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Grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation provides significant boost for graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Humanities
2013-05-19

20 May 2013

The Andrew W Mellon Foundation has made an award of US $500 000 [c. ZAR 4.85 million] over three years to support graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Humanities at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The award will underwrite 20 postgraduate studentships and postdoctoral fellowships, as well as annual postgraduate skills training workshops and a research seminar programme, amongst other initiatives. Already underway following national and international advertisement, the programme has attracted highly qualified young scholars from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as from the United Kingdom and the United States. While their fields of study include history, politics, anthropology and development studies, most of the research projects have an African focus and a marked historical dimension.

Postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students alike are associates of, or are registered in, the Centre for Africa Studies. Several of them, have already published articles in international refereed journals. Chapters in books, edited collections and single-authored monographs are all in the pipeline.

“The application to the Mellon Foundation was made in the context of UFS' strategic plan and the priority given to the importance of fostering and consolidating postgraduate and postdoctoral research. Together with other funding, this grant gives the university the opportunity to develop graduate studies in the Humanities in such a way that it surpasses many South African universities and approaches that of the best universities in the country,” says Prof Ian Phimister, Senior UFS Research Professor.

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