Institute #1: Global Health Histories, Contagion & Migration: (Bio)Citizenship in Africa

Building an Africa-identified and Africa-led Research Agenda

Institute #1 | Concept Note

Global Health Histories, Contagion & Migration: (Bio)Citizenship in Africa

Please note that the application process is now closed.

This call for applications can be downloaded here.

The African Academy for Migration Research (AAMR) is committed to strengthening African migration scholarship at all levels (individual, institutional, national, regional and continental). To achieve this, the AAMR is hosting a series of thematic institutes on a variety of migration-related topics.

The AAMR is currently seeking applications from early career researchers (ERCs) working in the field of migration and health who wish to participate in an interactive virtual training.

The institute – which will take place from 23 to 30 November 2021 – will provide a platform for peer-learning and mentorship, while also supporting critical thinking and engagement. Participants are required to attend five virtual seminars as well as complete asynchronous learning activities (e.g. reading academic articles, watching pre-recorded videos and listening to podcasts).

Why should I participate in the Migration and Health Institute?

The institute seeks to build the capacity of ECRs from across the African continent. It will do so by bringing together participants from different geographical locations and disciplinary backgrounds and by exposing them to a range of thematic, theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives. It will draw on case studies from various regions in order to explore current trends and developments within migration and health research. The institute will challenge participants to think beyond their local contexts by encouraging comparative analysis (local, regional and international). Finally, it will allow participants to link with a global network of early career and established scholars working in diverse areas.

Who can participate in the Migration and Health Institute?

The institute will be limited to 10–15 committed ECRs with a passion for migration and health research. Ideal candidates will meet the following criteria:

·        Applicants must be an ECR – i.e. a postgraduate student or a scholar who has held a PhD for no more than three years.

·        Applicants must be ordinarily resident of an African country and be affiliated with an African university (including non-AAMR partners).

·        Applicants must be committed to learning about and engaging with innovative theoretical and methodological positions.

·        Applicants must have strong research potential, preferably evidenced by publication(s).

·        Applicants should have access to a stable internet connection. However, the AAMR recognises that connectivity can be expensive and unreliable in parts of the continent. Limited data grants will be made available for participants.

·        AAMR is committed to equitable participation and encourages applications from individuals who may be excluded from other training opportunities. As a minimum requirement, the AAMR strives for equal gender participation in all activities.

Note that applicants can be from any discipline (public health, political science, urban studies, gender studies, sociology, anthropology, etc.) as long as their overall focus is on migration and health.

What will be required of me as a participant?

Participants are expected to attend five virtual seminars. Each seminar will be 1.5 hours in length and will be held on the following days:

·        23 November: morning session and afternoon session.

·        25 November: morning session and afternoon session.

·        30 November: morning session.

Seminars will use discussion-based activities and will be conducted in English.

Participants will be required to prepare for each seminar by watching a video or listening to a podcast (note that these learning materials will be available in English, French and Portuguese). There will also be three required readings per seminar. Readings will be a mixture of academic and popular materials (e.g. opinion pieces or blogs).

In addition to the seminars, participants will complete and present on a group activity with guidance from an established researcher working in the field of migration and health.

Participants who successfully undertake all activities will receive a certificate of completion from the AAMR.

Who is running the Migration and Health Institute?

The institute is being coordinated by Dr Mary Setrana, Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) at the University of Ghana; Associate Professor Paul Bukuluki and Associate Professor Yazidihi Bamutaze from Makerere University (Uganda); and Associate Professor Jo Vearey, Director of the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa).

The institute will also include inputs from members of the global Migration Health and Development Research Initiative (MHADRI), as well as researchers, practitioners and subject-matter experts from across the continent.

How do I apply?

Interested parties need to submit the following documents as part of their application:

·        An up-to-date curriculum vitae.

·        A cover letter that clearly expresses their motivation for and interest in participating.

·        A letter of support from a supervisor/line manager/head of department/head of school. As well as attesting to the applicant’s skills, knowledge and commitment, the letter should make clear how and why the institute will benefit the applicant (letters are to be send directly by the referee to )

·        One sample of writing highlighting critical thinking and an interest in migration and health.

The above documents are to be submitted to by no later than 30 September 2021. Feedback will be provided to applicants no later than two weeks after the closing date.

How will applications be reviewed?

Every application will be assessed by a review panel made up of representatives from the AAMR’s core partners. Reviewers will provide individual scores for each application, based on the criteria listed above. Individual scores will then be tallied into a combined grade. In cases where multiple applications are graded highly, the review panel will verbally discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each application until consensus is reached.

About the AAMR

The AAMR is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and is an initiative of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). It is being implemented and managed by the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The ACMS is the ARUA Centre of Excellence for Migration and Mobility.

Currently, the AAMR has eight core partners:

·        Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique)

·        Makerere University (Uganda)

·        Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (Ethiopia)

·        University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

·        University of Cape Town (South Africa)

·        University of Ghana (Ghana)

·        University of the Western Cape (South Africa)

·        University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

The AAMR has two overarching aims: (1) to build the research capacity of the next generation of African migration scholars (2) 
to support the professional development of the next generation of African migration scholars.

Additional information about the AAMR can be found at Stay up to date with AAMR funding and training opportunities by following the #AAMR hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

How do I find out more?

Questions or concerns should be sent to If you have queries related to an application, you are encouraged to make contact well before the submission date.