University of Witwatersrand Ruth First Fellowship 2016 for South African Creatives (Monthly Stipends)

Application Deadline: April 22nd 2016

Ruth First fellowship is a prestigious award made by the University of Witwatersrand that enables journalists, writers, researchers, film makers or photographers to pursue in-depth projects that can be presented in ways to influence thinking, discussion and debate in South Africa.

The Goal of the Ruth First fellowship is to support a new generation of public intellectuals capable of immersing themselves deeply in the most pressing issues and ideas of the day, engage in original research and to tell great stories – presenting their work in ways that can engage a new generation of audiences eager to be confronted with new information and new ideas in forms that are accessible and provoking.

Ruth First  was a journalist,  activist, researcher and intellectual. In her twenties, she wrote for and edited some of the most radical newspapers of her day, covering stories of slavery, workers movements and land. Later she became a teacher and researcher writing on the lives of working miners, on feminism and on political theory.  She was assassinated in exile by the apartheid  government while running a research institute in newly liberated Mozambique

The   fellowship is intended to allow Fellows to pursue an  in-­depth  project  of original research.  It should be groundbreaking and  in keeping with the tradition of Ruth First’s politically and socially relevant research and journalism. In addition to financial support, the Fellowship program will provide mentorship and feedback aimed at developing the Fellows’ understanding of their research, and deepening their skills in communicating their research to audiences. We welcome applications from writers, journalists, film makers, photographers, and researchers.


For 2016, the theme is “Violence and Rage”. We live in a violent society. Physical violence is endemic. And rage is being expressed in response to institutional violence against the poor and the marginalised. What are the stories to be told about violence and rage in South Africa today? What can these stories tell us about how to change our society? And how can they be told so that they intervene in the discussions that form our public debate?


  • They must be resident in South Africa.


  • Fellows will receive a monthly stipend and research costs.
  • They will be expected to devote a substantial amount of time (at least 50%) between May and August 2016 to the Fellowship.
  • They will be expected to present their work at the annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture in August and to submit it for publication in appropriate forums.
    Application Procedure:
  • Applicants should submit their CV, a project proposal (of no more than two pages) and a motivation letter (one page) by  22 April 2016 to the Ruth First Committee at [email protected]
  • Shortlisted candidates will be required to make themselves available for interview shortly thereafter.

    For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the University of Witwatersrand Ruth First Fellowship



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