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Program overview

Concordia University has collaborated with the University of Ghana to promote an exchange of ideas on gender equality between Canadian scholars and civil society institutions and their West-African counterparts. This partnership will encourage critical examinations of global gender equality discourses and practices through its focus on gendered praxis that takes local politics and agency seriously and that is purposefully grounded in the narratives and initiatives of local women and agencies in Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Canada.

While women-focused needs and gender-sensitive strategies have made significant strides into the arena of global governance, many feminist scholars and activists have pointed to gender mainstreaming’s ‘failure’ to truly empower women at the grassroots level. We recognize that globalized processes and practices are often mediated and transformed in local contexts, offering us opportunities for transformation and counter-hegemonic narratives. Through this program we seek to contribute to research that examines African knowledge systems and activism around discourses of gender equality. Our hope is to help decolonize knowledge in both Canada and West Africa by developing a multi-layered analysis of pressing gender-related issues. 

The topic of this project was kept broad on purpose to allow contributions from various scholarly disciplines and diverse sectors. Research issues will include but are not limited to: 

  • Women and development
  • Feminist discourses and agenda
  • Decolonial work and gender in Africa
  • Women and Health
  • Women and Education
  • Transnational gender justice
  • Transnational feminist theories

Our team, composed of Dr. Océane Jasor (Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University), Dr. Deborah Atobrah (CEGENSA, University of Ghana), Dr. Charlotte Wrigley-Asante (CEGENSA, University of Ghana), and Dr. Cyrelene Amoah-Boampong (CEGENSA, University of Ghana), will support a network of exceptional scholars from various disciplines who are at the doctoral, postdoctoral and early career stages.

Eligibility criteria

  • Propose research that reflects on the successes and failures of gender mainstreaming and development in Africa and/or African discourses and practices on gender equality.
  • Candidates must be one of the following:
    • Doctoral researcher: an individual who has completed all coursework and is at the dissertation stage of their PhD.
    • Postdoctoral researcher: an individual who is conducting research after the completion of their PhD, who usually works under the mentorship of a lead researcher or a principal investigator.
    • Early-career researcher: an individual with a PhD, who has demonstrated strong evidence of work as an independent researcher, has led their own laboratory or research project for 4–6 years, or is in a tenure-track position at a degree-granting institution.
  • Outbound candidates must be Canadian citizens or residents.
  • Outbound candidates must be able to travel to Ghana, and residents of the eligible West African countries must be able to travel to Canada and Ghana for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Inbound candidates must be residents of the eligible West African countries involved in this project: Ghana, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire and must be affiliated to a degree-granting institution in those countries.
  • Francophone candidates must be able to work and communicate in English.

Program’s activities

Researchers at Concordia University will partner with the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA). The set of activities that will be implemented will create learning opportunities, and forge new partnerships and research collaborations between partner institutions and civil society organizations. For the duration of the program, the 16 scholars will:

  • Help organize and participate in research-related activities (academic conference, roundtables, joint publications).
  • Participate in career-building activities (leadership trainings, workshop on writing and publishing, symposium with QES network of alumni).
  • In order to better grasp the complexity of local gender discourses, the program integrates research and professional training with actual work within women’s non-governmental organizations (WNGOs) and civil society organizations both in Montreal and in Ghana. Selected scholars will spend at least 30% of the total research award time working with a non-academic research placement partner. Obtaining experiential learning is paramount to this project. Participating scholars will be exposed to different epistemological knowledges, world-views and advocacy tactics and priorities. The reflective process that the ensuing conversations will generate is in and of itself pregnant with academic and non-academic possibilities.
  • Devise a plan for the consolidation of a Canada-West Africa network of scholars; think through what a mutual, effective, and transformative partnership between Canadian and West African scholars, institutions, and civil societies can look like.
  • Participate in community engagement activities.

When and where does it take place?

This is a two-year program. Candidates are expected to commit to the program until December 22, 2023. They must be willing and able to participate in all activities for the duration of the program.

  • In year 1 (August 2022): West African scholars will participate in a 35-day visiting fellowship at Concordia University in Montreal, where they will have the opportunity to participate in academic and community-based exchanges with Canadian researchers.
  • In year 2 (August 2023): Canadian and West African (Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire) scholars will participate in a 35-day visiting fellowship at the University of Ghana in Accra, where they will have the opportunity to participate in academic and community-based exchanges with scholars in Ghana.

Amount of award

QES scholars will be eligible to receive funding to cover QES justified eligible expenses for a maximum of $6,000 CAD:

Travel expenses

  • International airfare (the most direct and economical route)
  • Airport taxes
  • Visas, medical insurance
  • Immunization
  • Ground transportation

Living allowance

  • Accommodation
  • Local transportation
  • Food and communications and all other personal expenses

Research expenses

  • Remuneration for research assistants
  • Resources for the research (e.g., journals, data) as well as computer and laboratory services. 
  • Subsidies to support teaching replacements at the West African partner institution
  • Costs associated with conference participation

Selection criteria

Candidates will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Research must engage with discourses of gender equality critically and/or from a decidedly African perspective 
  • Quality of research
  • Interest in feminist praxis grounded in the lived experiences of grassroots communities
  • Interest in contributing to long-term collaboration with the University of Ghana and Concordia

To apply

The application process is two-fold.

  1. There will be a pre-selection stage where candidates will be selected based on the following:
    • A CV
    • A writing sample (conference paper, publication, research paper)
    • A one-page cover letter expressing interest in the program and detailing the candidate’s fit to the program. In this cover letter, applicants should discuss how their research interests and professional aspirations fit the objective of this specific project. They are also strongly encouraged to include their vision for long-term partnerships between Canadian and West African institutions.
    • A statement confirming availability to participate for the entire duration of the program (two years).
  2. Pre-selected applicants will then be contacted to participate in a short virtual interview with Dr. Oceane Jasor in January 2022.

All applications must be received by December 22, 2021 at midnight.


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About the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program

The Queen Elizabeth Scholars Program represents a unique opportunity to be part of a community of dynamic global leaders. With more than 2,000 scholarships awarded to date and partnerships with 650 organizations in 72 countries, QES provides an incredible platform for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences across the globe. Once selected, you will join the prestigious network of ‘Queen Elizabeth Scholars,’ and get access to innovative and transformative research, professional training and advancement, cross-cultural civic experience, and top scholars making a difference in their field around the world.


For more information about QES and testimonials from QES scholars, visit queenelizabethscholars.ca

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