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Knowledge for the World: AAU hosting African visiting PhD fellows

Knowledge for the World: AAU hosting African visiting PhD fellows

There are many ways of making sure knowledge gets into action and help support sustainable development throughout the world!

Last modified: 29.06.2021

Photo: Betty-Ann Ananeh Frempong (University of Cape Town) from Ghana, Rofina Mrosso (Mzumbe University) from Tanzania, Moges Tufa (Addis Ababa University) from Ethiopia, Fabiyi Oluwasegun Tope (University of Ilorin) from Nigeria.

One of them is through collaboration with young researchers from African countries. The AfricaLics Visiting Fellowship Programme is a good example. Developed in collaboration with the AfricaLics secretariat in Nairobi and hosted by AAU, the programme aims at supporting young African researchers - PhD students and a few post-docs - to produce high quality research that can help solve developmental challenges in their home countries. It is part of a much larger effort by the AfricaLics network ( to foster the production and increased up-take of high quality research in Innovation and Development in Africa.

Since 2015, a total of 18 PhD students and 3 post-docs have participated in the VFP with an additional five fellows constituting the 2020-21 cohort. The COVID19 pandemic delayed their study visits to AAU, but we are excited to announce that four of the five fellows have now arrived, while the fifth fellow is expected to arrive on the 1st of July! The Department of Politics and Society (Global Refugee Studies) hosts the students who will stay until end of August and October 2021 respectively. The PhD students come from Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia and Ethiopia and work on a wide range of topics related to development of innovation and development for increased food production, sustainable mining and industrialization in Africa.

The current cohort started out with a number of online activities (webinars) where they gave presentations of their work and got feedback from AAU mentors, peers and home supervisors. They also took part in an online Writing Course, which has been followed up by weekly ‘Writing Sessions’ that provide an excellent framework for getting academic writing done (see link to blog on this below). The first face-to-face seminar and bilateral meetings took place on June 17 at Aalborg University campus in Copenhagen, where the Visiting Fellows had the chance to meet their mentors and have in-depth discussions of their work.

The objective of the fellowship is to expose African PhD students to an international research environment and give them time away from home to focus on their PhD dissertation while benefitting from easy access to good library facilities and a few PhD courses that will support their PhD work. In a long-term perspective, the objective of the fellowship is to enhance the African PhD students’ prospects for taking part in innovation processes and innovation research in their home countries, thus helping to foster social and economic development.

Photo: With AAU mentors Associate Professor Rasmus Lema, Associate Professor Eun Kyung Park and Professor Edward Lorenz; AfricaLics Research Assistant Ariadni Zormpa and Senior Advisor & AfricaLics Academic Coordinator Dr. Margrethe Holm Andersen.

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