Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

SAIO Summer Research Grant for Current Graduate Students

ATTENTION: The 2023 application period closes on March 15th, 2024.

Application Portal

The purpose of SAIO is to fund scholarly travel, research and exchanges between the University of Michigan and countries in Africa, especially South Africa. Since its inception, numerous students and faculty have taken advantage of this program. The SAIO contributes to the support and growth of African Studies within DAAS in many ways, including helping to fund visiting scholars from South Africa and other countries through the UMAPS-Moody Scholars program administered by the African Studies Center. It also assists U-M faculty and students (both graduate and undergraduate) to travel to southern Africa for the purposes of research, creative collaborations, internship opportunities and/or community-based or experiential learning projects.

DAAS currently administers one fellowship and several small grants from SAIO, which are of interest to graduate students, the SAIO Fellowship for an incoming gradute student from Africa and SAIO Grants for U-M graduate students wishing to pursue research or internships in Africa, especially South Africa.

South African Initiative Office Grant

The SAIO provides small grants on a competitive basis for current U-M graduate students interested in African Studies. Each academic year, funds will be available to support graduate students who are studying or researching in the field of African Studies to help cover research expenses.  Applicants must indicate where they have applied for additional sources of funding and how much they have obtained from other sources for research activities.

Eligibility: Current University of Michigan graduate students are eligible to apply. Applicants must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.

Funding: Students can apply for small grants to support summer, thesis and dissertation research. The number of grants and amounts awarded are competitively based upon the strength of applications and required documents submitted by students.

Selection Criteria: Applications for the SAIO Grant will be reviewed by the DAAS Fellowship & Grant Committee. The committee is composed of DAAS faculty members. The following factors are taken into consideration when selecting grant recipients:

  1. The applicant's academic background (curriculum vitae and transcript).
  2. The relationship of the proposed project to African Studies.
  3. The significance of the proposed project to the applicant's field and the potential for the project to have an impact on the field.
  4. The viability for the proposed project and the likelihood that it will be completed in the time period specified.
  5. The clarity of the research proposal.
  6. Strength of the letters of recommendation.
  7. The applicant's participation in the DAAS Graduate Certificate Program or DAAS graduate level courses.

Conditions of Awards: Recipients of the award are expected to be actively involved in the life of the Department. In particular, they are expected to participate in DAAS' Africa Workshop and make a presentation of their work or studies at the Department. Participation in activities in DAAS will be considered for applicants seeking funding.

Application Materials: The application period begins January 15th and ends March 15th. Your references will be notified by an automatic email that is generated when you submit their names. To insure that they are able to meet the March 15th deadline, please submit their names as soon as possible.

The following materials should be submitted to the online application database:

  1. A transcript (original or a copy of one).
  2. A curriculum vitae that includes the applicant's academic background: work history, list of honors, grants, scholarships and awards; publications or research papers; conference and workshop participation; membership in professional associations; past teaching experience; and language proficiency.
  3. An application cover letter - can include biographical information, an indication of the applicant's intellectual path and their knowledge of DAAS.
  4. Applicants applying for grants must submit a research proposal that includes literature review, research questions, significance of the project, methodology, a budget, schedule of activities, and bibliography. Five single-spaced pages maximum (or 10 double-spaced). 
  5. A Financial Statement (using this template)

In addition to the above materials, two letters of recommendation must be submitted via our new application database. Your references will be notified via an automatic email. Your application does not have to be completed in order to submit your references' names and emails so please submit their names as soon as possible to insure that they can send their letters by the March 15th deadline.


Application Portal 

Application DeadlineThe application period begins January 15th and ends March 15th. 

If you have any problems submitting any or all of your application materials to the online database, please email DAAS at: Please type 'SAIO Grant 2024' in the subject line.

Award Notification: Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by April 30th.