Asia Foundation Development Fellows Program 2018 (Fully-funded + $5,000 Grant)

Asia Foundation Development Fellows Program 2018 (Fully-funded + $5,000 Grant)

Deadline: November 20, 2017

Applications are now open for the 2018 Asia Foundation Development Fellows Program. The Asia Foundation Development Fellows program is a dynamic and multifaceted learning program designed for highly talented Asian individuals, under age 40, to enhance their leadership skills, Asian development knowledge, professional networks, and international exposure. The program reflects the Foundation’s six-decade tradition of investing in the region’s most promising future leaders.

The 2018 program will consist of two intensive modules, including two weeks in Asia and another two weeks in the United States, allowing Fellows to stay in their current occupations during the Fellowship year. The program will be conducted in South Korea, Sri Lanka, and USA (San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC) with a flexible small grant award of US $5,000 provided.

The Asia Foundation Development Fellows program is comprised of the following five components:

  • Leadership Training Program: The Leadership Training Program features an intensive one-week course at the Korea Development Institute (KDI) School of Public Policy and Management in South Korea.
  • Workshop on Asian Development: Immediately following the Leadership Training component is a one-week study tour program involving leading development practitioners and thinkers, recognized policy leaders, and academics who will help Fellows explore various approaches that deliver positive impact and advance development knowledge.
  • Leadership Dialogue and Exchange: Fellows will take part in a leadership dialogue and exchange program in the United States, providing important opportunities to extend personal bonds with their cohort, as well as building international perspectives and networks of support and inspiration.
  • Professional Development Award: An award of up to US$5,000 will be made available to each of the selected Fellows.
  • Mentoring: Building on the regional network and local capacity of The Asia Foundation, the program offers a mentoring component that is tailored around the background and professional interests of the Fellows.


Asia Foundation Development Fellows must:

  • Have a demonstrable record of experience and accomplishment related to The Asia Foundation’s fields of expertise – governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation;
  • Be thoughtful, committed, respected and inspirational leaders within their professional fields and within their larger community;
  • Be under 40 years of age by January 1, 2018;
  • Be conversant in English (TOEFL exam results are not required);
  • Be available and able to participate in all program components on the program dates specified; and
  • Be resident nationals or citizens of the following countries where The Asia Foundation has programs: Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Laos; Malaysia; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Timor-Leste; and, Vietnam.

Selection Process

The program is highly competitive. Staff from The Asia Foundation will evaluate each application thoroughly and narrow down the pool of applicants. Final selections will be conducted by a committee of distinguished experts with expertise on Asia’s needs and development conditions. Fellows will be chosen without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, marital status, or financial need. All submitted application information will be treated as confidential unless stated otherwise in the application. The identities of nominees will also remain confidential throughout the final selection process.


  • Step 1: Please carefully read the Eligibility and Selection criteria above, including their Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Step 2: Prepare for the application process. Download: 2018 Application Guidelines and Instructions. Review the Application Guidelines and Instructions and complete each component of the application:
    • Personal information
    • Written submission
    • Supplementary materials: CV and transcript
    • Short video submission
    • Letters of recommendation (handled online)
  • Step 3: Start your online application


  • November 20, 2017 (Monday, 11:59pm PST): Application deadline
  • January 2018: Selection finalized
  • April 14 – 29, 2018: South Korea – Leadership Training Program; Sri Lanka – Workshop on Asian Development
  • September 16 – October 1, 2018: USA – Leadership Dialogue and Exchange

Please direct any inquiries to the AFDF staff at [email protected].

For more information, visit Asia Foundation Development Fellows Program.