Wadsworth African Fellowships for PhD Students in South African Universities 2022

Wenner-Gren Foundation invites applications for The Wadsworth African Fellowships intended to provide support for African students undertaking study leading to a PhD at a South African university in 2022

In honor of Frank Wadsworth, Wenner-Gren Foundation Board of Trustee member from 1970 to 2006, the Foundation has changed the name of the Professional Development International Fellowship Program to the Wadsworth Fellowship Program.

Dr. Frank Wadsworth worked tirelessly for the Foundation.  More than any other individual since the founding of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, he is responsible for the survival and wellbeing of the Foundation, which he steered through a period of crisis during his chairmanship.  Making hard and unpopular decisions, he was instrumental in putting Wenner-Gren on a sound fiscal basis, and through his scholarly integrity and personal grace, restored the trust of the anthropological profession.  His diligence, courage, wisdom, and dedication ensured that the Foundation would continue to benefit anthropology long into the future.

Worth of Award

  • 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.


  • 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.
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How to Apply

  • Application materials are available 2 months before the application deadline.
  • Applicants must use the most recent application form.
  • They must also submit their application materials using the Foundation’s online submission procedure.
  • See the link below for more information.
  • Questions about this program should be e-mailed to: [email protected]
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Deadline: The deadline for the Wadsworth African Fellowship Program is December 15 and final decisions are made by January 15.


Click here for more details and to apply