Elechukwu Njaka Scholarship and Creative Research Award

The Department of Africana Studies invites applications for the Elechukwu Njaka Scholarship and Creative Research Award. This scholarship is awarded to Majors or Minors who have completed an outstanding scholarship in Africana Studies. We welcome research papers, visual art, videography, ethnography, or any capstone project completed in an Africana Studies course.

Applicants must be in good standing at UMBC with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

For the 2024-2025 academic year, two $1000 scholarships will be awarded. Awards will be announced at the annual Taste of Africa celebration on Wednesday, March 26, 2025.


The Elechukwu Njaka Scholarship invites students to examine the breadth of Africana Studies. The committee is especially interested in student work that explores, but is not limited to:

● African diaspora
● African and African American history
● Race, ethnicity, class, and identity
● Gender, sexuality, and body politics
● Migration, settlements, and globalization
● Mental and physical health
● African and African American cultural traditions
● Literature, art, and media
● Social justice, politics, and leadership
● Economics, entrepreneurship, and development 

● Be a full-time Africana Studies Major or Minor in good standing at UMBC.
● Have a minimum GPA of 2.75.
● Have completed scholarship, or creative research in an Africana Studies course within the past year.
● Cannot be under consideration for, or have received, a monetary award from Africana Studies within the academic year.

Application Materials

  1. Scholarly paper or Creative Research project
  2. 500-750 word Research Statement that describes the following:
    • how the project is central to the field of Africana Studies
    • genesis, development, and execution of the project (including archival research, use of primary sources, new skills acquired, artistic techniques)
    • how the project has helped the applicant develop as a scholar
  3. Letter of recommendation from a UMBC faculty member from whom the applicant has taken a course. Faculty recommenders may email letters directly to dhunter5@umbc.edu.
  4. Transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted).

Application Deadline: Friday, November 29, 2024.

Submit all materials electronically to Danielle Hunter at dhunter5@umbc.edu.

Submission Format: 

Scholarly papers and Research Statements must be submitted electronically in PDF format as a single document. Multimodal and Visual Art submissions can be submitted through a USB drive, weblink in the Research Statement, or in person at the Department of Africana Studies office in the Fine Arts Building, Room 535 South.