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Undergraduate Research in Africa

Undergraduate Research in Africa with Center for African Studies logo - a multicolor map of Africa
Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
9 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 30, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

A note from Elias Nepas, 2021 Geist Undergraduate Award Recipient

November 16, 2023

Elias Nepas on the impact of the Geist Undergraduate Award

“As the child of Congolese refugees, I longed to understand how my life-chances and trajectory differed from my Congolese peers. Beyond democracy and opportunity, what made flight to the US worth it? My family moved here for better opportunity but found similarities in the political difficulties and tensions that shape the DRC and US. The Judith Geist Undergraduate Research Fellowship Award allowed me to investigate these similarities and differences. I was able to conduct a research study focused on the institutional arrangements that frustrate Congolese individual attempts to accomplish their adulthood. This was immediately fulfilling personally and intellectually as I came to a more acute awareness of the differences between myself and young Congolese students and the very institutions that shape our life-chances, encompassing the political and economic forces that most research focuses on and strengthening our understanding of how exactly people deal with them. I’m grateful to the Center for African Studies and their support for students interested in investigating the complex and difficult political environment individuals and families confront in African contexts.”

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Communications Equipment

Your support at this level helps students secure some basic communication tools for research. They typically require internet access, SIM cards, digital voice recorders for interviews, and even a local phone.


Visas and research documents

Your support at this level helps students secure the visas most African governments require from researchers. Students also typically need a supply of passport photos to apply for research permits and other documents.


Ground Transportation

Your support at this level will help students access safe and reliable local transportation to facilitate their research whether they are meeting someone for an interview, going to an archive, or traveling to visit a clinic, school, or non-governmental organization (NGO).


Local research assistance

Your support at this level will help students secure the assistance of local researchers. Students often need to hire or work with local counterparts on translations, surveys, and project development.


Room & board

Your support at this level ensures that students can secure basic lodging during their research. Students need to locate a safe place to stay and access healthy food for several weeks while they are undertaking their work.


Round-trip Airfare

Your support at this level ensures that students can afford airfare on safe, reliable airlines. One of the biggest expenses of conducting research in African countries -- and impediments to students -- is the round-trip airfare from California.

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