ICWA Fellowship Program

Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) (Crane-Rogers Foundation)

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Next deadline: Jun 15, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Dec 15, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Unaffiliated Researcher Research Scientist

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Africa; Asia; Europe; Oceania; Caribbean Show all

Location of residency: United States

Age restriction: No more than 35 years of age

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About this funder:



The ICWA Fellowship Program

What would you do with two years to study anything in the world?

ICWA wants to cultivate deep expertise in foreign countries and cultures. We achieve that by supporting fellows for two-year immersive programs of self-designed, independent study abroad.

About You

ICWA fellows are handpicked from a highly competitive applicant pool, with a diverse set of interests. They share the traits of intense curiosity, a passion for knowledge and openness to new perspectives. The intensive immersion experience of an ICWA fellowship, free from deadlines and career pressures, enables fellows to cultivate their talent and engage with their subject—and themselves—in ways that have a profound impact.

While in the field, fellows receive support and mentoring from ICWA staff, former fellows and ICWA members with expertise in fellowship areas. ICWA fellows share their evolving insights and activities through monthly newsletters. Fellows return to the United States after two years ready to impart the lessons their fellowships have inspired.

We are looking for promise, curiosity, and enthusiasm in our candidates, and consider whether a candidate is ready for the rapid personal growth the fellowship makes possible. Extensive professional experience in the proposed area is not always necessary; fellowships are aimed at developing advanced knowledge and professional skills, not necessarily awarding research or reporting opportunities to those who already possess them. Strong candidates generally propose compelling fellowship topics.

Possible Topics

ICWA weighs all proposals with no restrictions on topics or regions. However, 2019 applicants are especially encouraged to propose examining any of the following topics:

  • Threats to peace and security
  • Rights and lives of marginalized people and societies
  • Environment, climate change, sustainability and conservation
  • Culture and society (literature, art, film, etc.)
  • Post-conflict societies
  • The effects of technology and innovation on society
  • Youth and activism
  • Brexit

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Requirements:
    • Language Skills
      • We expect candidates to have the necessary language skills to allow to them to carry out their proposed project.
        • Candidates proposing to go to China, Russia, Indonesia, India or Brazil, for example, should have proficiency in Chinese, Russian, Bahasa, Hindi (or another relevant language) or Portuguese.
      • It is too costly and time consuming to start from scratch, so we expect enough language proficiency for candidates to be able to function in the local language within a few months of arriving in the country.
      • Exceptions have been made for unusual languages or situations, but they are rare.
    • Criteria for Consideration
      • Candidates must be under 36 years of age at the time of the due date for the initial letter of interest.
      • U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but candidates must show strong and credible ties to U.S. society.
        • A proposed fellowship must hold the promise of enriching public life in the United States by enhancing the understanding of foreign countries, cultures and trends.
        • Public service, social activism or contribution to wider understanding in the United States is our ultimate purpose, from a belief that the public can benefit from the knowledge and wisdom our fellows acquire.
    • Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English-language skills and must have completed the current phase of their formal education.


  • While we expect candidates to design projects of topical interest, fellowships are not aimed at covering news events.
  • We do not send fellows into war zones, or places where intense security concerns prevent them from interacting with the local populace.
  • Fellowships are not scholarships.
    • We do not support degree programs at universities, the writing of books or research projects aimed at answering specific questions in a particular academic discipline.
  • While we will consider all possibilities, we prefer not to have fellows in locations where other ICWA fellows are currently working or have recently completed fellowships.
    • Given our interest in achieving wide geographic distribution over time, we generally are less inclined to select projects in countries where we currently or very recently have had fellows.