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

MA/MPhil students in African Studies, Political Science and Sociology

University of Ghana, Legon

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


CERTZENS (Certifications of Citizenship in Africa) is an international collaborative research project concerned with the epidemic scale and implications of people on the African continent living without legal ID documents, who currently make up 50% of the estimated one billion 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 current and emerging 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 at:

The Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana is one of the three collaborating partners of CERTIZENS, together with the Centre of African Studies at the University of Copenhagen and the Department of Development Studies at Makerere University, Kampala. To complement the existing CERTIZENS research team of four senior researchers and five PhD scholars, additional funding is available for scholarships to support the thesis research of TWO MA/MPhil students in their second year of study. These students may be taking their major degrees in African Studies, Political Science or Sociology. 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
  • Evidence of previous academic degree and results
  • MA/MPhil courses selected for second semester of first year
  • Names of 2 academic references

Application deadline

Applications should be submitted via email by midnight on Friday 26 August to Dr Kojo Opoku Aidoo: and Professor Amanda Hammar: 


Assessment process

The applications will be assessed by a committee consisting of CERTIZENS senior researchers, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and a representatives of each of the relevant departments of the University of Ghana. If deemed necessary, interviews will be held around mid-September.


Final decision on awarding of scholarship

A short-list of prospective candidates for the scholarship will be identified. However, 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.


Requirement to follow relevant courses

To ensure a sound academic basis for joining the CERTIZENS research project in the second year, prospective scholarship students are expected to follow courses relevant for the project. These should include at least one core course and one elective course. A list of relevant courses being followed by the applicant should be noted in the application.

A list of relevant available courses in the current semester, for degrees in African Studies, Political Science and Sociology, is provided as an Appendix.

Additional support will be provided to short-listed candidates in the form of short tailor-made seminars or workshops, to deepen academic grounding for participation in the CERTIZENS Project.


Thesis topics and supervision

Relevant thesis topics for each scholarship student will be identified and agreed-upon in collaboration between the students, their respective supervisors, and the CERTIZENS Management Team. Of the two thesis supervisors for each of the students selected, one will be the CERTIZENS Ghana Project Coordinator, Dr Kojo Opoku Aidoo, based at the Institute of African Studies.


General queries

Any general queries about the application process can be directed to Dr. Kojo Opoku Aidoo: and Professor Amanda Hammar:


Relevant MA/MPhil courses available during second semester 2022

As noted above, prospective scholarship students are expected to follow courses at least broadly relevant for the CERTIZENS project. These should include at least one core course and one elective course. The courses listed below for three degree programmes at the University of Ghana Legon available this semester, are considered relevant.

MA/MPhil In African Studies - Second semester

Note: Level 600 Courses are MA/MPhil courses and Level 700 Courses are PhD course. As one of the options for elective courses, students interested in the CERTIZENS scholarship may consider auditing relevant PhD Courses, without having to gain credits from such courses.

Core courses

  • ARTS 701: Philosophical Foundations of the Humanities


  • AFST 726: Development Discourses in Africa
  • AFST 706: State and Politics in Africa
  • AFST 604: Issues in Africa’s Development
  • AFST 632: Gender and Development in African Studies


MA/MPhil in Political Science - Second semester


Core courses

  • Public Policy Analysis


  • Ethics in Administration in Ghana
  • Government and the Economy
  • Issues in Public Administration
  • Management Information Systems in the Public Sector



Core courses

  • Strategies of Development in Africa


  • Democracy and Governance in Africa
  • Human Rights in Africa


MA/MPhil in Sociology - Second semester

Core courses

  • SOCI 602 Issues in Advanced Social Theory
  • SOCI 606 Political Economy of African States


  • SOCI 608 Social Life in Urban Communities