LoA Institute


Research Methods Program

The Research Methods Program is the flagship program of the Leaders of Africa Institute. To date, we have welcomed thirty-five Scholars over the course of three years. It is program characterized by personalized mentorship, rigor and advanced methodological skills, and a supportive Pan-African research community. The program is open to all fields 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 political, economic, social, and developmental questions. Remember to apply by the deadline of April 30, 2021 (Extended to May 2nd).


Economic Sustainability and Livelihoods

How do we improve the cultivation and preservation of food (e.g., tomatoes) throughout the supply chain?

From Scholar
Oreoluwa Babalola
of Nigeria

An expert in food security and sustainable development with a focus on post-harvest practices

Digital Education and Pedagogy

What digital pedagogical techniques enhance student engagement and performance?

From Scholar
Gaanya Ismael
of Uganda

An educational leader interested in technological innovations in curriculum and delivery

Achieving Public Health
For All

How do governments and NGOs design inclusive curricula for reproductive health outreach?

From Scholar
Hazel Chidzawo
of Zimbabwe

A Public Health advocate and researcher focusing on sexual and reproductive health

Elections and Religious Institutions

How do relationships between politicians and religious institutions influence election outcomes?

From Scholar
Hamid Tunde Adebowale
of Nigeria

A Political Scientist and Lecturer interested in religion and politics.
Message For YOU from THE Directors

Welcome to the Leaders of Africa Institute! We were founded in 2018 to promote Africa-based scholarship and evidence-based activism. This year we are welcoming applications to our flagship Research Methods Program 2021 in the midst of continental and global challenges both human-made and natural. Our world needs research leaders who lead by example and seek knowledge and truth. This is the only way we educate, end the spread of misinformation and disinformation, and tackle the great problems of our day. Our theme this year is “seek the truth, spread the truth.”

The Research Methods Program provides cutting-edge training in research methods, including qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis. It is open to all fields ranging from public health to politics. 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. Moreover, the program offers career-long mentoring and a one-on-one relationship with instructors. Building research relationships that span the many countries of the African continent is the real value of the program. Our Pan-African and multidisciplinary research community stands ready to support each other and lead.

– Prof. Peter Penar & Prof. Jelili Adebiyi

Professor Peter Penar

“The Scholars at the Institute are of the highest quality. The Research Methods Program embraces a collaborative learning approach predicated on pushing the research envelope.”

Professor Jelili Adebiyi

“The Research Methods Program is a unique and Pan-African experience that is tailored to the needs of researchers and professionals.”

Our Philosophy

Relationships with Professors

You will meet often with your professors and you can always reach them at any time via text message any time

Interactive Teaching

Although courses are online, all courses meet in live course meetings. This means there is class discussion and interaction with your fellow Scholars and professors

Pushing the Research Envelope

The program involves learning quantitative research methods, including statistical analysis in R and Python. We focus on coding and interpreting results


More than anything, mentorship is at the center of the program. This means that you will consistently work with your professors as you conduct your research


Preparation for Ph.D. and Master's Level Studies at Top Programs

The Research Methods Program is taught at the Master's and Ph.D. level by professors at world class universities, with many Scholars using the program to supplement ongoing graduate work or as a stepping stone for advanced studies.

Acceptance to the Afrobarometer Summer School

One of our Scholars received a full scholarship to the Afrobarometer Summer School at the University of Cape Town in 2019.

Papers Accepted to International Conferences

One of our Scholars had her research paper abstract accepted to the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in the United States.

Opportunities Unlocked

Several Scholars received opportunities and contracts related to their research methods training. Our faculty support Scholars with finding opportunities.

Play Video

For far too long researchers from outside the continent of Africa have dominated the research environment. The Institute believes in democratizing research. The program is highly rigorous and takes your skills to the next level.



Weekly Course Meetings

Each course meets weekly for at least two hours for six weeks in the virtual cloud

Weekly Assignments

Every week you will receive assignments to complete and upload to the course Moodle and feedback will be shared

Personal Meetings

Every so often, you will virtual meet one-on-one with your professors

Conducting Research

After the courses finish, you will begin your research with mentorship sessions held on a monthly basis


Upon completion of the program you will receive a certificate of completion and a transcript that details all of the skills that you obtain throughout the program. Moreover, Scholars build a portfolio of their work to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. We also aim to aid all Scholars with publishing their work. Finally, at the end of the program, Scholars may ask their professors to write and share letters of references for other academic and professional opportunities. Ultimately, the Institute believes that the actual fruits of research are more important than another certificate. Our emphasis is on your contribution to your field and community.

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.

The application asks for basic information about your education and professional background. The application also requires a curriculum vitae / resume, short introductory bibliography of yourself, a letter of interest, and a statement that details your ability to contribute to the Leaders of Africa Institute’s educational community. Our application page includes a guide to everything you need to know before completing your application.

This year there is a small fee of $150 USD for the entire year-long program. The fee may be paid in installments to accord with your budget. This includes the regular course meetings and all of the mentoring. There are very limited opportunities for scholarships based on the merit and need expressed on the application. The fee is only used to provide the Institute with the necessary technological resources to support the Scholars.

All prospective Scholars who are Africa-based are permitted to apply. We are a Pan-African organization, which means that applications from all corners and islands of Africa are welcome.

Leaders of Africa

Inquiry + Creative Expression