Strengthening African universities is one of the most effective ways to contribute to the continent’s growth and continued excellence. The U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) program has helped retain and strengthen faculty members working in African institutions of higher education, and empowered them to contribute to international academic networks and set their own research agendas.

The UMAPS Program brings early career faculty from African universities to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scholars are paired with a faculty collaborator during their stay and have full access to the University of Michigan’s (U-M) resources to further their work on a research project, an academic degree, publications, grant proposal, or other relevant activity. The program supports the development of the next generation of African scholars by integrating them into international academic networks, and promotes U-M’s international commitment to research and teaching collaborations across diverse disciplines, from engineering to literature to economics.

We welcome direct applications from faculty members of colleges or universities from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda.

Applicants from other countries in Africa cannot apply directly to UMAPS but need to be nominated by a University of Michigan faculty member with whom they already have an established relationship.

Unfortunately, ASC is not able to help prospective applicants connect to U-M faculty, nor do we recommend reaching out to them directly.

The UMAPS program hosts two cohorts per year—August through December, and January through May—with *one* application round for both cohorts. Applicants will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for a particular cohort during the application process, but placement in a particular cohort (upon acceptance in the program) is not guaranteed.

*Previous recipients of the UMAPS fellowship are not eligible to apply. Preference will be given to applicants without extensive international experience outside the continent.

All applicants must:

  • Be an early career faculty member who has taught in the higher education system for less than ten years, and who is presently teaching in a college or university in Africa
  • Be employed in an ongoing position at a university or college in Africa
  • Be able to demonstrate support from a home institution with a letter of recommendation from the head of department, dean, or vice chancellor
  • Be able to remain in residence for five months

If you have any questions about eligibility in your specific case, please contact us at asc-contact@umich.edu

For applicants from outside Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, South Africa, or Uganda, nomination is required and needs to be completed by a U-M faculty member familiar with the work of the prospective applicant. The nominating faculty must:

  • Complete the online nomination form (for University of Michigan faculty only and access requires U-M login)
    
  • Submit /upload a letter of endorsement that indicates their willingness to serve as a mentor during the length of the residency, commit to meet regularly, and if possible provide an office space for the prospective participant

As soon as we receive the complete nomination form and letter of support, we will send the nominated candidate an email invitation with a link to the application portal for nominated applicants; please do not use the regular application portal.

All applicants must:

  • Complete the online application form » (IN THIS APPLICATION CYCLE, this link can only be used by applicants from the following countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda)
  • Upload a curriculum vitae using the online application
  • Upload a scholarly program/research proposal (not to exceed five pages). Applications from a wide range of disciplines and schools are welcome; applications that align with the center’s disciplinary initiativesAHHIASRI, and STEM-Africa—are encouraged
  • Provide complete name and contact information of the department head, dean, or vice chancellor at the applicant’s home institution who will be writing their letter of support

Applications will be reviewed after the closing date on October 15. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Only applications submitted through the online system will be considered. 

For more details and application process, please visit https://ii.umich.edu/asc/umaps.html