The interdisciplinary Graduate School ‘Performing Sustainability. Cultures and Development in West Africa’ is a collaborative training network for postgraduate students by the University of Hildesheim (Germany), the University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) and the University of Cape Coast (Ghana). The initiative is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and focuses on innovative research that brings together approaches from performance, arts and culture to bear on sustainable development as defined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A specific focus of the Graduate School is on issues of peace and conflict resolution and sustainable development that promote inclusive and equitable societies and institutions.

We hereby announce the availability of six 3-year scholarships at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, for students at the PhD level. The scholarships will commence in March 2017. More specifically, we call for proposals for the following available scholarships:

6 PhD scholarships at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana)

The Graduate School will be based on online tutorials and two intensive research workshops held annually at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana). During the three-week workshops, experts from various areas will teach specific topics related to the research subjects and methodology for all scholarship holders. Additionally, workshops in didactics will be held and an exchange program for scholarship holders between Germany, Nigeria and Ghana will take place during the funding period. Throughout the year, the students will conduct their individual research at their home universities. Participants in the Graduate School will pay the respective tuition fees for the programs they are enrolled in, but all costs in relation to the Graduate School (workshops etc.) will be covered. Scholarship holders will additionally receive a monthly stipend.

Focus of Research Proposals Research proposals may focus on various topics connecting performance, arts and culture in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Africa, such as:

  • the prevention of violent conflicts (e.g. promoting of tolerance between ethnic groups and religions, the conservation and protection of the diversity of cultural expressions, averting social exclusion and violence due to diseases and epidemics)
  • peace building (e.g. securing land and land use rights, reconciliation after violent conflicts)
  • conflict transformation and social equality (e.g. promoting self-determination and gender equality etc.)
  • environmental protection (e.g. prevention of environmental degradation and resource exploitation, education about climate change and related social challenges)
  • other fields related to sustainable development such as education, poverty reduction, economic development, or public health, particularly with regard to building and promoting inclusive, peaceful societies and institutions.

The research projects should be conducted in local contexts and be directed towards solving problems voiced by local agents and stakeholders. Projects should therefore include an applied aspect aiming at sustainable, mid- and long-term solutions in the fields of education, socio-cultural development, cultural policy, theatre for development, socio-linguistics, communication etc.

Target Group

The Graduate School offers the opportunity to learn and exchange experiences in an international academic environment with scholars from Nigeria, Ghana and Germany. It is targeting qualified young scholars and students. Applicants may be in their early stages of a PhD program (1st year) or about to apply for one of the graduate programs offered by the University of Cape Coast. These programs include:

  • PhD in Ethnomusicology
  • PhD in Music Education
  • PhD in Geography and Regional Planning
  • PhD in Development Studies
  • PhD in Peace and Development Studies
  • PhD in Population and Health
  • PhD in Sociology

In addition, the University of Hildesheim (Germany) offers a “cotutelle de these“, a split-side doctoral program, which provides certification from the two participating universities.

Application and Selection Process

A precondition for entering the Graduate School is a researched Master’s degree in the humanities, social sciences, cultural sciences or cultural policy respectively. Successful applicants will be expected to enrol into a relevant graduate program offered by the University of Cape Coast.

The working language of the Graduate School is English, thus a very good command of English in oral and written communication is mandatory. Candidates apply with a project proposal (maximum five pages) which must include issues and topics clearly related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The proposal should also contain the following information: description of the current situation/state of research, the resulting research questions and the intended research methods, a list of the relevant literature and other potential research materials (e.g. documents, interviews, sound archives, media sources), a description of the targeted results and ideas for an applied project based on the outcome of the research.

Candidates will be selected based on their qualification and motivation. Special emphasis is placed on gender balance. We particularly encourage women and people with diverse backgrounds to apply. The deadline for application is 22 January 2017. No application after this date will be accepted.

To apply please send the following documents to:

  • Research project proposal (maximum 5 pages)
  • Motivation letter (2 pages) stating qualifications and interest and also indicating the specific graduate program the applicant wishes to enrol in
  • CV in English
  • Certificates and other relevant credentials
  • 2 letters of academic reference

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a selection interview in February 2017.

We are looking forward to receive your application. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiry.


University of Cape Coast (Ghana), Department of Music and Dance: Eyram Fiagbedzi ( University of Hildesheim (Germany), Center for World Music: Dr Nepomuk Riva (; UNESCO Chair Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development: Meike Lettau (

The Graduate School is supported by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and jointly organized by the University of Hildesheim (Germany), the University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) and the University of Cape Coast (Ghana).