The Wadsworth African Fellowships

The Wadsworth African Fellowships are intended to provide support for African students undertaking study leading to a Ph.D. at a South African university that can provide them with international-level training in anthropology ( including biological anthropology and archaeology ). Currently applications to the University of Witwatersrand or The University of Cape Town are given priority.

The annual fellowship is $17,500 and can be used towards travel, living expenses, tuition, student fees, insurance, books, research expenses, and any other relevant categories of expenditure while studying at the Host institution. The fellowship is renewable for up to two additional years upon successful completion of each preceding year’s study. A separate application can be made for an additional year of funding to support dissertation write-up.

Wadsworth African Fellowships Eligibility

  • The Wadsworth African Fellowship is intended for young African scholars who may not otherwise be able to pursue a doctoral degree in anthropology. Normally, applicants will be under 35 years of age at the time they begin their fellowship. They must be citizens and residents of an African country at the time of application. They must also be members of an underrepresented group in academic anthropology / archaeology.
  • Applicants must be prepared to demonstrate their reasons for choosing their Host Institution ( the institution where they plan to study ). Currently applications to the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town are given priority.
  • A Host Institution can have only two active Wadsworth African fellows. Because anthropology can be taught in a variety of departments ( Social Anthropology, Archaeology, Anatomy, etc. ) it is expected that there will normally be only one active fellow per department at any time.
  • Applicants may have already begun their training for the doctoral degree at a South African university but they must demonstrate why their funding circumstances have changed and why they now do not have sufficient funding to complete their degree.
  • Students who have advanced beyond their first year of doctoral studies / training are not eligible to apply.
  • At the time they submit their application, candidates must have an application for doctoral admission pending at a South African institution that will provide training.
  • The applicant must have a Host Sponsor, or supervisor, who is a member of the South African institution at which the candidate plans to pursue training. The Host Sponsor must be willing to assume responsibility for overseeing the candidate’s training. A Host Sponsor cannot sponsor more than one applicant per funding season.
  • The applicant must have a Home Sponsor who is a member of the institution at which the applicant received his or her prior degree/s. The Home Sponsor must be prepared to supply a letter of reference for the applicant. In some cases the Host Institution may be the same institution where the applicant received his or her prior degree/s. If this situation applies, the Home Sponsor should be the Head of a relevant department at the Host Institution or another member of the academic staff who is familiar with the applicant, but who will not be acting as the Host Sponsor.
  • Applicants may submit only one application per funding season. They may not apply through two or more Host Institutions / Departments at the same time.
  • If the Foundation receives more than one application for a single South African department, the Foundation will contact that department to have them prioritize their applicants for potential funding.
  • Applications exclusively seeking support for fieldwork expenses and/or dissertation write-up are not accepted. Applicants should apply to the Dissertation Fieldwork Grant program for fieldwork expenses. The Foundation only funds dissertation write-up for Wadsworth African Fellows who have received funding for training purposes from the Wenner-Gren Foundation prior to undertaking their fieldwork.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds in addition to the Wadsworth African Fellowship to complete their training at the Host Institution.
General Criteria of Evaluation
  1. The Foundation is looking for applicants who are talented scholars, who may not otherwise be able to pursue a doctoral degree and who show potential for developing the field of anthropology in their home countries. Priority will be given to applicants from underrepresented groups in academic anthropology.
  2. Applicants must show evidence of academic excellence in their prior training in anthropology or a related discipline.
  3. Applicants should make a convincing case for choosing the Host Institution and the program of training they will receive at the Host Institution.
  4. The Foundation places considerable importance on the reference from the Host Sponsor. Applicants are encouraged to make personal contact with the Host Sponsor prior to applying for the Wadsworth African Fellowship and to develop with that sponsor an appropriate program of training and study leading to the doctoral degree.
  5. Priority is given to applicants with well-articulated training and research goals. It is also important to demonstrate a good fit between the Host Institution, Host Sponsor, and the applicant’s research goals.

Wadsworth African Fellowships Application Procedure

  • The Wenner-Gren Foundation awards only one Wadsworth African Fellowship annually. The Foundation advises applicants to follow closely all the procedures for completing the application.
  • Applications must be submitted on the most recent official application form. Application forms and guidelines for completing these forms are available three months before each application deadline.
  • The Foundation operates an online application submission procedure. All application forms and other required application materials must be submitted online by the application deadline of December 15. All material must be submitted in a format compatible with Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, or 2010, or as an Adobe PDF. Acceptable document formats include “.doc”, “.docx”, “.txt”, “.xls” and “.pdf” extensions.
  • Two printed copies of the applicant materials must also be mailed to the Foundation. The printed material must be postmarked on or before the December 15 application deadline and received in the Foundation offices no later than two weeks after the application deadline. Send the printed copies to:
    International Programs
    Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
    470 Park Avenue South, 8th Floor
    New York City, NY 10016, USA
  • If it is not possible to submit your application online because of inadequate internet access in your country of origin, you must notify the Foundation at least one week before the deadline to arrange to submit an application by conventional mail ( internationalprograms@wennergren.org ).
  • The Foundation will consider only one application for each South African university department each year. If the Foundation receives more than one application per department, the Department Head will be asked to prioritize their candidates for the fellowship.
  • Applications and all supporting materials such as CVs, transcripts, etc. must be in English.
  • The Wadsworth African Fellowship application asks for the following categories of information, which must be submitted by the December 15 deadline:
    • General information about the applicant, the Home Institution and Sponsor, and the Host Institution and Sponsor
    • The answers to three questions about your background and your proposed plan of study, your research interests, and your professional goals or plans. Applicants are advised to read the questions and instructions carefully as they develop their answers.
    • A detailed budget
    • Copies of official transcripts from your Home Institution. Provide a translation if they are not in English.
    • Language Competency: Where applicable, the applicant must provide evidence of competency in the language of the institution in which he/she will be pursuing training
    • Curriculum vitae for the applicant and Host Sponsor
  • Letters from Sponsors. The applicant should request letters from both the Home Sponsor and the Host Sponsor, to be sent directly to the Foundation by the application deadline.
  • Please note that actual copies of travel permits, visas, and/or certificates of language competency are not required at the application stage. If an application is successful, the Foundation will expect that the necessary permits, visas, and certificates are in hand. Fellowship funds will not be awarded until the Foundation has received copies of all relevant permits, visas, and certificates.
  • Do not send any other material, such as additional letters of recommendation, computer disks, manuscripts, publications, photographs, or recordings to the Foundation in support of your application. This material will not be used in the review process and cannot be returned.
  • Before submitting your application, please read the information on US tax issues if you are intending to be present in the US during your fellowship period.

Online Application Instructions: Wadsworth African Fellowship

Official “Wadsworth African Fellowship Application Forms” and required attachments must be submitted using the Foundation’s online application submission procedure, which uses a third-party platform, Blackbaud/Microedge’s Internet Grants Application Module ( IGAM ). ( Read their privacy statement. )

If it is not possible to submit your application online because of inadequate internet access in your country of origin, you must notify the Foundation at least one week before the deadline to arrange to submit an application by conventional mail. ( internationalprograms@wennergren.org ). Please note: application forms that are e-mailed or faxed to the Foundation will not be accepted. Please refer to the application procedures for details and guidelines about the information requested in the application.

In addition, all applicants must physically mail two (2) complete, printed copies of the official Wadsworth African Fellowship Application Form, the Applicant’s CV, the Host Sponsor’s CV, and the Applicant’s official transcripts to the Foundation offices. This material must be postmarked by the application deadline (and received by the Foundation no later than two weeks after the deadline) or your application will not be reviewed. If you have already read the following instructions click on one of the links below to:

If you are experiencing difficulties making an Online Application Submission, please consult “Troubleshooting Online Application Submissions“.

Instructions for preparing and submitting an online application Preparing and submitting an online application is straightforward, however the Foundation suggests that you print out the following guidelines to help you through the writing and submission process.

  • Download the official Wadsworth African Fellowship Application Form Applicants must download and complete the official Wadsworth African Fellowship Application Form. This form is a Microsoft Word 2003 document, which allows individuals to fill out information within the form and save it to their computers.
  • Create a User Account: After clicking on the “Begin a new Wadsworth African Fellowship application” link at the bottom or top of this page, individuals will be directed to the “Log in” page for Online Applications and asked to create a User Account. To create a User Account, individuals will be asked to enter an e-mail address ( which will be used as the account ID ), and a password. Once the User Account has been created, applicants can begin filling out their online registration information. This User Account will also allow individuals to:
    • Save unfinished submissions and return to complete them later;
    • Review the content of submitted applications.

    An e-mail including the confirmation of your password will be automatically sent to the e-mail address supplied. The confirmation e-mail will also include a direct link to the User Account login page, which applicants should save for their records. They are also encouraged to save the direct link to their User Account in the “Favorites” folder on their internet browser.

  • Save and Edit Submissions: Applicants can save the information they have entered online by clicking on the “Save & Finish Later” button located at the bottom of each page.
    • Clicking on the “Save & Finish Later” button will take applicants to their User Account home page.
    • Once in their User Account home page, applicants can see saved information listed under the “Open” heading.
  • Access or Delete In-Progress Applications: On the User Account home page, applicants can resume work on in-progress submissions saved in an earlier session, and view the contents of applications previously submitted.
    • To access in-progress submissions and continue the application process, applicants should click on the relevant link listed under the “Open” heading, in the “Application Name” column.
    • Applicants can also click the Delete link under the “Action” column to delete partially completed submissions. Note that once deleted, information cannot be retrieved.
  • Return to Online User Account: Individuals who have already created a User Account can return to their accounts either by using the direct link included in the User Account confirmation e-mail, or by returning to the Wadsworth African Fellowship Application page on the Wenner-Gren website, where the “Access the Online Application” link is provided at the bottom of the page.
  • Required Attachments: Applicants are required to attach the following documents to their online application.
    • Wadsworth African Fellowship Application Form
    • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
    • Host Sponsor’s Curriculum Vitae

    These documents must be submitted in a format compatible with Microsoft Word 2003, or as an Adobe PDF. Acceptable document formats include “.doc”, “.txt”, “.xls” and “.pdf” extensions. REMEMBER: Required attachments must be submitted using the Foundation’s online application submission procedure; applications without all required attachments will not be reviewed.

  • Online Submission: After applicants have attached all required documents for the application, they must:
    • Click on the “Review and Submit” button located at the bottom of the last page of the application.
    • Once clicked, applicants will be taken to a single Review Screen, which will list all responses and confirm that the required documents are attached.
    • After verifying all information and attachments have been provided, applicants must click the “Submit Application” button at the bottom of the page to complete the submission process.
  • Printed Application Materials: After submitting the application form and required attachments online, applicants must send two (2) printed copies of the application form and required attachments to the Foundation offices to complete the filing process. Application materials must be postmarked by the application deadline ( and received by the Foundation no later than two weeks after the deadline ). PLEASE NOTE: PRINTED APPLICATION MATERIALS MUST BE PHYSICALLY MAILED TO FOUNDATION OFFICES. APPLICATION MATERIALS SUBMITTED BY FAX OR E-MAIL WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Once submitted, applicants will receive an e-mail confirming that the submission of their application was successful. This e-mail will include a complete copy of the information entered directly online and a list of all attachments. Applicants are encouraged to print this out and save it for their records. Please note that it is not possible to use your User Account to track the progress of your application through the review system.

Wadsworth African Fellowships Application Deadline

  • The deadline for the Wadsworth African Fellowship Program is 15th December and final decisions are made by 15th January. Application materials are available 3 months before the application deadline. Applicants must use the most recent application form.

Contact Details

470 Park Avenue South,
8th Floor New York, NY 10016 USA
Phone No : 212.683.5000
Fax No : 212.532.1492
Email : inquiries@wennergren.org
Website : http://www.wennergren.org/

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