STAARS Fellowship Program 2024 – APPLY NOW

The STAARS Fellowship Program is a dynamic initiative uniting Cornell University, the World Bank, and PEP. Established in 2016, this program is designed for early-career African researchers, offering them a platform to explore policy-oriented research, shaping the future of agriculture and rural development.

STAARS Fellowship Program 2024
STAARS Fellowship Program 2024

The year 2016 marked a crucial moment as STAARS came into existence. The collaboration between renowned institutions, Cornell University, the World Bank, and PEP, set the stage for fostering research that addresses the core challenges facing African agriculture and rural spaces. The program aims to empower the next generation of researchers in shaping policies and practices.

Thematic Areas of Research

STAARS invites researchers to explore diverse thematic areas relevant to Africa south of the Sahara. From the dynamics of agricultural inputs to the intricate web of poverty dynamics, participants are encouraged to harness existing high-quality datasets, such as LSMS–ISA and Demographic and Health Surveys. This ensures a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted issues affecting the region.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The call is open to early-career African researchers, extending the invitation to PhD students in their final year and those who completed their PhD no earlier than 2018.
  • The criteria aim to bring together a cadre of minds passionate about driving change in agricultural practices.
  • To be eligible, applicants must submit a 2500-word research proposal by January 19, 2024. This proposal serves as the compass, outlining research objectives, methodology, data sources, and a timeline.
  • All the Shortlisted candidates will undergo a virtual interview and a Stata/R assessment, ensuring that only the most dedicated and capable researchers progress to the next phase.

Fellowship Funding

  • The STAARS Fellowship covers travel, and training expenses, and provides a modest honorarium. An emphasis is placed on encouraging female researchers to participate actively, recognizing the invaluable perspectives they bring to the table.
  • Opportunity for mentorship and collaboration: Fellows will be engaged in a three-week collaboration and mentorship program either at Cornell University or the World Bank. This will provide insights, guidance and a shared commitment to excellence. The virtual collaboration and training workshops further enrich this transformative experience.
  • Professional Development: STAARS prioritizes professional development. Workshops on coding, data management, and research ethics pave the way for well-rounded researchers.
  • The program’s unique offering extends to preparing participants for paper submissions to academic journals by June 30, 2025, ensuring a lasting impact on the academic landscape.

Program Timeline

The fellowship is a 15-month journey in which participants engage in virtual collaboration, training workshops, and mentorship.

The Application Deadline is January 19, 2024, at 11:59 PM Eastern.

Application Process

Applications are done via the STAARS online application link

Successful applicants will be notified by mid-March 2024. Immediate action upon acceptance is paramount.



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