Swiss Subsaharan Africa Migration Network


The objective of the Swiss Subsaharan Africa Migration (S-SAM) network is to build and strengthen long-term partnerships between migration researchers in Subsaharan Africa and Switzerland.

Inaugural Call Now Closed

The inaugural call for bilateral research activities between Switzerland and Subsaharan Africa is now closed. We call upon late PhD and early postdoctoral researchers from Subsaharan Africa or from Switzerland to submit proposals for short pilot studies or academic exchanges.

Call as PDF

Objective: The objective of the Swiss Subsaharan Africa Migration (S-SAM) network is to build and strengthen long-term partnerships between migration researchers in Subsaharan Africa and Switzerland.

Your Profile: You are at the transition from PhD to established researcher: either a late PhD (typically last year), or early postdoctoral researcher (typically first or second year). You are embedded in a university in a Subsaharan African country or in Switzerland, and study human migration. You have an excellent track record, an innovative idea, and are interested in academic exchange and working towards a joint project.

Topics: Within the large field of human migration, we are in particular interested in projects concerning aspects of migration to Europe before migrants reach their destination. This includes the following topics:

- Reasons and motivations to migrate. Here we seek novel research on aspirations and abilities to migrate, on the nature of different ‘pull’ effects and the choice of destination country, or on the role of information in decisions to migrate. Research may focus on questions of preparations, anticipation of problems ‘en route’ and in the country of destination (e.g. discrimination), or on similarities and differences between South-South and South-North migration.

- Migration and health. Here we seek novel research on the situation ‘en route’ to Europe, how health affects decisions to migrate (or stay put), how the migration experience itself affects the mental and physical health of migrants, or the migration trajectories of health workers.

- Student migration. Here we seek novel research on student migration from Subsaharan Africa to Switzerland and Europe, as a specific motivation to migrate.

Methodologically and with regards to academic discipline, the call is open, but innovative and experimental research are encouraged where this is reasonable. We encourage a focus on social mechanisms.

Funding: You can apply for a small pilot study, an exchange, or the combination of the two.

Pilot studies give you the opportunity to carry out your own research with independent funding. We call them ‘pilot studies’ because we want to encourage studies that can eventually expand. The aim of a pilot study should be to obtain sufficient empirical material for a research paper. The indicative budget of a pilot study is CHF 1,000 to 5,000.

Exchanges: For exchanges to Switzerland, the University of Neuchâtel figures as the hub for migration research in Switzerland. You will submit a clear project to be completed during your exchange. The exchange will take place in a bilateral frame between Switzerland and a Subsaharan African country – in either direction. Key countries are: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Tanzania. Remuneration for travel and living expenses is according to the guidelines by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The combination with other exchanges is not excluded. The indicative budget of an exchange is CHF 5,000 to 10,000. All applicants are encouraged to bring external funding (e.g. matching funds), but this is not a requirement.

Timeline: Extended deadline for submissions is 16 September 2018.

Submission and Information: Online form: http://neuchatel.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3rUct5D2FuZJs5D

Submissions are competitive.


Q: The deadline is too tight! -- We have extended the deadline by a month to give everyone more time.

Q: Are other countries eligible? -- All Subsaharan African countries, and Switzerland are eligible.

Q: How long should the project description be? -- Use the online form as a guideline. The project should include sufficient details for us to evaluate feasibility.

Q: How do I calculate the budget for an exchange? -- We follow the guidelines by the SNSF (PDF). For travel costs, the maximum is CHF 1200 for Western, Central, and Eastern Africa; and CHF 1500 for Southern Africa. For room and board expenses, calculate CHF 3000 per month. Researchers from lower income countries can budget a maximum of CHF 3500. If you need research funds during the exchange, put them in the budget.

Q: How long should an exchange be? -- Put a duration that is feasible and realistic for the work you want to carry out.

Q: Are there requirements what I need to do during an exchange (e.g. workshop)? -- No. We'll do our best to accommodate your needs for an effective exchange.

Q: Do I have to submit my proposal in English? -- Yes.

Q: Do I need an institutional affiliation? -- Yes.

Q: I didn't get a confirmation e-mail after submission. -- This is normal: there is only a confirmation on the screen. If you have serious doubt your application was received, get in touch.

Mailing List

To sign up to the S-SAM mailinglist be notified about further calls and other announcements, or if you want to know more about S-SAM, please send an e-mail didier.ruedin@unine.ch.

S-SAM is funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) through Leading House for sub-Saharan Africa at the Swiss TPH.

Last modified: 13 August 2018