Program Assistant, Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program

Job Type

Full Time




300 Cadman Plaza West
New York
United States



The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international, nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary research in the social sciences through a wide variety of workshops and conferences, fellowships and grants, summer training institutes, scholarly exchanges, research, and publications. For more information, please visit our website:

The SSRC seeks a Program Assistant for the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program. The Next Generation Social Sciences Program supports the intellectual development of early-career faculty members in sub-Saharan Africa who have yet to complete their PhD and invests in activities that will provide them with enhanced research capabilities, greater credentials, and an international network of researchers. The program employs a two-pronged approach to build individual capabilities and institutional capacity: the first relies on fellowships to provide financial support at distinct but crucial stages of the doctoral dissertation process; the second strategy employs workshops held on the continent to strengthen research capacity, assist researchers in developing publications, and allow fellows to engage in an international research community. The program currently operates in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. In these countries, the program fosters research on peace, security, and development issues from new and diverse perspectives. For more information, visit the program website at

The Program Assistant serves as a key member of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa team. The Program Assistant is the first point of contact for applicants, fellows, and others in the field of higher education in Africa. Each year, the Program Assistant will work with program staff and international partners to plan workshops in Africa for fellows. Additionally, the Program Assistant will research, analyze, and coordinate program initiatives responsive to trends in the field of African higher education. Reporting to the Director of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program, the Program Assistant will curate outcomes related to the fellowship program on social media and program websites and work with the Director to report results to Council programs, partner institutions, and funders.


·        BA, ideally in a field in the social sciences.

·        Academic experience in peace, security, or development topics and sub-Saharan Africa.

·        Experience in programming in higher education or the social sector.

·        Proficiency with research, data collection, review, analysis, documentation, and reporting.

·        Proficiency with the use of software platforms and high degree of comfort with multiple technology applications, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and databases.

·        Exceptional organizational and communications skills.

·        Demonstrated ability to work successfully in multifaceted, team-oriented environment.

·        Excellent interpersonal skills, time management skills, and ability to juggle multiple projects at once.

·        Ability to travel in sub-Saharan Africa for 1–2 weeks at a time is crucial.

Additionally, the ideal candidate will demonstrate:

·        Ease with networking across various cultural and geographic spaces.

·        Discretion and commitment to confidentiality.

·        Commitment to higher education in the global South.

·        An enthusiasm for working in the region with fellows and faculty.

·        Confidence to propose ideas and strategy for the program.


·        Serve as primary liaison with all applicants.

·        Aid in the selection process working with committee members, including maintaining a database and tracking all decisions across multiple rounds of review.

·        Serve as first point of communication with fellows and track progress through program.

·        Manage fellowship database and fellow files as well as administration of fellowships.

·        Plan on- and off-site workshops and meetings, including developing exercises to build research capabilities among fellows as well as handling logistical support, the preparation of agendas and other materials, and all related correspondence with workshop participants.

·        Coordinate and execute workshop logistics in partnership with local universities and NGOs

·        Provide additional support for program workshops and meetings (e.g., take meeting notes, write up meeting summaries, issue press releases).

·        Compile and clean data relating to the fellowship program.

·        Assist with financial budgets and track expenses.

·        Develop and maintain the program’s online presence, including online application portal, social media, and website.

·        Write, curate, produce, and promote stories, images, and videos featuring fellows through various Next Gen and SSRC platforms.

·        Research data and trends for a broad variety of research topics relating to higher education in Africa.

·        Contribute to brainstorming and discussions on various aspects of select projects, including concept notes, drafts, grant proposals, communications strategies, and more.


Annual salary is $40,000. Comprehensive benefits include health, dental, vision, disability, life, and gym reimbursement; $1,500 annual tuition and/or student loan reimbursement and professional development funds; outstanding pension plan and tax savings programs; generous vacation and sick leave; and more. 

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply