The African Studies Center at the University of Michigan administers four initiatives funded by the Office of the President.
The U-M African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS) brings early career faculty members from Ghana, South Africa and Liberia to the University of Michigan for residencies lasting up to six months. Scholars are paired with a faculty mentor during their stay and have full access to U-M’s resources to further their work on a research project, an academic degree, a new course, a grant proposal, or other relevant activity. The program supports the development of the next generation of African scholars and seeks to help their home institutions build capacity. Individuals may apply for a two-month, four-month, or six-month residency.
The African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) enhances quantitative social science data collection and analysis conducted in Africa by African researchers. The initiative responds to the critical need in Africa for high-quality social data on economics, urbanization, gender, citizenship and governance, education, demographics, environmental change, and public health. The University of Michigan encourages collaborative research projects that cross national, institutional, and disciplinary boundaries, including the use of mixed methods. An annual revolving conference brings together scholars from Africa and U-M and seed grants of up to $10,000 support collaborative research.
The African Heritage Initiative explores how cultural assets in Africa are historicized, authenticated, accessed, and circulated. It supports collaborative research projects between scholars and artists at the University of Michigan and partnering African institutions. The initiative is open to scholars from disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, who study African tradition, culture, ideas, or artifacts. The term “heritage” is broadly defined to encompass topics ranging from traditional African belief systems to political and legal legacies. These include but are not limited to:
- Retrieval and reframing of objects, artifacts, and cultural traditions
- Social practices
- Customary laws
- Practices pertaining to pre-colonial, colonial, and post-independence legacies
An annual revolving conference brings together scholars from Africa and U-M and seed grants of up to $10,000 support collaborative research.
The STEM-Africa Initiatives coordinates research efforts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics between the University of Michigan and partnering educational institutions in Africa. Drawing upon U-M’s strength in STEM disciplines, the program promotes and coordinates existing STEM initiatives in Africa and responds to requests from partnering African institutions for capacity-building assistance in these areas. An annual revolving conference brings together scholars from Africa and U-M and seed grants of up to $10,000 support collaborative research.