Iso Lomso Fellowships

An important priority for STIAS is to strengthen a culture of research on the continent. It is especially important to nurture a new generation of African scholars to provide the intellectual leadership needed for future development. For this purpose, STIAS has established an early career research fellowship programme called Iso Lomso. The translation of the isiXhosa words ‘iso lomso’ is ‘the eye of tomorrow’ and connotes seeing into the future, working towards the future, preparing for the future, and laying foundations for tomorrow.Iso Lomso aims to address the gap that exists between completion of the Ph.D. and becoming an established scholar in Africa. While there is increasing support for doctoral study and for post-doctoral fellowships, it is during the extended post-doctoral period that the greatest loss of talent occurs.

Iso Lomso takes its cue from the ethos and objectives of STIAS. It does not offer an alternative programme to the regular fellows’ programme, but complements and builds on the proven and successful model of the Institute. It aims at enhancing the existing cross-fertilization of minds by broadening its scope through the inclusion of a younger generation.

Iso Lomso Fellowships:

Iso Lomso fellowships provide a three-year attachment to STIAS to enable fellows to develop and conduct a long-term research programme of their preference. The aim is to facilitate and support them towards becoming established scholars in their fields.

To be eligible for the 2022 call, applicants must:

  • be a national of any African country; 
  • be born after the 1st of January 1980; 
  • have an affiliation at a research or higher education institution in an African country, and continue to do so for the foreseeable future; 
  • have obtained a doctoral degree from any recognised higher education institution (worldwide) after the 1st of January 2014; 
  • have completed a post-doctoral fellowship or equivalent post-PhD research programme; 
  • be in a position to commence a first period of residency at STIAS between July 2022 and June 2023.
During final selection, additional consideration will be given to:
  • gender representation; 
  • diversity of nationalities; 
  • diversity of disciplines; 
  • participation in previous or current research projects; 
  • previous international experience.Please fill out the application form linked below. The following documents, all in PDF format, must accompany your application:


  • A motivational cover letter of not more than one page in length. The letter should include a description of the applicant’s academic career, detailing the ideas and experiences that have shaped and motivated his or her intellectual work.
  •  A pre-proposal for a three-year research project. This is a short essay of two to three pages which provides (i) a summary of the applicant’s current research/work, (ii) the main thesis of the proposed research project, including the problem statement and aim of the project, (iii) an overview of existing literature and other sources for the project, (iv) the project’s theoretical background and methodological approach, (v) the significance/relevance of the project for African scholarship, and (vi) a provisional time framework with proposed periods of residency at STIAS, additional activities, and research outputs. 
  • One or two recent writing examples authored by the applicant (articles or book sections) related to the proposed project. 
  • A copy of the applicant’s doctoral certificate.
  •  A letter of support from the applicant’s home institution (either from the head of department, dean of faculty, principal of college, or equivalent). 
  • Two letters of recommendation from scholars who are familiar with the applicant’s work, preferably one from the applicant’s current home institution and one from another institution. The letter should be printed on an official institutional letterhead and should include the name of the recommender, the academic position of the recommender, an indication of how long and in what capacity the recommender has known the applicant, and an evaluation of the merit of the applicant’s proposed project and ability to complete the proposed work during three years. The letters of recommendation will be confidential and should be sent by the recommender directly to




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Iso Lomso Fellowships
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