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DAAS SAIO Fellowship for an Incoming Graduate Student

ATTENTION: The 2023-2024 nomination period begins on January 15, 2024.

Nomination 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 graduate 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 (SAIO) Fellowship

The SAIO Fellowship funds an incoming graduate student for the first year of graduate study at the University of Michigan. The students nominated must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.  Departments and schools are encouraged to nominate students they want to be considered for the fellowship.  The fellowship can be used for funding packages including cost-share in recruitment or GSI support; however, the SAIO Fellowship cannot be used to support Research Assistants (with or without tuition waivers). The Fellowship is awarded by and distributed through the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Eligibility: Fellowship funds can be used to recruit international as well as domestic students. The students nominated must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies. Funds will be awarded only if students have been accepted to the University of Michigan graduate program and if there is an offer of departmental/program support and a pledge of departmental resources.

Funding: One fellowship is granted to one incoming Ph.D. student to fund the first year of graduate work.

Selection Criteria: The DAAS SAIO Fellowship & Grant Committee will review nominations for the SAIO Fellowship. The committee is composed of DAAS faculty members. The committee makes recommendations to the Chair of DAAS, who has final approval.

Nomination Materials: Chairs/directors of Departments as well as the Director of Graduate Studies should formally nominate candidates with a letter to the DAAS SAIO Fellowship & Grant Committee. Please include a copy of the candidate's application file with the nomination letter for review.

Application DeadlineThe application period begins January 15th and ends February 6th. When you complete the nomination, be sure to click submit to actually submit your nomination.


Nomination Portal


If you have any problems submitting your nomination materials to the online database, please email DAAS at: Please type 'SAIO Fellowship 2023-2024' in the subject line.

Award Notification: Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 31st.