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Navigating the Academic Terrain for Early Career Scholars: Thoughts and Reflections


Start time:

September 19 @ 8:00 am - September 20 @ 5:00 pm



ZOU Board Room, Harare, Harare, 00263



How to attend

Click on the link to apply


Speaker Image
Sibanda Nhlanhla


Local Partners



The academic journey is often a bumpy ride for early post-graduate students and early career scholars, punctuated by numerous challenges which can discourage even the most determined mind. Lack of funding and inadequate mentorship pose serious challenges for the young academics in the Global South as they attempt to blaze a trail of their own in the academic jungle. This proposed workshop seeks to empower post-graduate students and early career scholars in the Humanities with the requisite academic and professional tools to flourish in an otherwise unforgiving environment. It seeks to expose students and young academics to the world of academic writing, publishing, and attracting funding.


Project Description

In the light of the issues raised above, the Faculty of Arts, Culture and Heritage Studies at the Zimbabwe Open University proposes a two-day workshop that seeks to provide a platform on which post-graduate students (both M.A. and Ph.D.) in the Humanities can be empowered with the necessary skills to successfully navigate the rugged academic terrain. The workshop seeks to allow students to interact with more experienced and accomplished scholars on a number of important themes. Experts will be invited to share their knowledge on a broad range of issues, ranging from navigating the dissertation writing process to writing articles for publication and acquiring grant application skills. We intend to invite senior scholars with experience in supervising M.A. and Ph.D. students, an expert in the administration of scholarships and fellowships to assist in training young scholars on applying for scholarships and grants, on mentorship on writing for publication purposes.


Students will also be given an opportunity to work with the guests in a mentor/mentee arrangement regarding their work (from dissertation and research topics to actual research findings) depending on the student’s level of progress. We hope that the mentorship arrangement can go beyond the actual workshop days. Through such an interaction, future academic collaborations, and an expanded network among scholars in Zimbabwe and the rest of the Global South could be established. Participants will be selected from eligible applicants who would have responded to the workshop call. In order to avoid stretching the budget, only applicants from within Zimbabwe will be considered.


The objectives of this workshop neatly dovetail with the vision and mission of the Young Scholars Initiative in networking for the purpose of answering economic questions and inculcating skills in young scholars. The YSI Africa Group seeks to create a vibrant platform that contributes to debates on the development of Africa, within the broader context of its history and social space, using various approaches. This workshop will thus increase the visibility of the YSI in southern Africa to include Zimbabwe, which itself has not had an opportunity to be integrated into YSI activities.



  • To equip students with thesis writing skills and everything associated with it.
  • To inculcate in young scholars the culture of publishing and equip them with the skills required to publish in reputable peer-reviewed journals.
  • To strengthen students’ skills in applying for scholarships, fellowships, and grants.
  • To mentor students in post-studies life, including the art of bridging the gap between M.A. and Ph.D. and between Ph.D. and post-doctoral work.
  • To integrate young scholars into the broader network of the Young Scholars Initiative.



The workshop will take place over two days – from 19- 20 September 2024. The first day will be devoted to welcoming guests, the Keynote speech, presentations, and engagements on dissertation writing, and the art of writing for publication purposes. The second day will be reserved for presentations and engagements on scholarship and grant application writing skills. This will be divided into two sessions: the first based on presentations and engagements led by the expert, and the second based on practical work and presentations done by young scholars and evaluated by the expert. We also envisage a session on life after post-graduate studies. This will help guide students on life after their studies and the art of finding doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. The workshop will also be rounded off by a social gathering in Harare and details will be availed to successful applicants.

Expected Outcome

By the end of this workshop, students should have been empowered with many skills required for a young scholar, ranging from navigating the thesis writing process, the skills required in writing for publication purposes, and the art of applying for scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Application Process

Applications should include a 250-300 words abstract describing the nature of the research to be carried out. Applicants should also upload a letter of motivation, maximum 300 words. Deadline for submission is 19 August 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by 2 September 2024. Please note that this workshop is only limited to participants in Zimbabwe.

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