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Africa Research Center


The Africa Research Center (ARC), based at W&M’s Global Research Institute, is a research center where faculty and students collaborate on cutting-edge projects that address some of the biggest development challenges facing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Research streams focus on the impact of the mobile phone revolution; the origins and consequences of spatial inequality; the causes of armed conflict; and the educational benefits of sport-for-development programs. W&M students working with ARC deepen their understanding of African politics, societies, and development both in the classroom and through direct engagement with leaders, practitioners, and communities in Liberia and Tanzania.

Project Leaders

Professor Phil Roessler, (Current Director; directorship rotates between all three leaders), Professor Admasu Shiferaw, Professor Fiona Shen-Bayh

Focus Areas

Mobile Technology, Public Health; Randomized Control Trials; Geospatial Analysis; Governance; Conflict; Long-Run Development



Professor Phil Roessler

Student Opportunities

ARC recruits students each year in January through a selective application process. Highly-motivated, independent students with international experience, strong methodological skills, or a desire to achieve both are especially encouraged to apply. In the meantime, please email Professor Roessler to express your interest.


Innovations for Poverty ActionBill & Melinda Gates Foundation; National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development; W&M’s Center for Geospatial Analysis, Charles Center, and Reves Center