The Nordic Africa Institute

Virtual Library Programme: 12 months digital access to selected e-resources

The programme offers time-limited access to selected e-resources at the Institute's library. Included is also an introduction to the e-resources via Zoom. Through the programme, the Nordic Africa Institute aims to contribute to building capacity in the production of knowledge about Africa, and to promote and establish relations with and between African and Nordic research communities.

The purpose of the programme

The purpose of the Virtual Library Programme at NAI is to provide digital alternatives to present scholarship programmes at NAI, which are all based physically at the Institute. Prominent in the present scholarships, is the access to the institute’s library resources. A virtual access program can both reduce co2 emissions when participants don’t have to travel to the institute, and can also lead to a better diversity among scholarship holders. Especially, scholars may have a family caring situation, which influences their possibilities to be overseas for longer periods.

The purpose is also to strengthen the operational objectives of Co-creation of knowledge and Bridging of African and Nordic perspectives in the institute’s strategy for 2022-2026.

The length of the programme

The duration of the programme is for a year, a longer period in comparison to the Institute’s other shorter scholarships. As participants in the programme may be based at their own institutions, this longer period is chosen to facilitate research over time. Participants may have obligations towards their home institutions parallel to the programme.


The Institute’s library is specialized in literature on contemporary Africa and focuses on social sciences. The e-resources within the program are Africa-specific resources, complementing more general e-resources usually available at university libraries. Please note, access to standard e-journal packages is not included in the program. Current e-resources included are:

African books collection – African studies portfolio: Consists of 206 titles from publishers across the African continent. New titles are added regularly.

Africa Wide Information: Combination of several databases with info on all aspects of Africa from the 19th century to the present. References mainly.

African digital bookstore: Digital platform for +1800 titles from African publishers. Titles in English and French.

African Writers series: 330 online edition of modern African literature (fiction) in full text.

AllAfrica: Aggregates and distributes news from African news organizations, own reporters and more. Archives include millions of articles from 1996 onwards.

CAIRN: E-journal package 17 titles, named Bouquet African & Middle Eastern Studies.

Oxford bibliographies online: Peer-reviewed bibliographies, African Studies and Geography

Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Peer-reviewed, regularly updated encyclopedias, African History.

SA News: African News Agency with full text news reports and SA Media with 120+ South African newspapers/periodicals 1978 onwards. Articles are indexed in Afrikaans and English.

Sabinet Social Sciences and Humanities journal package: 215 titles, mainly from Southern Africa


The 12 months digital access does not cover any financial or in-kind support. Please also note that e-resources may differ over time, depending on library negotiations with individual publishers.

A limited number of places are available and places are offered on the basis of NAI’s strategic priorities, in terms of how capacity development support can be most effective.

Who can apply?

The programme is directed at early carrier researchers based in Africa and engaged in Africa-oriented research. The research topic should be within the disciplines of Social Sciences and Humanities, and with a focus on contemporary Africa.

The research should also be relevant to the core principles of the UN Agenda 2030, as indicated in the five impact areas of the Institute.

The programme is open to researchers who are:

  • Staff employed by an African-based university or research centre and who are part of an approved research project with African and Nordic partners (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland).
  • Postdoctoral researchers (within 5 years or less of PhD completion).

The Institute strives to achieve a fair distribution of scholarship positions in regards to gender and geographic focus. Priority will be given to researchers coming from less well resourced institutions related to library resources.

How to apply

Apply online and upload the following documents:

  • Approved research proposal
  • Letters of support: A signed letter of support from a Principle Investigator, and a signed letter of support from the applicant’s Head of Department or other senior scholar in the same field, which confirms current work place/affiliation and field of research.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. Kindly also note that the application must be in English.