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Scholarships for MA/MPhil students at University of Ghana, Legon

The Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon and the University of Copenhagen/CERTIZENS Project announce:

Two scholarships for thesis research available for 2023/24 within
Certifications of Citizenship in Africa (CERTIZENS) Research Project


Are you a first-year student at the University of Ghana, Legon, taking an MA/MPhil degree in such fields/departments as African Studies, Political Science, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Gender Studies, Migration Studies, Policy Studies and Law or any other relevant disciplines?

Are you interested in applying for one of two thesis scholarships for your second year of studies (in 2023/24) and becoming part of an exciting, international collaborative research project about national ID registration and certification systems, entitled Certifications of Citizenship in Africa (CERTIZENS)?  See more about the Project here.


CERTIZENS (Certifications of Citizenship in Africa) is an international collaborative research project including a partnership between the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana Legon, the Centre of African Studies at the University of Copenhagen, and the Department of Development Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) at Makerere University. The Project is concerned with the epidemic scale and implications of people on the African continent living without legal ID documents, who currently make up 50% of an estimated 850 million people worldwide living without formal proof of identity. With Ghana and Uganda as country case studies, CERTIZENS focuses on the complexities, challenges and effects of national systems of citizen classification certification and identification, and the forms of ID they generate. It considers how interweaving politics, policies and practices related to such systems – working at institutional, social and individual scales – shape both citizens and states and the relationship between them. See more about CERTIZENS here.

To complement the existing CERTIZENS research team of four senior researchers and five PhD scholars, additional funding is available for scholarships to support thesis research for two MA/MPhil students in their second year of study. These students may be taking their major degrees in such fields/departments as African Studies, Political Science, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Gender Studies, Migration Studies, Policy Studies and Law or any other relevant disciplines.  The successful applicants will be directly attached to the CERTIZENS Project, while fully following and fulfilling the requirements of their degrees.

The scholarship will cover tuition fees for the second year, as well as supporting thesis fieldwork and participation in various CERTIZENS-related workshops and conferences.


Application requirements

Applicants are requested to provide the following documentation:

  • Full name
  • Updated CV
  • Letter of motivation, indicating why the area of study covered by CERTIZENS is interesting and relevant for your studies
  • 1-2 page outline of proposed thesis focus
  • Evidence of previous academic degree with at least Upper Second Honours, and a B grade or above on the first year of the masters course
  • Names of 2 academic references

Applicants are strongly encouraged to explore the CERTIZENS home page while preparing their application, to gain a clear understanding of what themes, topics and analytical questions are of concern within the project.


Assessment process

The applications will be assessed by a committee consisting of Dr Kojo Opoku Aidoo and other selected staff from University of Ghana, Legon; the CERTIZENS Project Leader, and a representatives of the department at which the applicant is based. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed in mid-September. The results will be made available soon after.

Final decision on awarding of scholarship

Among the selected candidates, the final decision on awarding the scholarships will only be made following the results of the second semester exams.  The required pass-rate for receiving the scholarship is a B average.

Thesis topics and supervision

A relevant thesis topic for each scholarship student will be identified, discussed and agreed-upon in collaboration between the student, their respective departmental supervisor, and the CERTIZENS Project Coordinator.

Of the two thesis supervisors for each of the students selected, one will be the CERTIZENS Ghana Project Coordinator, Kojo Opoku Aidoo, based at the Institute of African Studies, and the other as lead supervisor will be from the student’s academic department. Additional mentoring will be provided by Professor Amanda Hammar, based at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen, who leads the CERTIZENS Project.

Supplementary training in CERTIZENS-related concepts/approaches

Selected candidates will be provided with additional support by CERTIZENS in the form of short tailor-made seminars or workshops and prescribed reading lists, to deepen academic grounding for participation in the CERTIZENS Project.

General queries

Find details about the scholarship and application process in the full Call for Applications available on request from Vivian Appiah: Any general queries about the application process can be directed to Dr. Kojo Opoku Aidoo:, Professor Amanda Hammar:, as well as to CERTIZENS PhD candidates Isaac Owusu Nsiah:, and Agnes Doe Agbanyo:

Application deadline

Applications should be submitted via email by midnight on Monday 28 August to both Dr Kojo Opoku Aidoo (CERTIZENS Ghana Project Coordinator): and Professor Amanda Hammar (CERTIZENS Project Leader):

Deadline for applications is Monday 28 August 2023.