Thursday, April 28, 2016

May 13 apps due for grad student fellowships in humanitarian shelter & settlements


Background: The US Agency for International Development Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is the lead US Government (USG) agency for the coordination of USG responses to international disasters, and a leading participant in the global humanitarian community.
USAID/OFDA currently seeks to enhance its leadership efforts, improve its response programming in the humanitarian shelter and settlements (S&S) sector, increase the awareness of the sector in North America and expand career options for those interested in S&S sector activities. USAID/OFDA views S&S sector activities broadly to include not only provision of shelter to disaster/crisis- affected populations, but also the linked activities of settlements planning, disaster risk reduction, natural resource management, climate change adaptation, and proximate economic and political factors. USAID/OFDA has also contributed to emerging humanitarian community interest in the Settlements Approach (integrated, multi-sector activities in socio-economically defined space), particularly in urban areas, and the linkage of this approach to follow-on recovery and reconstruction efforts.

Fellowship Description: USAID/OFDA seeks to support the thesis or professional report writing efforts of two Fellows during the summer of 2016. Fellows will be graduate students currently enrolled full-time in accredited North American graduate school programs or North Americans studying abroad in similar graduate programs, in the following disciplines:

City, Urban, Environmental, or Regional Planning, and
Architecture or Architectural engineering

Ideally, successful candidates would be first-year, Masters-level, graduate students, in the programs listed above, who are interested in commencing work on a thesis or professional report as a requirement for graduation. The topic of this graduate student research would be focused on any of the following topics of interest:

Managing the transition of humanitarian shelter to permanent housing
Linking and incorporating hazard mapping efforts into settlements planning to promote riskreduction
Post-disaster neighborhood-level planning efforts designed to promote safer, sustainable, andresilient shelters and settlements
Post-disaster emergency urban planning to reconfigure disaster-affected settlements topromote risk reduction, increase shelter opportunities, and accelerate recovery
Measuring the contribution of humanitarian shelter to the recovery of disaster-affectedhouseholds and/or communities.
Identification and review of assessment tools (including GIS and open source mappingtechnologies) intended to better understand and deal with the urban context, thereby informing efforts to support effective and expeditious humanitarian S&S sector activities, and
 Informal land management and tenure mechanisms that promote risk reduction or ensure occupancy of land and housing for displaced/vulnerable populations.

Graduate work on any the above topics could entail travel to Washington, DC, USA or to sites in other countries. Work could also be performed at the home universities of graduate fellows.
USAID/OFDA is collaborating with Habitat for Humanity International to support these graduate student fellowships. The home university graduate student research/professional report advisor will oversee and be responsible for the quality, progress, and completion of the research and final deliverables. Both USAID/OFDA and Habitat for Humanity International will receive e-copies of approved theses and professional reports from graduate students, encourage fellows to publish work in peer-review journals and humanitarian publications, host an end-of-project presentation of the research work, and would welcome the opportunity to serve on thesis or professional report committees.

Awards: USAID/OFDA anticipates two awards of up to $17,900 each (made up of $9,000 for stipend and $8,900 for travel related expenses if necessary) to support graduate research. Awards will support fellowship research for approximately three months and cover basic expenses that might include travel, lodging and research-related costs (e.g., medical evacuation insurance, visas, vaccinations, etc.). USAID/OFDA will provide basic administrative support for the graduate students. All fellowship activities must be undertaken expeditiously and completed by December 1, 2016.

Award Process: Specific workspace assignments in Washington, DC, should they be needed, will be arranged by USAID/OFDA. It is anticipated that graduate students will spend the bulk of the summer at their home universities or at field sites, rather than in Washington, DC. The selected candidate should be able to travel to proposed field sites while receiving fellowship support.
Application Process: Candidates will submit a CV, a two-page statement of proposed work (including an executive summary), a reference from his/her thesis or professional report advisor, and a statement from the advisor confirming that the statement of proposed work will directly
su p p or t th e cand i d ate’s th esi s or professional report topic. A review committee representing Habitat for Humanity International, USAID/OFDA and the InterAction Shelter & Settlements Working Group will be formed to identify successful candidates for this fellowship.

Applications and supporting documents should be received by 5:00 PM EDT, Friday, 13 May 2016.

Please attach the above mentioned documents (preferably in pdf or MS Word) to with the subject line “SHELTER FELLOWSHIPS-LastName”. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No phone calls or email inquiries, please. 
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