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Early career African researchers who have completed their doctoral studies during the preceding seven years are invited to apply for the Iso Lomso fellowship. For the 2017 call at least five candidates will be awarded a three-year fellowship.

Iso Lomso, “the Eye of Tomorrow” in isiXhosa, was launched in 2016 and aims to boost the careers of some of the brightest minds in African academia.

Fellows will spend various periods of residency at the STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre in Stellenbosch to pursue their research projects. They will also receive support to attend international conferences, convene workshops, and visit sister institutes for advanced study elsewhere in the world.

The first cohort of Iso Lomso fellows were selected at the end of 2016 and have commenced their fellowships. All five candidates are approved to spend a second residency in North America or Europe during 2018.

isolomso-three - 1Three of the first cohort of Iso Lomso fellows in residence at STIAS, from left, John Ganle, Tolu Oni and Uchenna Okeja

In the words of John Ganle of the University of Ghana after his first residency at STIAS:

I think the best part of being a fellow at STIAS is that you get to work on your own project, while at the same time, learning enormously from others who are doing something similar or totally different from yours… My residency has been truly transformative and productive; I have charted a clear direction for my project; I have met wonderful senior academics; I have learned; I have unlearned; and I have had fun chatting and laughing with other Fellows.

Iso Lomso recognises that for many younger academics the pressures of teaching, administration and contract work mean they receive little support and incentive to develop their research strengths. This programme will provide sustained research support to meet this need.

It fills the gap that exists between completion of a Ph.D. and becoming an established scholar. While in residence, Iso Lomso fellows will find themselves in the company of leading scholars from around the world and from different disciplines. Informal research guidance from other fellows will form an integral part of life at STIAS.

A unique element of Iso Lomso fellowships is that STIAS will offer lecturer replacement support to the home institutions of fellows during times of residency at STIAS. It also provides for a child care subsidy in the case of  fellows who are accompanied by young children during periods of residence at STIAS.

The call for applications is now open and can be found at

Applications for the current call close on 15 November 2017. For enquiries, contact the STIAS Programme Manager, Dr Christoff Pauw at, tel. +27 21 808 9331