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African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) Africa Thesis Award 2023

Are you interested in Africa and is your Masters thesis on a related subject? If so, the African Studies Centre Leiden is offering you the chance to win € 500,-. Moreover your thesis will be published in the ASCL’s African Studies Collection.  

Application Deadline: 31st August 2022 mid-night

Eligible Countries: African countries and any African in Netherlands

About the Award: The award aims to encourage student research and writing on Africa and to promote the study of African cultures and societies. It is presented annually to a student whose Masters thesis has been completed on the basis of research conducted on Africa. The award consists of a prize of €500,- and publication of the winning thesis in the ASCL’s African Studies Collection. All theses submitted will be made available fulltext online via the ASCL’s library catalogue.

Type: Award

Eligibility: Master students who completed their thesis at a university on the African continent or in the Netherlands between 31 August 2021 and 31 August 2022 can apply. Students in the Netherlands must have received an 8 out of 10 or above. Students from non-Dutch universities with a grade A (or equivalent) may apply if the accompanying letter from the supervisor confirms the thesis’ excellence and supports the grade score.

  • The thesis: The thesis has to be based on independent empirical research related to Africa in one of the subjects listed in the following section and must have been examined in the twelve months prior to the deadline for submitting manuscripts (see below). The thesis can be submitted if it is written in English, French or Dutch. If the thesis is in Dutch, a five-page English or French summary should also be attached.
  • Subject of the thesis: Any thesis thematically related to socio-geographical, economic, political, juridical or anthropological issues or focusing on the humanities, such as history, religion and literature but with the exception of language and/or semiotic studies, can be submitted. Its geographical focus should be the continent of Africa or its migrant communities elsewhere in the world. The thesis must be socially relevant.
  • Quality of the thesis: The ASCL seeks to attract theses that stand out in terms of subject matter and demonstrate a sound methodological approach. The jury attaches importance to an original approach and insight, and to the relevance of the research to a scientific understanding of the issues covered. In addition, the jury will consider the significance of the thesis in relation to development-related issues, its style and readability and its interest for the general public.

Selection: A shortlist of three will be drawn up from which the jury will select the winning thesis. The prize is presented to the winner during the Africa Thesis Award Ceremony in 2023, where the winner will present his/her/their thesis.

Number of Awards: 1

Value of Award: The award consists of a prize of € 500,- and publication of the winning thesis in the ASCL’s African Studies Collection. 

How to Apply: If a student or his/her supervisor feels that his/her Masters thesis merits an award because of its quality and originality, the thesis may be submitted. Every submission must include:

  • an electronic version of the thesis (to be sent by email)
  • a summary of the thesis (max. 500 words)
  • a signed letter of recommendation from the student’s supervisor containing the grade and details of the quality of the thesis and the educational institution from which the student has graduated

Applications that are not complete will not be processed. All documents can be sent to [email protected].

Visit the Programme Webpage for Details