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Africa Thesis Award 2023 win €500 Prize & Publication


Do you have an interest in Africa? and is your master’s thesis about a topic related to Africa? If yes, the African Studies Centre Leiden is giving you an opportunity to win €500 in the Africa Thesis Award 2023. Additionally, your thesis will be published in the ASCL’s African Studies Collection.

About the African Studies Centre Leiden

The African Studies Centre Leiden is a special institution in the Netherlands that focuses on studying Africa from various perspectives. It is the only academic knowledge institute in the country dedicated solely to the study of Africa. One remarkable feature of the center is its extensive library, which is open to everyone. The ASCL is a part of Leiden University, involving experts from different faculties who collaborate to research and teach about Africa. Their main goal is to improve our understanding of Africa’s past, present, and future developments. You can find the institute in the Pieter de la Court Building, which belongs to the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Leiden.

Objectives of the African Studies Centre Leiden
The main goals of the African Studies Centre Leiden are:

  • Conducting scientific research on Africa: The Centre focuses on carrying out research that contributes to our understanding of various aspects of Africa.
  • Acting as a national center for African studies: The Centre plays a vital role in the field of African studies within the country. It also contributes to education and teaching in this field.
  • Promoting knowledge and understanding of African societies: The Centre aims to share knowledge and enhance public understanding of African cultures and societies.
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About the Africa Thesis Award 2023

The award is designed to inspire students to conduct research and write about topics related to Africa. It specifically aims to promote the study of African cultures and societies. Each year, the award is given to a student who has completed a master’s thesis based on research conducted on an African topic. The recipient of the award receives a prize of €500 and their thesis is published in the ASCL’s African Studies Collection. Also, all theses that are submitted will be made available online in full text through the ASCL’s library catalog.

To be eligible for the Africa Thesis Award 2023, master’s students must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Completion of thesis: The thesis must have been completed at a university located either on the African continent or in the Netherlands. The timeframe for eligible theses is between 31 August 2022 and 31 August 2023.
  • Grade requirement for students in the Netherlands: Students studying in the Netherlands must have received a grade of 8 out of 10 or above for their thesis.
  • Grade requirement for students from non-Dutch universities: Students from universities outside of the Netherlands may apply if they have received a grade A or its equivalent. In such cases, the accompanying letter from the supervisor must confirm the excellence of the thesis and support the grade score.

Conditions and quality
The Africa Thesis Award 2023 has specific conditions and quality expectations for submitted theses. Here are the key points:

Independent empirical research: The thesis should be based on independent empirical research, meaning it should involve gathering and analyzing original data. The research should have a geographical focus on an African country, region, or the migrant communities of Africa residing elsewhere in the world.

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Fields of study: Theses from the social sciences or humanities disciplines are eligible. This includes fields such as geography, political science, anthropology, development studies, economics, history, religion, and literature.

Language requirements: Theses can be submitted in English, French, or Dutch. If the thesis is in Dutch, a five-page summary in English must be attached.

Criteria for evaluation: The ASCL jury evaluates theses based on several factors. They look for subjects that are noteworthy, as well as the use of theory and methodology. Originality, new insights, and a combination of scientific and societal relevance are highly valued. The jury also considers the thesis’s importance in relation to development-related issues, its style, readability, and its potential interest for the general public.

How to Submit
To submit a thesis for the Africa Thesis Award 2023, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Prepare the required documents: You will need the following documents to complete your submission:
  • A digital version of the thesis in PDF format.
  • A summary of the thesis, limited to a maximum of 300 words.
  • A signed letter of recommendation from your supervisor. The letter should provide an evaluation of the thesis’s quality, explain the grade received, and include details about the educational institution which the student has graduated from.
  • Ensure all documents are included: Make sure you have all the required documents mentioned above before proceeding with the submission.

2. Submit the application: Send the complete application, including the thesis, summary, and signed letter of recommendation, to the email address All documents should be sent in digital format.

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3. Ensure full application submission: Note that only complete applications will be processed. Therefore, double-check that all required documents are included in your submission.


  • The deadline for submitting applications for the Africa Thesis Award 2023 is Wednesday, 31 August. It is important to ensure that your complete application, including all required documents, is submitted before this deadline.
  • After the submission period, the winner of the award will be selected. The presentation of the award will take place during a special Africa Thesis Award Ceremony. At the ceremony, the winner will have the opportunity to present their thesis.

Types of opportunity: Thesis Award
Deadline: Wednesday, 31 August
Worth: Prize of €500 and publication of the winning thesis
Open to: Master’s students who have completed their thesis on an African topic
Location: African Studies Centre Leiden, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Organizer: African Studies Centre Leiden
Country: Netherlands


If you have any questions or inquiries regarding the submission of a thesis for the Africa Thesis Award 2023, you can contact the Secretary of the ASCL Awards Committee, Trudi Blomsma, by sending an email to

For more detailed information about the Africa Thesis Award 2023, including specific guidelines and criteria, check the flier

You can also visit the official website of the African Studies Centre Leiden 


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