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PhD Fellowships & Thesis Research Awards

Applications for AERC PhD Fellowships

All announcements for PhD Fellowships are posted in January, every year, on AERC website. 


To qualify, candidates must:

  1. Have applied and been admitted to any one of the listed CPP degree-awarding universities;
  2. Have attained at Bachelors Degree level at least a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) or equivalent in Economics or related field from an accredited university;
  3. Have a Masters Degree (with coursework and thesis component) in Economics, Agricultural Economics or related fields from a recognized University. The coursework should have covered microeconomics, macroeconomics and quantitative methods;
  4. Female and applicants from post-conflict and fragile states are encouraged to apply.
  5. Possession of at least 1 relevant publication in a refereed journal will be an added advantage.
  6. Evidence of engagement in economic management, research and/or training in the public sector will be an added advantage.

Upon receipt of an admission letter from the specific university, candidates should submit their application for scholarship to AERC on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach a copy of the admission letter. In addition, candidates should attach their curriculum vitae and certified copies of their academic certificates and transcripts. The PhD fellowship application deadline is usually indicated every year on the announcement placed on the AERC website (usually it is not later than July). Candidates should note that all admitting universities submit a list of all admitted candidates to the AERC. Where candidates have applied for admission and they have not received their admission letters by the date of the deadline for PhD fellowship application, AERC will use the list from the universities to inform those admitted into the Programme to submit copies of their curriculum vitae, certified copies of their academic certificates and transcripts. 

PhD Thesis Research Awards for Non-AERC Sponsored African Nationals

AERC also offers a limited number of awards annually towards PhD thesis research. To be eligible for consideration, the request must come from an African national enrolled in a doctorial degree programme in Economics at a recognized university within or outside the African continent. Applicants must have completed all course requirements for the degree as well as be in the research and/or writing phase of the dissertation. In addition, applicants should not have received any other funding to support the dissertation activities outlined in the PhD proposal/budget. Priority is given to candidates pursuing a career in economic management, research and/or teaching at a public institution in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Requests should be supported by the following documentation:

  • Evidence of an attachment to, or sponsorship by, an institution in sub-Saharan Africa engaged in economic management, research and/or training in the public sector in the region.
  • Evidence of registration in a recognized PhD programme in economics.
  • An approved research proposal, complete with clearly defined objectives, substantial literature review and a well-outlined analytical framework, as well as pertinent research methodology.
  • A statement of limitations and policy relevance of the study.
  • A letter of reference from the thesis supervisor.
  • A detailed budget including evidence of any additional financial support that may be necessary to complete the programme.
  • Curriculum vitae.

Processing of Application for PhD Thesis Research Award

Upon the receipt of the proposal and the supporting documentation, it is sent to two external reviewers, who comment on the adequacy of the proposal. In the event that the reviewers suggest corrections to be made and give positive feedback, the comments are sent to the students to incorporate and then resubmit the revised proposal for a final review. Once the proposal is cleared by at least two reviewers, it is presented together with the comments from the external reviewers to the Training Sub-Committee during the Biannual Research Workshops (held in June and December), who go through the recommendations of the reviewers and make recommendation to the Programme Advisory Committee of AERC to approve for funding. It is after this that research grants can be awarded.

Application Deadlines

The PhD thesis research awards applications have two deadlines per year: January 31 for the June award and July31 for the December award.



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