Call for Applications: ISTR/WITS Africa Regional PhD Seminar 2019 at Wits Business School Johannesburg, South Africa (Funded)

Application Deadline: December 15th 2018

The International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) and the Africa Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment at Wits Business School will co-host a PhD Seminar for approximately 20 PhD students at all stages of their doctoral research in topics related to the Third Sector, i.e., civil society, the nonprofit sub-sector, philanthropy, social economy, social investment, venture philanthropy, corporate social investment and volunteerism, among others.

The PhD Seminar is scheduled for May 14-15, 2019 prior to the first annual Conference on Philanthropy,organized by the Wits Business School’s Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment in collaboration with the Center for African Studies at Harvard University, TrustAfrica and Africa Philanthropy Forum on May 16-17, 2019. The conference will be held at the WBS School. The conference will address themes that include private sector giving, impact investing, sustainable development goals, philanthropy, civil society and various other topics. PhD Seminar students are required to attend the conference.

ISTR hosts regular PhD Seminars in conjunction with its biennial international conferences and also at the regional level in the alternate years. The ISTR/WITS Africa PhD Seminar is open to all doctoral students in the field of third sector and civil society research, in all African countries, and at all stages of their doctoral research.

The aim of the workshop is to provide doctoral students with the opportunity to receive extensive intellectual and methodological advice on their doctoral research from peers and scholars, to introduce them to main theories and developments in the field, to reflect upon publication and career strategies, and to provide an opportunity to network with scholars within the international ISTR research community.


  • The core of the seminar will focus on the research of the individual students.
  • Applicants submit an abstract outlining their doctoral topic, state of the art, methodology, and methods intended to be applied for his or her research project.
  • During the seminar, the students´ research projects are intensively discussed in parallel small working groups.
  • Approximately 20 doctoral students will be accepted. Students must be currently enrolled in a university and must be able to attend the entire PhD Seminar and Philanthropy Conference.
  • Participants will be grouped thematically, but the group composition will be heterogeneous in terms of concrete research topics, disciplinary background, research stage, method, and regional affiliation.

The PhD Seminar will start in the morning on May 14, 2019 and conclude in the afternoon of May 15, 2019. The Conference on Philanthropy begins the next morning on May 16, 2017 and concludes the afternoon of May 17, 2019. If traveling from out of town, participants are expected to arrive the evening of May 13, 2019 and depart the evening of May 17, 2019 or the next morning as flights require.


  • ISTR/WITS will cover the cost of shared room accommodation for the PhD Seminar and the Conference on Philanthropy and meals during both events. Limited travel support is available to supplement support the student’s university can provide. ISTR will grant accepted students 2019 membership in ISTR with all of the associated benefits.
  • Accepted students must attend the Conference on Philanthropy (attendance is free of charge). Past participants of ISTR Seminars are welcome to apply to participate. The seminar will also include workshops with presentations on professional development topics by leading scholars.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the ISTR/WITS Africa Regional PhD Seminar 2019



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