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Travel and Research Funding

The Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa (TISCA) travel and research research fund is designed for the purpose of encouraging and supporting fellows who are actively doing research in Africa or with the African diaspora. The fund is specifically for:

  • Funding is seed funding to support a larger grant application or funding to top up an existing grant
  • Seed funding for research projects situated in Africa, where the funds will be used to collect data in order to support a larger grant application. Details of the intended future granting source should be specifically outlined in the application.

While these regulations are specific to TISCA, they are consistent with Wilfrid Laurier University’s guidelines for research funding.

Application Process

Please submit a one page description of research objectives, questions, knowledge mobilization strategy, timeline and budget to

The call for funding applications will be issued in January and the deadline to submit the application is March 1 each year.

To apply, submit one electronic copy of the research proposal to the TISCA director at, who will be the chair of the research committee. If the director is unable to chair the committee, the associate director assumes that position.

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements and follow the research funding guidelines.

Application Review

The research committee consists of three fellows. The committee reviews all applications and notifies successful awardees by March 15 for travel or research in the following fiscal year (from April to March).

The research committee reviews all applications on merit. In cases where the number of applications that rank high enough to be funded exceeds the funds available, priority will be given to junior scholars. Strategic considerations will be taken into account as some projects may have greater strategic value to TISCA than others. Priority will be given to:

  • New projects.
  • Junior scholars.
  • Investigators who have not received funding from TISCA in the last two years.

Application Eligibility

All TISCA internal fellows are eligible to apply. External fellows or members may apply if an internal fellow is a co-applicant.

In line with Laurier regulations, junior scholars are those who have earned a terminal degree in their field within the previous five years and who will hold a continuing appointment (probationary or candidacy) in the term following the award of a grant.

Research Funding Guidelines

Last revised: Jan. 23, 2018.

Funding Applications

Up to four awards worth $3,000 will be awarded for travel or research in 2018/19.The number and amount awarded may be revised from year to year, depending on the availability of funds. Preference will be given to those who have not received funding from TISCA in the last two years.

The director and associate director shall together decide how many awards will be given based on the budget for that particular year. A minimum of two awards will be allocated in any given year.

A fellow may apply for Tshepo funding prior to, or while on sabbatical leave, provided the normal application deadlines are met.

Incomplete Applications

Incomplete applications for field research will not be considered by the research committee. The only exception to this is the travel grant to international conferences, where the actual program and evidence of acceptance of the paper can be submitted when they become available.

Applications Requiring Ethical Approval

In cases where funding is requested for research, all applications that require ethical approval and must receive the required clearance before funds can be released. Applicants must indicate on their application whether the project requires any type of approval.

Presentations and Acknowledgement

  • Successful applicants must acknowledge the support received from TISCA in all presentations and publications emanating from the funding. A suggested acknowledgement is: "The author(s) gratefully acknowledge(s) that financial support for this research was partly funded by the Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa, a research centre of Wilfrid Laurier University."
  • All presentations (slides) must bear TISCA and Laurier logos. The templates are available from TISCA.
  • Electronic copy of papers published as a result of support from TISCA funding must be submitted to TISCA. Laurier scholars are encouraged to submit their papers to the institutional repository.

Funds and Expenses

  • TISCA funds are not to be used to support undergraduate or graduate thesis research in which the faculty member is not, the principal investigator of the project.
  • Expenses incurred prior to the date a research grant is awarded are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Fax, photocopying, courier, postage and telephone costs are not eligible expense items unless fully justified in the research methodology as a necessary expense to conduct the research.


  • A summary report should be submitted to the TISCA office three months after the funds are utilized.
  • Electronic submissions can be sent to the TISCA director.
  • The report should outlines how the funds were used and the outcomes.

Impact of Research and Travel Grants

TISCA's financial or in-kind support of research and travel grants to members has resulted in a higher profile for the centre as well as enriched intellectual output and stronger research networks worldwide. Selected project supported include:


  • Four day training with undocumented migrants and their families in Casablanca, Morocco - Principal investigator: Abdelfettah Elkchirid
  • Investigating Slum Governance in Kampala, Uganda - Principal investigator: Andrea Brown
  • Attend Common Good First Consortium in South Africa leading to edited academic book - Principal investigator: Joanne Benham Rennick
  • Investigating minority rights of East Indian diaspora in Africa - Principal investigator: Raymond Izarali
  • Present 2 papers at African Studies Association Conference in Birmingham, UK - Principal investigator: Robert Ame


  • Muslin Social Services of Kitchener-Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario, “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Using Art Groups with Refugee Youth” - Principal investigator: Abdelfettah Elkchirid, Bibi Baksh (Laurier doctoral student, Faculty of Social Work), Zainab Rahmani (coordinator, Muslim Social Services of Kitchener-Waterloo)
  • The Migration Journey of Unaccompanied Moroccan Minors in Spain: A Child’s Perspective - Principal investigators: Abdelfettah Elkchirid, Bree Akesson, Bibi Baksh (Laurier doctoral student, Faculty of Social Work)
  • Fostering Equitable Education Systems: A Canada-Ghana Partnership for addressing Indicators of Inclusive Education and Building Training Networks (research proposal - Principal investigator: Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy

Contact Us:

Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, Director


Oliver Masakure, Associate Director