Asia Foundation XCEPT Fellowship Program 2024 for Women Researchers ($25,000 stipend)

Deadline: January 15, 2024

Applications are open for the Asia Foundation XCEPT Fellowship Program 2024. In 2024, The Asia Foundation, together with its partners in the Cross-Border Conflict: Evidence, Policy, and Trends (XCEPT) program, will support six women researchers from across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to undertake independent research projects and grow their professional skills and networks.

Since 2018, XCEPT has worked with local partners to develop a better global understanding of political, economic, and social dynamics in conflict-affected borderlands from Myanmar to Syria and South Sudan. More than 50 researchers from the regions of study have collectively produced and published over 220 pieces of original work, linking with contemporary discussions on a range of development issues, from trade and migration to governance and climate change.

The one-year initiative combines a research grant with opportunities for skills development and professional networking. Fellows will undertake original research with opportunities for publishing their work, a critical step in building a professional profile. A vital aspect of the initiative will be participation in joint skills-building and networking activities, peer learning and individual mentoring with experienced researchers working within the XCEPT program. This will also include opportunities to attend in-person workshops and conferences to present work to key policy audiences and development practitioners.


  • The fellowship will be based remotely and is supported by a $25,000 stipend.


  • Open to female researchers who are nationals of the following countries, reflecting the XCEPT program’s geographical focus areas: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Kenya, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen
  • Recent completion of a master’s degree or PhD in Political Science, International Relations, Development Studies, or a similar relevant topic area or equivalent professional research expertise, including completion of at least one report or journal article of similar length and rigour to a master’s thesis.
  • Demonstrable interest in issues related to conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and/or development initiatives in unstable or conflict-affected contexts.
  • Sufficient command of written and spoken English to enable participation in training and networking activities, and to produce.
  • Availability to dedicate, on average, at least two to three days flexibly per week for the duration of the fellowship, to activities associated with the program, as well as participation in regular online meetings (at least one per week) and several in-person events throughout the year.
  • Proposed research conducted through the fellowship must contribute to a better understanding of conflict-affected borderlands, and/or how conflicts connect across borders, with the aim of providing analysis that can inform development policy and programming. Research produced through this fellowship will be required to focus on the follow core themes of the XCEPT program:
  • Gender and conflict, or women, peace and security in border regions
  • Governance in unstable border regions
  • Geostrategic dimensions of transnational conflict
  • Climate change and insecurity
  • Economic drivers of conflict.


To apply for the Fellowship, submit the following items to Naruemol Tuenpakdee, [email protected] before 15 January 2024:

  • Curriculum vitae (no longer than two pages).
  • Cover letter outlining why you believe you would be a good candidate for this fellowship, what you hope to gain from the experience, and how this experience would enable you to serve the interests of your community and networks in the future.
  • Initial proposal of up to five pages describing the research you would like to undertake within the scope of this program, including proposed research questions and methodology. The proposal should clearly state which geographic region and which overall theme from those listed above you will focus on.
  • Contact information for two references (email preferred, referees will only be contacted for candidates who have reached the final stage of the selection process).

For more information, visit XCEPT Fellowship.