LoA Institute

Research Methods Program

Exploring the important research questions of the day with advanced methods and social impact

The Research Methods Program is the flagship program of the Leaders of Africa Institute. To date, we have welcomed over 400 Scholars and Fellows over the course of six years. The Research Methods Program offers personalized mentorship, rigorous and advanced methodological skills, and a supportive international research community. The program is open to all fields from public health to social science and is in a live virtual format accessible anywhere. We invite you to learn about the program and our Scholars and consider whether this just might be the opportunity to further your research career and answer the call to address some of the most pressing health, political, economic, social, and development questions. Our international and multidisciplinary research community stands ready to support each other and lead.

Upcoming Live Info Session

Meet the Leaders of Africa Institute Directors and learn more about the Research Methods Program at the upcoming Information Session on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 2 PM UTC on Zoom

Past and Present Research Methods Program Scholars & Fellows​

About the Program


Opportunities to Learn Advanced Methods and Tools

The Research Methods Program provides cutting-edge training in research methods, including qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis. We encourage feasible community-based research designs that allow the researcher to work with one’s community to facilitate evidence gathering. This approach lowers the barriers to extensive research and democratizes scholarship. We cover (1) crafting research questions and framing research, (2) mixed-methods research designs, including qualitative fieldwork methods and quantitative frameworks, (3) case study and observation selection techniques, (4) data analysis and visualization in R and Python statistical software, (5) survey design and implementation, (6) the use and analysis of major public opinion survey data, including the Afrobarometer, (7) writing for publication, and (8) design thinking for social impact.

An Emphasis on Your Research

At the beginning of the program, you propose a research agenda and pursue it over the course of the program. You will gather original data and use advanced tools for analysis. The purpose is to craft one analytical blog post, a rigorous publication, and an impact project that will engage the broader public in your research. The Research Methods Program puts an emphasis on translating research into social impact and sustainable ventures. Select projects will receive additional support in the Institute’s Research Accelerator.

Mentorship and One-On-One Support

The program offers career-long mentoring and a personalized relationship with instructors. The program also offers a framework for international networking and building research relationships that span the globe.

The Research Methods Program also known as the Research Methods and Innovation Program is an intensive program that covers advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods. Scholars and Fellows learn how to use advanced software, including R, Python, and NVivo, and complete an impact project that comes from the research at the Institute. As part of the program, Scholars and Fellows have the opportunity to participate in the Research Accelerator that provides media, tech, and professional support to all Scholars accepted into the program. The reason why Research Methods Program Scholars get publications, grants, and recognition is that there is unbounded support from Leaders of Africa’s resources and network.

Access to all of Leaders of Africa Institute and Leaders of Africa's technical expertise and resources

Conducting impactful research requires substantial technical and outreach support. The LoA Research & Innovation Lab, Media Lab, and Tech Lab provide support to you to help your research and impact project be successful.

Top-Level Preparation for Obtaining Grants and Pursuing Ph.D. and Master's Level Studies at the Best Programs

The Research Methods Program is taught at the Master’s, PhD, and Post-PhD level, with many Scholars using the program to supplement ongoing graduate work or as a stepping stone for advanced studies. The program also supports faculty with research and offers support for career advancement. Scholars have received opportunities and contracts related to their research methods training. Our faculty support Scholars with finding opportunities.

Important Dates & Info

Applications Open: February 28, 2024

Applications Close: April 15, 2024

Program Dates: May 2024 – August 2024 with Continuing Mentorship through April 2025

Program Format:

Live Virtual Cloud Classroom (~3 hours per week) for four months that include three separate courses:

  • Research Design
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • Survey Research, Advanced Techniques, and Design Thinking

The program also involves personal meetings with professors and an advanced methods workshop series.

Attachments, Collaboration, and Research Accelerator

In select cases, Research Methods Scholars have the opportunity to participate in research collaborations and projects with major international institutions through the Institute’s Research Exchange. There are also opportunities to participate in the Institute’s Research Accelerator, which provides support for research projects with a high likelihood of delivering social impact.

Benefits & Qualifications

Official LoAI Certificate

Professional Portfolio with Capstone, Including an Impact Project

Transcript with Qualifications

Reference Letter (If Required)

Application Requirements

To complete the application, you will need the following materials:
  • Curriculum vitae/ resume (one PDF of up to 5 MB)
  • Statement of Interest (1,000 words maximum). Your Statement of Interest should include:
    • What are your research, thematic, and professional interests and relevant professional background?
    • What shaped your interests?
    • What do you hope to learn from the Research Methods Program at the Leaders of Africa Institute?
    • What are your career goals?
    • How will the Research Methods Program help you achieve your career and educational goals?
The deadline for applications is Monday, April 15th 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

The advanced Research Methods Program is open to all fields and from all countries internationally.
Leaders of Africa Institute virtual course programs have a competitive application process. We have an Admission Committee that carefully reviews all applications and selects prospective Scholars with the best chance of success in the program. Scholar cohorts are purposely designed to be a size conducive to forming relationships with professors because we feel that this is important for mentorship and support.
Our application ensures that you are eligible to participate in our programs. It also allows us to know about your academic and relevant work experiences, as well as what you expect to gain by taking courses and experiencing our mentorship. We want to get to know you so that we may serve you. Carefully answer all of the application prompts fully and directly. If you have any questions about the program and application, reach out to us via the website chat or at institute@leadersofafrica.org.
The total fee for the program is 7,000 USD. However, every accepted applicant receives an automatic Impact Scholarship worth approximately 6,800 USD. This leaves only a small fee of 200 – 300 USD for the program. In select cases, the fee may be paid in two installments to accord with your budget. The fee is only used to provide the Institute with the necessary technological resources to support the Scholars.

Leaders of Africa

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