South Asia Program Visiting Fellowship

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Applications for the 2023 Visiting Fellowship are now closed. Please check back in Spring 2023 for information on the 2024 Fellowship.

The Stimson Center South Asia Program’s Visiting Fellowship is designed for outstanding analysts, scholars, students, and researchers in India and Pakistan who are dedicated to the study of strategic and security issues in the subcontinent. This fellowship combines professional development of research, writing, and public presentation skills with extensive exposure to the D.C. policy community. Visiting Fellows will develop a research project while meeting with senior scholars and analysts working on South Asian security issues at universities and think-tanks, as well as leading practitioners in the U.S. government. You may read more about the Visiting Fellowship here

Fellowship Overview


Visiting Fellows spend eight weeks of the one-year fellowship in residence at the Stimson Center’s office in Washington, DC, during which engagement with the U.S.-based policy and research community is a priority. The remainder of the fellowship consists of ten months of research and writing in the fellows’ home countries. 


1. A co-authored or single-authored policy memo developed while in residence at Stimson; 

2. Ten op-ed-style essays, which can include co-authored articles with other members of the 2023 Visiting Fellow cohort, to be published on the South Asian Voices platform over the twelve-month period; 

3. Participation in the Stimson Visiting Fellows salon presentation to the wider D.C. policy community; 

4. Occasional substantive contributions to Stimson Center products and intellectual community (i.e. peer review, podcast interviews) throughout the one-year fellowship.


Application materials will include: 

  • A 500-word essay detailing the applicant’s research interests, experience, and how the fellowship fits into their career goals; 
  • A curriculum vitae of no more than two pages detailing the applicant’s professional and educational accomplishments; 
  • A writing sample of no more than two single-spaced pages; 
  • A 250-word research proposal on the topic the applicant would like to explore in their policy memo (the topic may be subject to change following selection); 
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor or former employer explaining what qualifications, skills, and experiences make the applicant an excellent fit for the fellowship; 
  • A completed Google Form

Additional Information

Deadline: Applications will be due no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Sunday, November 6, 2022. 

The South Asia Program makes an active effort to select a diverse and balanced cohort. In the 500-word essay, the applicant may also wish to elaborate on how they could contribute to the diversity of the 2023 Visiting Fellowship cohort. 

Fellowship application materials should be sent to [email protected] in a single PDF with the subject header “Applicant Name – Visiting Fellowship Application 2023”. 

Letters of recommendation can also be sent to the [email protected] account with the subject header “Applicant Name – Visiting Fellowship 2023”. 

Selection Criteria

Fellows are selected based on criteria such as the quality of their research proposal, research and writing aptitude, and fit with the Stimson Center’s research interests. All applicants will be considered, but successful candidates will likely have some or all of the following: 

  • Frequent and/or high-quality contributions to South Asian Voices; 
  • Demonstrable, substantive experience researching South Asia security or strategic issues; 
  • A track record of publications in journals, books, or newspapers/magazines; 
  • A master’s degree or higher in a relevant field. 

Candidates who have not previously received an international fellowship will also receive greater consideration. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I hear back about the status of my application?

We expect to make final decisions by the end of November/early December 2022.

Am I eligible to apply for the South Asia Program Visiting Fellowship?

Applicants must be from India or Pakistan to apply. Please bear in mind that the Visiting Fellowship is primarily intended for early to mid-career professionals and scholars with a demonstrated interest in and capacity for conducting research on South Asian security issues. 

Does Stimson cover travel, housing, and living expenses during the residency portion of the fellowship?

For an in-person fellowship, Stimson will pay for visa and travel costs to and from the United States in addition to providing lodging and a living stipend for the duration of the eight-week Washington residency. Stimson also will provide the fellows with office space, a computer, and other administrative support. 

Do I have to have a visa to the United States to be selected?

No. Upon being selected for the Visiting Fellowship—and for a D.C.-based residency— the fellows will apply for a J-1 visa. Please note that many participants in the J-1 Program are subject to a requirement that they return home for a minimum of two years upon completion of their program. 

Is the Visiting Fellowship paid?

The Visiting Fellowship is not paid and is not intended to serve as a substitute for full-time employment. Though, fellows will receive an all-expenses-paid stay in Washington for the duration of eight weeks in the summer of 2023. 

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Whom can I contact?

Please address any remaining inquiries to [email protected]. 

Meet the 2022 SAV Visiting Fellows

Rushali Saha is a research analyst at the Diplomat Risk Intelligence. Previously, she served as a research associate at the Centre for Airpower Studies, New Delhi. She holds a masters degree in Politics with International Relations from Jadavpur University. She graduated summa cum laude from the same university with an undergraduate degree in political science. Her research interests include the evolving geopolitics of South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region with a specific focus on Indo-China relations and Indian foreign policy.

Namra Naseer is an Islamabad-based policy researcher and Ph.D. Scholar in International Relations at Bahria University with an MPhil in Peace and Conflict Studies. Her work focuses on Great Power Politics and South Asia with a focus on Pakistan and India. Concomitantly, she has developed a keen insight into the field of Internet Governance.

Riya Sinha is a Research Associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi (CSEP; previously known as Brookings India). At CSEP, Riya manages a program on regional connectivity in South Asia called Sambandh. Previously, Riya worked as a Research Associate at the Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF) and worked on land and maritime trade, infrastructure and logistics, and also on confidence-building measures in Jammu and Kashmir. Riya has a master’s degree in International Relations from Pondicherry University. She is a South Asian Voices Visiting Fellow at Stimson for 2022. While at Stimson, Riya will analyze the development of India’s border management policies and infrastructure and its impact on promoting cross-border connectivity.

Noorulain Naseem is a Islamabad-based research analyst affiliated with the Legal Research Institute of Pakistan (LRIP) and the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS). Noorulain’s research focuses on forced migrations and challenges emanating from conflict in Afghanistan and Syria, as well as downstream legal challenges in host countries caused by migration and refugee flows. She is a 2022 South Asian Voices Visiting Fellow with the Stimson Center. As a fellow, she plans to explore Pakistan’s refugee and migration policies to develop a framework for policymakers to implement in the refugee crisis after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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“The SAV fellowship was an enriching experience. We met numerous practitioners who offered guidance. My counterpart from Pakistan and I co-authored a report for the Stimson Center during our time, which was a deep engagement in confidence-building, communication, and perspectives from across the border.” – Jayita Sarkar

“Meeting various scholars opened my mind about the variety of views on a specific topic. It forced me to think on aspects that I never thought were extremely relevant. I learned the essence and importance of comprehensive analytical understanding on a topic as opposed to looking at something from a pre-set lens or viewpoint.” – Aditi Malhotra

“Since I am new to the academic world, this Fellowship provided me plenty of experience, exposure, and understanding that I will now be putting into practice. Moreover, for a person like me, who has had fewer opportunities in life, the Fellowship became a morale-booster and confidence-builder. I am grateful for this opportunity and recommend that Stimson and SAV continue to engage ‘Emerging Talent’ from smaller cities too.” – Daim Fazil


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