Call for Applications ASD Policy Research Fellowship

2014-04-05 - 2014-04-05


ASD Policy Research Fellowship 2013

Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD) announces the Policy Research Fellowship 2013 to prospective policy advocatesThe fellowship programme is soliciting applications from young graduates interested to develop their knowledge and policy analysis skills.
The fellowship is divided into three broad categories: a. Policy Process b. Policy Gap and c. Policies and Practices. Interested applicants can apply inone of the following categories.

Category 1: Policy Process
This category focuses on the issues related to politics of policy formation such as: policy contestation and discussion, policymaking process and the structural and institutional context for the conceptualization of public policies. 
Applicants can look into: the kind of policies that are likely to be favored or overlooked in the current political condition; who occupies the policy spaces; how policy makers respond to public opinion; how propaganda/rhetoric impact real policy concerns and how politics of demands and consensus influence the policy arena.

Category 2: Policy Gap
This category focuses on the specific public policies of the Government of Nepal. Applicants are encouraged to identify a specific policy on Human Rights, Education, Media, Women or Youth and look into its existing Sgap (absence of policy or gaps in policy), analyze different policy options and provide policy recommendations.

Category 3: Policies and Practices
This category focuses on the issues related to policy implementation and questions of accountability in its practices. The possible areas of exploration in this category include: existing gaps in the implementation process, conflicting interests and influences of national and local actors and the challenges of fair resource distribution. 
Applicants may propose to look into the existing challenges on the implementation of the national policies such as different National Action Plans or any other policies with specific reference to the five thematic areas: Human Rights, Education, Media, Women and Youth.
In order to collect information for this category researchers are expected to conduct fieldwork for at least 45 days outside of the Kathmandu Valley.

Each fellowship may last up to 4 months beginning from 1 August 2013


What is the Policy Research Fellowship? 
Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD), which focuses on, among other areas,  empowerment and capacity building for future generations of policy activists, professionals and researchers to create a pool of policy-conscious community—is providing this opportunity as a response to the need for more young professionals to take part in policy-making processes.

ASD believes that the personal experience and commitment of young policy researchers and activists combined with the knowledge of policy-making and implementing processes will positively influence public policies and their effectiveness on the everyday life of the Nepali people.

This fellowship will advance the capacities of young policy researchers and activists to flag up contested issues of public policies, create a pool of policy-conscious people and thus help hold public institutions and governments accountable for the implementation of laws and policies affecting general people. With this policy fellowship programme, we hope to help young and talented people enter the policy-conscious and critiquing community and engage in policy-relevant research, analysis and advocacy under the guidance of experienced mentors.

The ASD Policy Research Fellowships are intended to attract recent graduates of MA and PhD programs in education, legal studies, political science, public policy and administration, media, social work and sociology/anthropology. The fellowship programme will give the fellows the opportunity to gain research experience in the policy areas listed above.

Successful candidates will receive a locally determined stipend and an opportunity to work for four months. The programme is designed to benefit the fellows, the host organization and the policy community. 

Eligibility criteria 
Eligible candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Must have MA or PhD studies in education, legal studies, political science, public policy and administration, media, social work, sociology/anthropology and any other discipline of social sciences.
  • Must be a citizen of Nepal and residing in the country
  • Must be fluent in written Nepali or English

What is expected from the fellows? 
Once the candidate passes through all stages of the selection process and is awarded the fellowship, the fellow will be guided by mentors in different phases.

The fellow will attend training that will build their understanding of evidence-based policy-making and their capacity to undertake policy-relevant research in the selected theme/topic.

This fellowship is a full-time work but the fellows need not be housed at the ASD but should have commitment and priority for the research work. Throughout this period, the fellow is expected to engage in the ongoing policy-research projects and develop concrete policy products in consultation with the mentor. The fellow will work closely with the mentor and the ASD secretariat for the duration of the fellowship.

The policy products of the research period can be one or more of the following:

  • Review of existing policy documents, review of literature, and brief or baseline study, if necessary (The fellows are expected to formulate clear tangible outcomes at the end of the study)
  • Present draft reports in the discussion sessions organised by ASD and Nepal Policy Research Network (NPRN)
  • Produce the report in the form of Policy Paper, Briefs or Newsletters
  • Present papers and findings of research in different dialogue programmes organised by ASD  
  • Any other policy-related product or activity that benefits both the fellows and the ASD (e.g., writing on policy blogs)

The fellow's work is to be guided by senior mentors and the director and deputy- director of ASD. At the beginning of the fellowship period, an agreement will be made between the fellow, mentor/mentor organisation and the ASD on the topic of the fellowship and the expected outputs. An action plan for fellowship period will also be developed. All fellows will be expected to produce the agreed outputs by the end of the fellowship period.

In the 4 months of the fellowship period, the fellow will finalise the policy research and policy products. Upon completion of the fellowship period, ASD will expect reports from the fellows. The fellows will be invited to different level of policy seminars, where their work and policy products will be presented and discussed.

Selection of the fellows

  • Call for concept note through newspapers and mass mail circulation
  • Applicants will be short-listed by the concept paper review team
  • Short-listed candidates will be interviewed
  • After the interview, second round of short-listing will be done
  • Short-listed candidates will be invited for presentation and discussion on their concept papers (among the short-listed fellows, ASD secretariat, Board Members, and potential mentors)
  • Final Selection

Selection of Mentors 
Before the final selection of fellows, the ASD will contact potential mentors and make preliminary agreements with those who are willing to mentor pre-selected fellows. Agreements among the mentor/mentor organisation, the fellow, and the ASD about the mentorship plan and policy products in the selected topic area will be finalised after the fellowship is awarded.

Terms of the Award 
The fellowship award will cover a fixed monthly stipend for the period of four months. Travel and subsistence grants will be awarded to those fellows who need to travel for research works. 

How to apply 
Applicants should submit the following documents to [email protected]

  • Letter of Intent: This letter should describe the applicant's interest in this fellowship, the specific expectations from the fellowship in relation to the applicant’s career aspirations, the applicant’s skills and qualifications, and the benefit the applicant aspires to contribute to ASD's aim on policy works.
  •  Application form:  The form should indicate the topic area the applicant would like to work on, include justification of the topic regarding both personal career development and the advancement of targeted communities/people, and list organisations/institutions that could benefit from the policy research on the suggested topic. Download form
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): The CV should include the applicant’s academic and professional background; a detailed description of the applicant's previous relevant employment; a list of academic and (any) policy projects in which the applicant has been involved; list all scholarships, fellowships or internships the applicant has been awarded till date; and two referees 

How will the selection process be organised? 
The selection process will have two major stages:

Application deadline: June15, 2013

I. Pre-selection: Applicants will receive a response by 21 June 2013. Pre-selected candidates will be called for the interview on 25-26 June 2013.

Short-listed candidates from the interview will be informed by 3 July 2013 and will be requested to present their ideas among ASD Board Members; secretariat staff, potential mentors and others selected candidates. Participation in this presentation process will be one of the conditions for an applicant to remain in the pool of candidates for the final stage of the selection process.

II. Final selection: Pre-selected candidates will receive a response regarding whether they have been awarded a fellowship by 15 July 2013.


  • Some of the ASD staffs and Board members are not involved in organising this programme and cannot provide assistance to potential applicants. If you have questions or would like to apply, please use the contact information provided in the call for applications.
  • The above dates are subject to change with prior notice