Invitation to apply for research fellowships under the “Network of Excellence for Land Governance in Africa (NELGA)” in Southern Africa

What are the program objectives? 

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is funded by the Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to organize support measures for the “Network of Excellence for Land Governance in Africa (NELGA)”.

NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training and research on land governance. Currently NELGA has more than 50 partner institutions across Africa.

The objectives of NELGA are:

  • Enhancing training opportunities and curricula on land governance in Africa;
  • Promoting demand driven research on land policy issues;
  • Connecting scholars and researchers across Africa through academic networks;
  • Creating data and information for monitoring and evaluation on land policy reforms.

Who can apply?

We invite staff members or students of NELGA partner institutions in Southern Africa with a background in land governance or a related field to apply for funding for NELGA research fellowships.

Applicants must:

  • have completed at least a first university degree (undergraduate) at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education;
  • return to their studies at the end of the fellowship;
  • be nationals of an African country;
  • be granted leave of absence by their home institution for the purpose of conducting a field study.

Female applicants and candidates from less privileged regions or groups are especially encouraged to participate in the program.

What are eligible research fields?

Research proposals are eligible for funding if they are conducted in the area of land governance or other related fields (e.g. land management or land administration, land economics, urban and regional planning, geomatics (GIS & Surveying), natural resource management.

According to the regional NELGA research scoping study, the following research areas are of special interest in Southern Africa:

  • Land Reform;
  • Land tenure in communal areas (with a special focus on women’s rights);
  • Accessibility and affordability of urban land;
  • Commercialization of communal land.

Research proposals covering the following cross-cutting issues will be given special consideration:

  • Women’s rights;
  • Land and Transparency
  • Urban-rural linkages

Details of the research fellowship

Place of Tenure:

The fellowships are tenable in the field, at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education or a non-university research institute in Africa. The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) invites guest researchers to conduct their research at its NELGA Student and Visiting Staff Centre.


One month to a maximum of six months, depending on the project in question and the applicant’s work schedule. The grant is non-renewable.


  • A flat-rate travel allowance: EUR 280 for in-country, EUR 430 for neighboring countries, EUR 630 for in-region, EUR 980 for out of region;
  • A one-off research/study allowance of EUR 460.

The fellowship does not cover living expenses. It can only be awarded once per year.

Application Procedure

Applicants will be required to:

 Documents to be submitted:

  • Curriculum Vitae, including list of publications (if applicable);
  • Extensive and detailed description of the research proposal which has been agreed upon with the academic adviser and a description of previous research work (max. 10 pages);
  • Schedule of planned research work;
  • Letter confirming supervision by an academic adviser at the host institute, which refers to the applicant’s proposal and confirms that the host institute will provide a workplace (not applicable for studies in the field);
  • All university certificates received so far on all annual examinations with individual grade(s), incl. explanation of grading system;
  • One recent reference from a university teacher which provides information about your qualifications.

Applications for the NELGA research fellowships may be submitted throughout the year. For this specialized call we invite you to apply before the 30th of August 2018. The fellowship cannot start earlier than 3 months after the application.

Contact Details

For further questions please contact:
Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer,
Ms Jana Bömer,
Ms Luisa Prior,