Bursaries & Competitions - ROAPE
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Bursaries & Competitions

Lionel Cliffe Memorial Research Scholarship

The Lionel Cliffe Memorial Research Scholarship runs every two years. The next year will be 2018.

 The Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) announces the second round of its small research grants competition in memory of Lionel Cliffe, the founder member who died in 2013. It is intended to promote research in the spirit of his work, and is restricted to African scholars and/or activists based in Africa. The competition is based on the premise that a shortage of funding for critical research is one of the problems faced by Africa-based scholars/activists wishing to carry forward a political economy agenda. In response to this, ROAPE will be offering up to four small research grants (value £3000). Deadline for applications 31 January, 2016. The process of selection of proposals, as well as their expected format, is outlined below.

ROAPE is a refereed journal committed to encouraging high quality research and fostering excellence in the understanding of African political economy. A political economy approach entails a critical understanding of the social relationships, particularly the power relationships that mutually constitute the production, distribution and consumption of resources. It requires us to ask who produces what and for whom and hence an investigation into social relations that are generated by struggles over livelihoods and exploitation of the many by the few. Radical political economy represents a form of engagement with those struggles.  ROAPE is listed in the Thomson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index and published quarterly by Taylor & Francis. Since 1974 it has provided radical analysis of trends, issues and social processes in Africa, adopting a broadly materialist interpretation of change. It has paid particular attention to the political economy of inequality, exploitation and oppression and struggles against them, whether driven by global forces or local ones such as class, race, community and gender. It sustains a critical analysis of the nature of power and the state in Africa in the context of capitalist globalisation. For more details about the journal and examples of published articles please click  here.  A report on the previous round of this competition is available in ROAPE, 140, 2014.


Applicants should be nationals of an African country and residents in an African country. Applicants who are based in or studying outside Africa will not be considered.  Priority will be given to younger scholars/activists who are not yet established. Joint applications which meet these criteria will also be considered.

Application Process

Applicants will initially submit their application through Google Docs. They will be required to provide:

  1. A brief CV, listing the following information: Name; age; sex; contact details; nationality and residence; educational qualifications and/or activist experience; research experience.
  1. A brief outline of their research proposal, consisting of: a) A title. b) An abstract of no more than 100 words, clarifying the political economy framing of the research. c) The methodology to be adopted in the proposed study.

The deadline for applications is 31 January, 2016.

A selection panel will be drawn from ROAPE’s Editorial Working Group. Selection will proceed in two stages. A short list will be drawn up, and those short-listed will be asked to submit a more extended account of their research proposal (no more than 1000 words), under the same headings as above, but expanding on the research problem and the key research questions. It should also include a budget of how the grant would be used. This may include costs incurred for travel, accommodation, subsistence, equipment (for example a voice recorder), research permits, research assistance, and/or photocopying and printing.


The four successful candidates will be offered some limited mentoring to support their efforts. At the end of a one year research period, they must submit a one-page report with a summary account of what has been achieved. The final requirement is to submit for consideration to ROAPE an article (of no more than 8000 words) based on the research funded by the grant. No guarantee of publication can be given, as the article will be peer-reviewed according to the standard procedure followed by the journal.

Payment of the grant

Grants will be paid in two tranches. Upon acceptance of a research proposal, ROAPE will disburse half of the grant to successful candidates to contribute towards research expenses. The remaining half will be paid to authors following the formal submission of an article to ROAPE.


  1. Deadline for applications: 31 January 2016.
  1. Selection of short list and notification to those selected: 1 April 2016.
  2. Submission of extended proposals from those short-listed: by 1 June 2016
  3. Selection of successful proposals and notification to authors: 1 July 2016. Payment of first tranche of grant (50%).
  4. Start of research period: 1 July 2016
  5. Summary Report: by 1 July 2017
  6. Formal submission of article to ROAPE and payment of the second tranche of the grant: no later than 1 July 2018.

Ruth First Prize

In 2016 the Ruth First prize was won by Asanda Benya’s ‘The Invisible Hands: Women in Marikana.’ This article provides an extremely rich and original analysis of the Marikana strikes and their aftermath by focusing on the role and experiences of women, mainly the partners of the miners. The article can be read free online.

ROAPE awards an annual prize of £1000 for the most outstanding article written by an African author and published in the previous year’s volume of four issues. The author must be published in ROAPE for the first time. The selection is made by a panel drawn from the Editorial Working Group. All eligible articles are considered, but in selection we give priority to early-career authors who are African nationals resident in Africa. Successful authors will be contacted by ROAPE.

Previously we have awarded the Prize to

2012: Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou : “The political economy of oil and ‘rebellion’ in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.”   Vol 39 (No. 132) June 2012

2013: Joseph A. Yaro: “Neoliberal globalisation and evolving local traditional institutions: implications for access to resources in rural northern Ghana.” Vol 40 (No. 137) 2013

2014: Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco: “Growth, capital accumulation and economic porosity in Mozambique, Social losses, private gains.”   Vol 41 (No. 143, Supplemental 1) December 2014

Would you like to get involved?