Application Deadline: October 15, 2022
The African Digital Democracy Observatory (ADDO) is offering research grants and technical support for evidence-driven analysis into how malign actors are using coordinated disinformation and propaganda or other influence/information operations to fuel conflict across 21 African countries.
The research fellowships come with a grant of $5,000 to $10,000 per project, along with additional access to ADDO forensic analysts, data scientists and open source intelligence (OSINT) researchers, as well as to machine learning tools for social listening or data/network analysis.
The research fellowships are intended to help domain experts turn existing preliminary insights/evidence or raw data into substantive public research reports or discussion documents that shines new light on how foreign state agencies or interest groups (such as state-affiliated private military companies, disinformation/surveillance operators or extractive companies) are using using hybrid warfare techniques to spearhead state/policy capture or to subvert democratic governance by polarising African societies and undermining public trust in democratic institutions or processes.
- Individual researchers, multidisciplinary teams, or research organisations that work in African countries, or that are affiliated with African-based partners can apply.
- This includes post-doc or other senior researchers, early-career researchers who have substantive published work, investigative journalists/analysts, or OSINT researchers who are affiliated with an institution (supported by a letter confirming oversight) with domain expertise on disinformation or other information disorder issues.
Grant recipients will be required to publish their finding in easily accessible formats. ADDO is therefore most interested in research proposals that aim to produce:
- Series of short reports (500w–1,000w) modelled on journalistic analysis (see examples elsewhere on the ADDO website).
- Infographic explainers that unpack complex issues for lay audiences.
- Datasets containing actionable information or lexicons or watchlists for researchers, media or CSOs to use for their own analysis.
- Presentations designed to showcase research at conferences or to peer groups.
- Academically-focussed preprint or peer reviewed papers for public feedback and citation.
The application process uses rolling deadlines, with proposals reviewed and shortlisted as they are submitted, with a final cut-off date of 15 October 2022.
The envisioned roadmap will be:
- Submit your elevator pitch using this simple form.
- Submit a more detailed proposal if invited.
- Commence the research fellowship, with technical support from ADDO’s forensic analysis and machine learning teams.
- Present initial/iterative research insights/findings at ADDO seminars and other industry events.
- Publish final research report on a publicly accessible platform, and present the results at appropriate public fora.
Applications in Arabic, English or French are eligible. The research results any be published in any of the three languages, as well as local indigenous African languages if appropriate.
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