West Africa



Centre for Democracy and Development - Fellowship Program Movemeback African initiative cover image


The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) is now accepting fellowship applications for 2021-2022. CDD’s fellowship program aims to bring together people working in areas related to democracy and development from across a broad range of disciplines. CDD commits to leveraging its profile and resources in West Africa and internationally to advance CDD fellows’ research and reputation.

 CDD will award two types of fellowships:

  • Residential Fellowships, including:Six-month, One-year fellowships, including two named and fully funded fellowships.
  • Non-residential fellowships, which are typically long-term (longer than a year).

Residential Fellows

CDD expects that residential fellows will work on a project relevant to CDD’s thematic areas; be open to collaboration with CDD staff, including holding training sessions for staff on new conceptual frameworks and methodologies; and present within and outside CDD on their projects. Residential fellows are expected to be physically present on the CDD premises for the entire duration of the fellowship.

We welcome projects around our core thematic areas of democratic governance and people-centred development in West Africa. We interpret these areas broadly; apply even if you feel your project idea does not directly address these themes. This fellowship round, we are especially interested in scholars with expertise and experience in the intersection of politics and technology (for example, how increased digitization in African countries will affect state-society relations). We are also keen on projects that look at the political economy of health crises (for example, how government allocation of health aid can affect voting outcomes).  

The two named fellowships are fellowship positions attached to the annual lectures that two eminent fellows are expected to give under CDD auspices. The fellows will work actively in the various year-long activities of the annual lecture, culminating in written work suitable for publishing in a respected journal. We will give more information on the named fellowships after the annual lectures have been unveiled—this means that right now applications for the named fellowships are not being accepted.

Non-Residential Fellows

The Non-Resident Fellowship aims to support experienced civil society professionals and academics to work on innovative projects which their current work environment may not be conducive to. CDD will provide the full range of its capacity to develop projects from ideation to execution. While we generally accept residential fellows in cohorts, we deal with non-resident fellows on an individual basis. This does not preclude working with other fellows and staff; CDD highly encourages collaboration where possible. While non-resident fellows are not typically expected to report to CDD, we can arrange for short-term stints at the office where necessary.


We accept applications on a rolling basis. We aim to respond to complete applications within 4 weeks.


As CDD is in the nascent stages of an expanded fellowship program, we have just a few guidelines for application:

  • We are only accepting applications from PhD students or post-doctoral scholars whose research is relevant to CDD’s thematic areas.
  • We are not accepting applications from Nigerian citizens or Nigerian dual citizens for our residential fellowships. Nigerians and Nigerian dual citizens are welcome to apply for non-residential fellowships.
  • We encourage women, West Africans, and Africans studying in West Africa to apply.
  • Proficiency in English is required, proficiency in French is a strong plus.


  • CDD will award a modest stipend to a small number of applicants, specifically those who can demonstrate financial need. The stipends may vary depending on the length of the program.
  • We are able to provide references for external grants or other kinds of support. All fellows under the named fellowship will receive full funding—right now, named fellows are not being accepted.

About Centre for Democracy and Development

Our goal is to serve as the ultimate catalyst in the transformation of the West African sub-continent into an integrated, economically vibrant and democratically governed community that assures holistic security to the population and is capable of permanent peaceful conflict management.

To be the prime catalyst and facilitator for strategic analysis and capacity building for sustainable democracy and development in West Africa. CDD set out to generate dialogue on alternative pathways that are universally relevant and context sensitive. The first activity of the Centre was a roundtable organised in London in 1997 on the democratic future of Nigeria (then under military dictatorship).