New-Med Call for Youth: 3rd Edition

The New-Med Research Network accepts applications from young professionals from African and Middle Eastern countries interested in submitting and presenting papers on Opportunities and Challenges in Africa (deadline 5 November 2019).

Youth and Africa: Exploring New Approaches to Economic Cooperation, Security and Migration

According to UN projections, Africa’s population is set to double to 2.4 billion by 2050, and it is expected to hit 4.3 billion by the end of the century. By then, about one-third of all of humanity will live on the continent.
While many studies have focused on the present and the future of Africa and its interconnections with Europe, it is rare to hear how young people from African countries view and interpret current developments unfolding in their countries and how they are addressed in the international debate on the future of the continent and the economic, cultural, social and political relations with Europe.

To this end, the New-Med Research Network intends to give voice to youth themselves, providing a platform for 8 young professionals to present their ideas and contribute to the ongoing debates about conflict, security and radicalisation with a view to proposing new ideas and approaches to re-launch dialogue and cooperation in the Mediterranean region. Candidates should be under the age of 32 (the day of the launching of the call), hold an internationally valid passport from, or permanent residency in, one of the African or Middle Eastern countries,1 and should be preferably based at a university, NGO, or local media outlet.

By hearing directly from a select number of young scholars of African and Middle Eastern descent, the New Med network aims to broaden debates and include diverse perspectives, thus forging new links between generations, sectors and geographical regions while providing an alternative to the often European-dominated debate about current economic, demographic and security challenges and opportunities in Africa, and their repercussions in Europe.

Candidates who fit the above profile are invited to submit applications to write a policy paper, between 3,000-3,500 words in length (complete with footnotes and bibliography), in English and dealing with one of the themes outlined below.

Successful candidates will be selected by the New-Med Steering Committee on the basis of their innovative research proposals, CV and cover letter. Final decisions will be made by the Steering Committee, which will pursue an adequate gender, age and nationality balance among the selected candidates. Successful candidates will be contacted directly by the end of November, 2019.

Selected authors will receive a remuneration of 300 Euros gross for the policy paper upon its final submission and after approval by the New-Med Steering Committee. Selected authors will also be invited to present their papers (in English) at a one-day international conference scheduled for February 2019 in Rome.

The New-Med network will cover travel costs (economy), airport transfers in Rome, accommodation (two nights), any visa and/or travel insurance cost, and a networking dinner before the conference. This will allow participants to get to know each other and to engage in network building.

Following the conference, authors will be given the opportunity to revise and update their papers (in English) and these will be considered for publication in the IAI Research Studies series, within the framework of the New-Med Research Network.

Established in 2014, New-Med is a research network of Mediterranean experts and policy analysts with a special interest in the complex social, political, cultural and security-related dynamics that are unfolding in the Mediterranean region. The network is developed by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), in cooperation with the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, the Compagnia di San Paolo of Turin, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States.

A priority of the network is to promote a non-Eurocentric vision of the region, featuring as much as possible views from the South and other areas of the Mediterranean. The network also seeks to provide a platform where emerging researchers can put forward new perspectives about regional cooperation. By undertaking research and outreach activities, this “track II” initiative aims to foster the scholarly reflection on the changing scenarios in and around the Mediterranean and provide key input to the political dialogue taking place in international fora, including in the context of the OSCE Mediterranean Dialogue. Since its inception, the New-Med Research Network has organised nine international conferences and published thirty-nine research papers on various themes tied to Euro-Mediterranean relations.

Policy Papers

Policy papers should seek to critically address the complex interlinkages between economic, cultural, political and security-related opportunities and challenges in Africa. Papers that offer critical approaches and innovative perspectives about Africa’s future and Euro-African cooperation will be taken in particular account. Gender-related perspectives are also encouraged.

Candidates can choose to focus on one of the following sub-themes but are encouraged to propose research topics that go beyond them:
– “South-South” trade and investment
– The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Role of Sub-Saharan African Entrepreneurs and Businesses
– Investment flows between the Middle East and Africa
– Migration flows
– Security and Radicalisation
– New and Old Conflicts (e.g. Yemen, Sudan, Cameroon/Ambazonia, Central African Republic, Western Sahara)
– Western Intervention and Geostrategic Rivalries
– The future of Job market (the UN estimates that African countries will need to create 18 million jobs annually through the year 2035)
– Environmental Challenges and Climate Change


Candidates should submit applications to Ms. Nathalie Champion (n.champion@iai.it) no later than November 5, 2019.

Applications should include:
– A Cover Letter (max 500 words) in English outlining the candidate’s experiences, and motivations for applying
– CV in English (max 3 pages)
– A 600 word abstract in English of the policy paper spelling out its thematic focus, the research question(s) and the significance and novelty of the analysis and approach.
– A copy of your passport ID page