Governance for Development in Africa Initiative – PhD scholarship

Key information

Deadline date
Department of Development Studies, School of Law, Gender and Media, Department of Economics & Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Scholarship overview

The Centre of African Studies offers one PhD scholarship to African nationals as part of the Governance for Development in Africa Initiative funded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Applications are invited for PhD studentships focused on the area of state capacities, governance and bureaucracy for development. This may include projects designed to understand public sector governance capabilities, political settlements, state business relations, the governance of state owned enterprises, the governance of development policy design and implementation, and so on. But applications must focus on the public sector/state/civil service, on governance, and on development. 

In order to be considered for funding, applicants must first secure an Unconditional offer for the PhD by applying directly to the SOAS Doctoral School.

The deadline for submission of application is 31 March 2024.

Unconditional offer

You must have an unconditional offer for a PhD by 31 March 2024 to be considered for funding. Note that it takes 8 weeks to receive an offer of admission for PhD, therefore to apply for the PhD at least or before January 2024.


The eligible PhD are only those within the following departments:

Once the place is secured, the applicants can apply for the scholarship. Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a panel consisting of SOAS academic members. The assessment of your application will be based on the information in your scholarship application.

Please provide the following documents:

  • A copy of the unconditional offer received from SOAS admissions office.
  • CV (please include your email address).
  • Two pages max statement outlining knowledge and interest in governance-related issues.
  • Your research proposal (as sent to the SOAS Admissions Office).
  • One academic reference (to be sent directly by referee to

Please note that CAS reserves the right not to award scholarships and will only award them where there are applicants judged to meet sufficiently high academic standards and with demonstrable interests in fields relevant to the objectives of the GDAI.

The deadline for submission of application is 31 March 2024.


To apply, send your unconditional offer of admission, research proposal, CV, and one reference to:

Angelica Baschiera
Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance for Development in Africa Initiative