ATTENTION: The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th.

Associate Vice Provost, Lester Monts, established the South African Initiatives Office in honor of Charles D. and Christella D. Moody in 1996.  The purpose of SAIO is to fund scholarly travel, research and exchanges between the University of Michigan and countries in Africa, especially South Africa.  Since its inception, numerous students and faculty have taken advantage of this program.

 The SAIO contributes to the support and growth of African Studies within DAAS in many ways, including helping to fund visiting scholars from South Africa and other countries through the UMAPS-Moody Scholars program administered by the African Studies Center. It also assists U-M faculty and students (both graduate and undergraduate) to travel to southern Africa for the purposes of research, creative collaborations, internship opportunities and/or community-based or experiential learning projects.

DAAS currently administers two grants from SAIO, which are of interest to graduate students, the SAIO Graduate Fellowship for incoming Ph.D. students from Africa and SAIO Research Grants (including the Moody Fellowship) for U-M Ph.D. students wishing to pursue research or internships in Africa, especially South Africa.

For other funding opportunities please see similar programs for students and faculty administered by the African Studies Center:; as well as the  African Initiatives Grant and Fellowship Program also through DAAS. Information on the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS), which now includes the Moody Scholars¹ Program of the SAIO, can also be found on the ASC website at:

South African Initiatives Office Graduate Fellowship:
Used in combination with the African Initiatives fellowship, the SAIO Graduate Fellowship funds an incoming graduate student for the first year of graduate study at the University of Michigan.The students nominated must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies. Departments and schools are encouraged to nominate students they want to be considered for fellowships. The fellowships can be used for funding packages including cost-share in recruitment or GSI support; however SAIO Fellowships cannot be used to support RA's (with tuition waivers). Like the African Initiative Fellowships are awarded by and distributed through the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

 Fellowship funds can be used to recruit international as well as domestic students.
 The students nominated must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.
 Funds will be awarded only if students have been accepted to the University of Michigan graduate program and if there is an offer of departmental/program support and a pledge of departmental resources.

Depending on funding, two fellowships (the African Initiatives and SAIO fellowship) are granted to one incoming Ph.D. student to fund the first year of graduate work.

Selection Criteria:
 The DAAS Fellowships Committee will review nominations for the African Initiatives and SAIO Fellowships. The committee is composed of DAAS faculty members. The fellowship committee makes recommendations to the Chair of DAAS, who has final approval.

Nomination Materials:
 Chairs/directors of Departments as well as the Director of Graduate Studies should formally nominate candidates with a letter to the DAAS Fellowship Committee. Please include a copy of the candidate's application file with the nomination letter for review.

Nomination letters and the candidate's application file SHOULD BE EMAILED TO: Please type 'African Initiatives and SAIO Fellowship' in the subject line.

Application Deadline:
 The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th.

Award Notification: 
Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 1.

South African Initiatives Office Student Research Grant and Moody Fellowships

The Program: 
Similar to the African Initiatives Grant, SAIO provides grants on a competitive basis for current U-M graduate students interested in African Studies. The maximum grant award is $3,000 to $5,000. Each academic year, funds will be available to support graduate students who are studying or researching in the field of African Studies.  In addition, those students wishing to combine research and service by pursuing internships in Africa are encouraged to apply. Those applicants who receive SAIO funding for internships will be designated as Moody Fellows. Past Moody Fellows have worked in health clinics, hospitals, centers for public policy, and governmental agencies for health and welfare. These fellowships present a unique opportunity to apply graduate school education to issues that South Africans face on a daily basis. The Moody Fellowship fulfills a field requirement for some University of Michigan graduate programs.

Fellowship Information for U-M Departments Research Grants: 
Students can apply to DAAS for small grants to help cover research expenses. The same form as that for the African Initiatives Grant may be used and the two grants may be applied for concurrently. Applicants must indicate where they have applied for additional sources of funding and how much they have obtained from other sources for research activities.

Current University of Michigan graduate students are eligible to apply. Applicants must plan to embark on a course of study and research in the field of African Studies.

Students can apply for small grants under $5,000 to support summer, thesis and dissertation research. A small number of fellowships are granted. 

Selection Criteria: 
Applications for the SAIO Research Grant will be reviewed by the DAAS Fellowships Committee. The committee is composed of DAAS faculty members. The following factors are taken into consideration when selecting research grant recipients:

1. The applicant's academic background (curriculum vita and transcript).

2. The relationship of the proposed project to African Studies.

3. The significance of the proposed project to the applicant's field and the potential for the project to have an impact on the field.
4. The relationship of the research questions being explored and the proposed project activities.

5. The viability for the proposed project and the likelihood that it will be completed in the time period specified.

6. The clarity of the research proposal.

7. Strength of the letters of recommendation.
8. The applicant's participation in DAAS activities.

Conditions of Awards: 
Recipients of the award are expected to be actively involved in the life of the Department. In particular, they are expected to participate in DAAS' Africa Workshop and make a presentation of their work or studies at the Department or the African Studies Center. Participation in activities in DAAS will be considered for applicants seeking funding.

Application Materials: The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th. Your referees will be notified by an automatic email that is generated when you submit their names. To insure that they are able to meet the February 18th deadline, please submit their names as soon as possible. See the online database here

See instructions for how to combine all your materials into one PDF below. If you have any problems uploading your materials, please email V. Robin Grice at:

The following materials should be submitted to the online application database:
1. A completed African Initiative/SAIO Grants application. (application questions)

2. An application cover letter - can include biographical information, an indication of the applicant's intellectual path and their knowledge of DAAS.
3. A curriculum vitae that includes the applicant's academic background: work history, list of honors, grants, scholarships and awards; publications or research papers; conference and workshop participation; membership in professional associations; past teaching experience; and language proficiency.

4. Applicants applying for a research grant must submit a research proposal that includes literature review, research questions, significance of the project, methodology, a budget, schedule of activities, and bibliography. Five single-spaced pages maximum (or 10 double-spaced).

5. A transcript (original or a copy of one).

In addition to the above materials, two letters of recommendation must be submitted via our new application database. Your referees will be notified via an automatic email. Your application does not have to be completed in order to submit your referee's names and emails so please submit their names as soon as possible to insure that they can send their letters by the February 18th deadline. See the online database here.
How to combine files to create one PDF:

In Adobe Acrobat Pro, under ‘file’, see ‘combine files into a single pdf’. Select the files that you want to combine. Save your new file. Files should be no more than 3 MB.

Application Deadline:The application period begins January 21st and ends February 18th.

If you have any problems submitting any or all of your applications to the database, please email V. Robin Grice at: gricer@umich. Please type 'SAIO Research Grant' in the subject line.

Award Notification: Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 31.