Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) Fellowship Program 2021 (Funding available)

Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) Fellowship Program 2021 (Funding available)

Deadline: December 15, 2020

Applications are open for the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) Fellowship Program 2021. ICWA advances deep knowledge of foreign countries and cultures. They achieve that by supporting fellows for two-year immersive programs of self-designed, independent research and writing abroad.

This is a writing fellowship. Fellows are required to produce monthly dispatches made available on their website and email to institute supporters and other interested parties, including family, friends and professional associates of the fellows. Fellows work closely with the executive director, who serves as writing coach, editor and mentor.

While many fellows go on to pursue political or social causes at home and abroad, the purpose of a fellowship is to learn about other societies, not to change them. Fellows are not permitted to engage in overtly political activities during their fellowships. The institute does not accept any government funds. Fellows must preserve that independence in letter and in spirit.

Fellows should not expect to return to the United States during the two years of their fellowships. ICWA fellowships are immersive; a vital component of the fellowship experience is remaining without interruption in the area of study for the duration of a fellowship.

Financial Support

  • ICWA provides full financial support for its fellows and their immediate, accompanying families.
  • Fellows do not receive salaries; the institute gives them sufficient funding to cover their expenses, enabling them to fulfill the purposes of the fellowship and allowing them and their families (if accompanying the fellowship) to live in good health and reasonable comfort. “Full financial support” does not mean unlimited financial support; fellows are expected to live and spend modestly.


  • Candidates must be under 36 years of age at the time of the due date for the initial letter of interest;
  • US citizenship is not a requirement but candidates must show strong and credible ties to US society;
  • Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English language skills and must have completed the current phase of their formal education. (They do not accept applications from currently enrolled undergraduate students.)
  • They expect candidates to have the necessary language skills to allow to them to carry out their proposed projects. That means enough language proficiency for them to be able to function in the local language within a few months of arriving in country.


Those interested in applying for an Institute of Current World Affairs Fellowship should send an initial letter of interest and resume or CV in English to the institute via email. Post is also accepted.

In your letter of interest, tell them what you would do if you had a two-year, self-designed fellowship overseas and why you’re the right person to carry it out. There is no fixed length for the letter of interest. Indicate your age, as applicants must be under the age of 36 at the time the letter of interest is due.

The strongest applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed application. Selected fellows are expected to depart for their fellowships within six months of their selection.

Email application materials to[email protected]

For applications via post, send it to: 
Institute of Current World Affairs
1818 N St. NW, Ste 460
Washington, DC 20036

For more information, visit ICWA Fellowship.