline: The application deadline is 11:59 pm on February 15, 2015. The online application, including all the required components outlined below, must be submitted before that time.

Application Submission: The ASC funding application includes:

1. Student information

2. Project information

3. Budget information, including the estimated cost for transportation, housing, food, visa fees, CDC-required immunizations, and U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance coverage.  The total budget may exceed the maximum award. Applicants are encouraged to apply for additional sources of funding. These must be included in the budget information section.

4. One recommendation letter requested via the online application. Applicants must enter the name, department, and email address of the recommender, and then send a request via the online application system. The recommender will receive an email request and instructions for submitting the letter through a secured section of the online application system. The letter of recommendation must come from a U-M faculty member. The referee should comment on the applicant’s achievements and ability to carry out the internship or proposed research project, the feasibility and significance of the proposal, and the contribution it will make to the applicant’s academic program and career. The letter of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender before the application deadline.

5. Document Upload. Applicants will upload two files (preferably in PDF format):

File 1: Statement of Purpose, Budget, Letter of Invitation, and Resume/CV-

i. Statement of Purpose: (single-spaced, 12-pt. font, 3 pages maximum, including any bibliography, citations, project timetable, graphics, etc.)

Academic internship statements – These must include information on how this experience will benefit the applicant's academic program and career plans upon completion of his/her U-M degree. A description of the host organization and the activities in which the applicant will be engaged must be included.

Research statements – These should be written in language for non-specialists, should describe the proposed research project and discuss its rationale, objectives, design, timetable, feasibility, and methodology, as well as the projected benefits of this trip. If the applicant will be working with an established research project, a description of the organization and the activities in which he/she will be engaged must be included. Applicants should also discuss any language skills needed to conduct the proposed research.

Note: Internship and undergraduate students must show a demonstrated interest in African Studies

ii. Budget Sheet: This is required if the project takes place in multiple locations or if there are expenses that were not captured in the budget section of the application. Download the budget sheet (add rows and columns as needed).

iii. Letter of Invitation: (required for internship applicants, strongly recommended for research applicants) This must be a letter or email from the host organization describing the organization, the specific work, and the financial terms of the internship. Research applicants are encouraged to submit a Letter of Invitation from a faculty member at an African university acknowledging and supporting the applicant's plans or offering research oversight, or a letter from an archive granting access, etc.

iv. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

File 2: U-M Transcript. An unofficial transcript is acceptable. Transcripts should be correctly rotated so that they may be read easily.

Selection Process: A selection committee comprised of faculty and staff from across the University will evaluate the applications on the following criteria: feasibility, relevance to degree program, relevance to career goals, record of academic achievement, and overall quality of the application. The International Institute does not provide feedback to applicants on the quality of their proposals, nor provide applicants with evaluators' comments. This is a very competitive fellowship. Fewer than 30% of applicants receive funding. Applicants should not assume they will receive an award, and should not purchase airline tickets before the awards are announced if they cannot cover the cost from other sources. Results will be announced by mid-April 2015.

A written project report will be required at the conclusion of the grant.

Questions should be directed to

University of Michigan Travel Policy

All University of Michigan students taking part in University-sponsored international travel should review U-M's Travel Policy. Effective 9/1/11, all U-M students traveling abroad for University-related purposes (i.e., participating in study, research, work, or volunteer programs organized or supported by U-M departments/units or for which U-M in-residence credit is granted) are required to:

  1. Register their travel in the U-M Travel Registry.
  2. Buy U-M’s Travel Abroad Health Insurance. Students may also buy this insurance for personal or leisure travel abroad. For information about the plan's benefits and costs, see Travel Abroad Health Insurance.

For information about immunizations and other travel-related health matters, see Travel Health Services.