Fellowship on Economic Vulnerability in the Arab World

Call for Applications
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota

Fellowship on Economic Vulnerability in the Arab World

Overview

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota announces the availability of a limited number of fellowships for junior scholars from the Arab world to participate in two two-week summer institutes at the Humphrey School, the first in August 2018 and the second in 2019. The fellowships are funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York through an initiative titled Supporting Arab Region Social Science Innovation and Policy Development. The visiting scholars will work closely with Dr. Ragui Assaad of the Humphrey School, Dr. Caroline Krafft of St. Catherine University, Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani of Virgina Tech, and Mohamed Ali-Marouani of University of Paris 1-- Pantheon Sorbonne. Research topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Inequality, poverty and vulnerability in the post Arab-Spring era
  • Vulnerable employment (irregular/informal employment, social protection and job quality)
  • Economic drivers of vulnerability, both at the individual and community levels
  • Vulnerabilities facing refugees, women, youth, people with disabilities and the poor
  • Inequality of opportunity in education, labor markets, or access to services
  • Youth unemployment and school-to-work transitions
  • Obstacles to youth and women’s employment and ways to overcome them
  • Policy drivers of vulnerability
  • Policy solutions for alleviating vulnerability
Program Details

Applicants will propose an independent research topic leading to a publishable research paper relating to the above themes. The August 2018 two-week summer training institute will provide a platform for launching research projects. The four senior scholars mentioned above will participate in the institute as teachers and mentors. They will lead sessions offering expert insights and advice on investigating important research questions and exploring these topics using the growing data infrastructure available through the Economic Research Forum (ERF, http://erf.org.eg/).

Following the first summer institute, participating scholars will receive yearlong support and mentoring through monthly check-ins, peer review and feedback among members in the group. Scholars will be invited to a mid-year three-day workshop in winter 2018/2019 in either Southern Europe or North Africa, where they will present their work and receive feedback and advice on moving forward. It will also serve as an opportunity for scholars to build connections and check-in with mentors in-person.

The final event involved in the fellowship program will be a 2019 summer institute at the University of Minnesota. Fellows will present their research and receive feedback and support in communicating the policy relevance of their studies. The teaching sessions in the 2019 institute will emphasize communication styles and skills required for addressing academic, policy and general public audiences. Fellows will also receive professional copy-editing support for ESL participants in need of language support. By the end of the second summer institute, Fellows will have research papers ready for working-paper publication and journal submission.

Eligibility Requirements

Visiting scholars must be junior scholars, Ph.D. students or recent Ph.D. (within 10 years of completion), who hail from the Arab World. The ideal candidate will be in a social science or related discipline, trained in statistics, econometrics and other quantitative methods, who has experience analyzing household survey data. Such a scholar would have a demonstrated track record of work relating to the above research theme and sub-themes. Applications will be measured according to the relevance and methodological rigor of the research proposal.

Logistical Arrangements and Financial Support

The Fellowship will cover economy class round-trip airfare and will provide the visiting scholar with housing and a stipend to cover expenses while in residence in Minnesota. The duration of the Fellowship is two weeks (July 30 – August 9, 2018). The visiting scholar will be provided with a university ID, access to university libraries and to the internet, and a place to work. Applicants who are selected as Fellows will receive administrative support in obtaining a visa for travel. Over the course of the Fellowship, Fellows will receive financial support of approximately $10,000 (US) for their research.

Application Procedure

Interested candidates should fill out the google form application, accessible through this link: (https://goo.gl/forms/52G6V4K0zR847TKF2). The google form will ask you to upload following application materials:
  • A cover letter (~2 pages total) detailing:
  • The research project the candidate would undertake during the Fellowship, including:
  1. Research question and motivation for examining that topic
  2. Proposed data sources (researchers will receive early access to the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey 2018, with a focus on economic vulnerability)
  3. Proposed methods of analysis
  4. A description of previous research and academic preparation
  • A statement of why and how a fellowship at the University of Minnesota may benefit, deepen, or extend his/her own research
  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • A sample of written work (published paper, conference paper, book chapter, etc.)
Questions concerning eligibility and application details can be sent to Mikki Cookle (olear064@umn.edu).

The application deadline for Fellowship is December 31, 2017
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