New Funding for Research on African Innovation and Gender

The Open AIR network has received funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Advanced Scholars Program (QES) to create new opportunities for emerging scholars to explore African innovation through the lens of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

This new fellowship will provide deeper training experiences that create capacity for both African and Canadian institutions across disciplines of law, economics, management, political science and more. The funding will be used to expand Open AIR’s research to be able to focus on gender, equity, and empowerment, but will also be inclusive of candidates interested in conducting research through the lenses of race or culture.

“This new research funding will provide emerging academic leaders with opportunities for one-on-one mentorship and active collaboration with the network’s renowned experts,” explained Professor Jeremy de Beer, a co-founder and Director of the Open AIR network. Queen Elizabeth Scholars will be integrated into the Open AIR network’s New and Emerging Researchers (NERG), providing funds for international scholars from Canada and different countries in Africa – including Ph.D. candidates, Postdoctoral Fellows, and early career researchers – to conduct research at any of Open AIR’s hubs. Emerging researchers will also contribute to an audacious new inter-faculty initiative at the University of Ottawa on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Appropriate Technologies (EIA&T), and help Open AIR expand our partnerships with institutions in Francophone African countries.

Professors de Beer and Oguamanam are among the leaders of the Open AIR network, through which they work with dozens of researchers from 15 African countries, Canada and elsewhere in rigorous action research.  Open AIR seeks to improve our understanding of the ways knowledge-based businesses can scale up to take advantage of global opportunities, while simultaneously ensuring that the social and economic benefits of innovation are shared throughout society as a whole.

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships aim to activate a dynamic community of young global leaders across Canada and the Commonwealth to create lasting impacts both at home and abroad through cross-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences. They are managed through a unique partnership between Universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada, and Canadian universities, made possible with financial support from the International Development Research Centre and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Open AIR is funded by the International Development Research Centre and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Open AIR has support from the UK Department for International Development, the A2K4D Center at the American University in Cairo, CIPIT at Strathmore University, the IP Unit at the University of Cape Town, and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

How to Apply

For those interested in joining the Open AIR network’s New and Emerging Researchers (NERG) and researching innovation through the lens of gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, and the related perspectives of marginalized communities, please follow us and watch our social media posts for the official call for proposals. For any questions, please email Victoria Schorr and Nan Warner.  This funding is available for scholars from anywhere in Africa and Canada.  More details on how to qualify will be in our call for proposals coming in the next couple months.

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