2022 Ezera Research for African Students at the University of California, Berkeley

DEADLINE: Monday, 11 April 2022


Emeka Kalu Ezera, Graduate Student Instructor and doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley, was killed tragically, July 12, 1990 in an automobile accident while traveling in Nigeria.

Born on April 30, 1959, Emeka was the first of four sons of Professor Kalu and Mrs.Onuma Ezera, who came from Ohafia, Imo State, Nigeria. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1981 and in 1982 earned a Master’s degree in International Economic Relations from the London School of Economics. At the University of California at Berkeley he earned a Masters in Political Science in 1985, followed by a Masters in Public Policy in 1987. In 1989, Emeka began work on his doctoral dissertation in Political Science at Berkeley: An Institutional Approach to the Implementation of Structural Adjustment Policies: The Nigerian Case.

He made a major contribution to many aspects of life on the Berkeley campus. He opened the “town meeting” on the University’s divestment from South Africa, founded the Southern Africa Freedom Through Education Project to bring Southern African blacks to the Bay Area for college education; served on the Graduate Assembly’s Recruitment Committee; taught and counseled undergraduates in the Political Science and African American Studies Departments, and devoted two intensive years to the committee which spearheaded the passage of an American Cultures requirement, under which over one hundred new courses have been developed to permit all Berkeley students to reach a fuller understanding and appreciation of this country’s cultural diversity. Emeka’s scholarly work at Harvard, the London School of Economics, and at the University of California at Berkeley earned for him the respect and esteem of scholars in Africa, in England, and in this country. His budding career promised to span the worlds of both academia and public service in an unusual and productive manner.

An endowment has been established in memory of Emeka Kalu Ezera to support graduate students from African countries south of the Sahara at the University of California at Berkeley. The funds from the endowment are assigned to the Center for African Studies to aid student scholars at the graduate level concentrating in African Studies. Funds may be requested for maintenance, travel, or research costs, as appropriate to enhance pre-dissertation and dissertation research on Africa. Ezera funds may be used to supplement, but not substitute for, other grants. Students are encouraged to apply to other sources, including the Rocca grant. Currently, grants from the Ezera fund will be in the $500 to $1000 range. In making awards, the Center adheres to the cap on stipends set by the Graduate Division, which in 2021 is $40,000 – combined for all fellowships awarded.

The Ezera Fellowship gives priority to graduate students from West Africa who show exceptional promise of advancing scholarship in African Studies in the social sciences, humanities, and public policy and who demonstrate strong leadership potential. Students from other African regions are eligible and are encouraged to apply. Students must have been accepted for admission at the University of California at Berkeley when they apply and must be enrolled before funds may be dispersed to them. The fellowship is not available to students who are permanent residents or citizens of the United States. A total of no more than two years of support will be provided to a recipient of this fellowship; applications for the second year of support will be considered de novo along with other applications for that year.