African Doctoral Academy
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

About the African Doctoral Academy

​The African Doctoral Academy (ADA), housed within the Africa Centre for Scholarship (ACS) serves to coordinate and strengthen excellence in doctoral education at Stellenbosch University (SU) and across the African continent. The ADA’s bi-annual, two week long Doctoral Schools take place every year in Summer (January) and Winter (June-July) and aim to offer high impact research and methodology training, as well as options in academic preparedness and career development.

The Schools are open to doctoral candidates, their supervisors and researchers in general. Each week offers a number of workshops taking place concurrently and offers an intense and concentrated training opportunity by experts in their fields. With delegates hailing from South Africa, Africa and beyond, these Doctoral Schools are an opportunity to network with fellow delegates and lecturers and exchange ideas and knowledge during the formal classes, additional extra-curricular classes open to all delegates and the social evenings each week.  You can read some testimonials​ from our delegates that have attended these Doctoral Schools in the past.​

Background and history of the ADA

Most South African and African universities have identified doctoral scholarship as a critical requirement for the development of higher education and research production in the continent. In view of this the ADA serves as a unique resource to strengthening higher education and research in Africa. Stellenbosch University has over the past ten years established bilateral and multilateral relationships with many of Africa’s leading institutions and academic networks. By offering the programmes of the ADA to these partnerships and networks, the ADA is effectively positioned to consolidate and expand SU’s African networks. In view of this the ADA has secured a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to collaborate with doctoral schools at universities in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and elsewhere in Africa.

Since the ADA’s inception in 2009, leading scholars have presented weeklong courses to doctoral candidates on topics ranging from PhD preparation, key concepts in methodology, academic writing skills, the use of qualitative and quantitative tools (SPSS and ATLAS.ti), survey and interview methods, publishing articles, and preparing for a research career (including training in doctoral supervision). The ADA Schools have attracted participants from many other South African and African universities. Ultimately the aim is to support knowledge production in Africa by increasing the number and the quality of doctoral graduates in South Africa and elsewhere in the continent.

Since 2014 the ADA has been housed within Stellenbosch University International (SUI) and now aims to serve candidates across all disciplines and since 2017 it forms part of the Africa Centre for Scholarship. Its vision is to support, strengthen and advance doctoral training and scholarship on the continent across disciplines through an integrated holistic approach to contribute to global, regional, national and institutional objectives and priorities.

To date the principal mechanism for doctoral support has been the bi-annual ADA Summer and Winter Schools in research methodology and academic development.