Re-Register – AAU-British Academy Writing Workshop for Sub-Saharan Africa (Early Career Researchers)

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Re-Register – AAU-British Academy Writing Workshop for Sub-Saharan Africa (Early Career Researchers)

Important Notice: We respectfully request all stakeholders who registered to participate in this workshop to kindly re-register using this link: . Regrettably, we encountered technical challenges with the earlier registrations.  New registrations are welcome.

Writing for Sustainable Development: Developing, mentoring and strengthening African grant and research writing for publication

The University of Nottingham, UK in partnership with the Association of African Universities (AAU), with funding support from the British Academy (BA) is inviting stakeholders to a writing workshop holding in Accra, Ghana on March 12–14, 2024.


Higher education research acknowledges the underrepresentation of Africa in scholarly conversations and outputs with limited showing of works in reputable publication outlets (Thondhlana and Garwe, 2021; Puplampu, 2015; Mamdani, 2011). While research output in Africa is growing it continues to represent only about 2 percent of global knowledge production (Nkomo, 2015; Schemm, 2013). Further, the continent is argued to be lacking in home-grown theories and conceptual prescriptions and suffers from having its students and researchers constantly resorting to mostly western-originated books and other scholarly resources.

Literature reveals the barriers to scholarly productivity as including: resource constraints under which many universities in Africa operate; the nature and state of research infrastructures; attitudes, values and behaviours which act as barriers to scholarly outputs; leadership, political and organisational research culture as well as; the rapid changes and pressures under which universities currently operate (Puplampu et al., 2021; Mamdani, 2011; Ngobeni, 2010). Scholars also point to the continuing difficulty of many universities to overcome the lingering effects of colonial practices on the structure of higher education and the lack of research that centres on African problems and challenges. (Thondhlana and Garwe, 2021; Mamdani, 2011; Ngobeni, 2010). Consequently, many early career researchers within the region find it difficult to access and navigate opportunities for international publishing and for increasing the local, national and global impact of their work. Efforts towards repositioning Africa’s knowledge production in line with Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UNESCO SDGs are underway. These series of writing workshops are aimed at addressing the gaps noted above as well as by the UNESCO’s Operational Strategy for Priority Africa.



The current workshop builds on the BA writing workshop held in September 2019 whose objective was to support African early career researchers (ECRs) to increase their confidence and enhance the success rate of articles submitted to high quality publication platforms. This was inspired by the need to create more impact across the alumni through networking, harnessing, and sharing the good practices by those who have done well and strengthening the capacities of those facing challenges. Running additional workshops will also provide an opportunity to increase impact by taking on board new ECRs who will be mentored by alumni (whom they can easily identify with and get inspiration from) with the support of experts and Journal Editors. The need to train more ECRs was highlighted during the 2019 workshop as follows: “I really wish that another similar workshop could be organised for other groups’, said some workshop participants.

The focus of the 2019 workshop was on training the trainer so as to create impact through ripple effects. The emphasis of this round of workshops is on co-planning, peer learning, mentoring, networking and thereby creating an ‘intellectual community of practice’ able to document research into articles publishable in reputable outlets both in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The current approach featuring joint publications creates a supportive environment for ECRs, Alumni and experts to improve their writing capacities.

The planned workshop will facilitate and strengthen mutual learning and sustainable partnerships among alumni, new ECRs, senior researchers and editors of international journals in the Global South and Global North. Such interaction is intended to strengthen the likelihood of knowledge and work generated by researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa to be recognised, funded, published more widely and cited in international journals where their knowledge and work can contribute to academic debates that shape sustainable futures of development in Africa and globally.

In preparation for this workshop, alumni and experts held a 2-day virtual workshop in August 2023. All the 12 alumni (two each from six Sub-Saharan African countries namely South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe) were given the opportunity to share their post-2019 workshop activities and achievements (number of articles published in high impact journals; mentorship of other ECRs; sustainable collaborations with peers and British institutions) and areas needing further capacity strengthening.  This information informed the training needs and programme for the current workshop. In addition, Alumni undertook further training (by experts and peers) to strengthen their capacities to mentor and train new ECRs.

Under the auspices of the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the Women in Higher Education Network (WoHEN), we extend this workshop invitation to a broader spectrum of researchers within the African higher education sector. This is to promote the cultivation of a substantial cohort of researchers equipped with advanced writing skills, to facilitate impactful publications in high-impact journals. This concerted effort aims to reshape existing narratives and elevate Africa’s current research output and contribute significantly to the global pool of knowledge generation. We extend a special invitation to Women Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to actively engage in this transformative writing workshop.


Objectives of the March 2024 ECR writing workshop

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • strengthen the capacity and develop a new cohort of ECRs with skills for quality research writing for publication; the democratisation/decolonisation of knowledge about the dynamics of international publication;
  • develop ECRs in Sub-Saharan Africa and alumni with skills for grant writing;
  • establish sustainable collaborations amongst new ECRs, alumni, African and British institutions;
  • increase understanding of both Global South and Global North editors of how best to support and enhance the visibility of African scholarship.
  • allocate alumni, ECRs and experts writing responsibilities for a special issue of the British Academy Journal and a peer reviewed edited book.


Target Attendees

The workshop targets the following:

  • the existing alumni group;
  • new ECRs researching on comparative education and management;
  • self-funding ECRs (from various universities and institutions)
  • senior academic mentors and facilitators; and
  • journal editors


Registration Link:

Venue:   Association of African Universities, Secretariat, Accra, Ghana

Date: 12–14 March 2024



The workshop will draw on the expertise of the following editors, senior scholars and facilitators:

  1. Dr Yuwei Xu, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Children & Society; Pedagogy, Culture and Society; Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
  2. Professor Tony Bush, University of Nottingham, Nottingham – Educational Management, Administration and Leadership (UK journal)
  3. Professor Juliet Thondhlana, University of Nottingham, Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
  4. Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu, Central University, Ghana
  5. Professor Evelyn Garwe, former Deputy CEO, Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education
  6. Dr Unice Goshomi, Women’s University in Africa, Zimbabwe
  7. Frederick Ato Armah, Director of Research and Programs, Association of African Universities
  8. Felicia Nkrumah-Kuagbedzi, Senior Communications and Publications Officer, Association of African Universities


The mix of North and South journal Editors, senior academics and experts will allow for continued dialogue on experiences of writing, publishing and grant capture regionally and internationally. Collectively, we are committed to continuously support sustainable research and create impact in Africa. Journal editors, senior academics and facilitators will play a variety of roles in the workshop inclusive of: evaluating skills, organising, mentoring, facilitating and acting as international interlocutors and consultants.


Draft Workshop Programme  


Day 1 – March 12, 2024


0800-0830 hours        Registration

0830-0900 hours        Opening ceremony and participant introductions

0900-1000 hours        Understanding international publication: North, South and African experiences, peer review process. (Editors’ Presentation)

1000-1100 hours        Dynamics of editing academic journals: practical experiences (alumni and senior academics)

1100-1200 hours        Understanding the key components of the Research Article (Editors’ presentation)

1200-1300 hours         Lunch

1300-1400 hours        Identifying journals and understanding the publication processes

1400-1600 hours        Criteria and publication conventions: (1) peer reviewing of journal articles with particular focus on Journal of the British Academy (2) responding to reviewer comments.

1600-1730 hours        Individuals develop their writing plans for special issue with mentoring support (alumni and senior academics).

1730-1830 hours        Peer-reviewing of JBA article writing plans and reflections with mentoring support (alumni and senior academics).

1900 hours                  Networking Dinner


Day 2 -March 13, 2024


0800-10.00 hours        Identifying and understanding research funding schemes; North-South, South-North, South-South collaborations.

1030-13.00 hours        Writing successful grant proposals: identifying appropriate funding schemes and understanding the instructions, processes and seeking support (senior academic)

1230-1300 hours        Reflections

1300-1400 hours         Lunch

1400-1600 hours         Grant writing activity: practicing responding to a funding call in groups with mentoring support. (alumni and senior academics)

1600-1730 hours         Plenary discussion


Day 3 – March 14, 2024


0800-0900 hours         Understanding mentoring for research writing and publishing;

0900-1000 hours         Mentorship programmes: the role of the university (AAU);

1000-1200 hours         Co-development of a mentoring programme (group work led by senior academics)

1200-1300 hours         Reporting back and consolidation

1300-1400 hours         Lunch

1400-1530 hours        Running a writing training workshop: organising and preparing material

1530-1600 hours        Distribution of workshop material for future use

1600-1630 hours         Follow-on plan for Special issue

1630-1700 hours         Reflections, workshop evaluation, and closing.


Payment details for self-funded (or institutional-funded participants)




Account Name: Association of African Universities

Bank Name: Standard Chartered Bank, High Street Branch, Accra, Ghana

Acc N#: 8700202448801

Swift Code: SCBLGHAC





Account Name: Association of African Universities

Name of Bank: Standard Chartered Bank, High Street Branch, Accra Acc N#: 0100100581500

Swift Code: SCBLGHAC



Account Name: Association of African Universities

Name of Bank: Standard Chartered Bank, High Street Branch, Accra Acc N#: 870-150-244-8800

Swift Code: SCBLGHAC



Note for funding: A separate call will be issued to facilitate the selection of funded participants – consideration will include  gender, age, discipline, and institution. The organisers, in consultation with participating journal Editors, will review the applications and select the strongest candidates to participate. Applicants will be selected on the basis of their potential to leverage the affordances of the workshop’s support and submit the academic article as specified within 12 months after the workshop.

Applicants will need to meet the following criteria of eligibility (1) proof of residency in Ghana; (2) ‘early career research status’ (within 5 years of doctoral award); (3) written and spoken English language proficiency; (4) commitment to submitting a completed article within 12 months after the workshop among others.


For further information – contact: / – +233246425147


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