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  • Writer's pictureOmran Aburayya

2025 The Inter-American Foundation Research Fellowship Program (up to $20,000 in funding)

If you are a researcher, academic, community practitioner, or policy influencer interested in advancing community-led development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Foundation Research Fellowship Program offers an opportunity to explore and contribute to this field with a significant stipend and a supportive network.

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF), in conjunction with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), welcomes applicants for its new Research Fellowship Program to advance rigorous field-based research on actionable questions about community-led development in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Who is this program for?

The program is particularly suitable for:

Researchers: Individuals who wish to conduct field-based research on community-led development initiatives.

• Academics: Scholars from various disciplines seeking to understand the impact of community-led models.

• Community Practitioners: Members of civil society and grassroots organizations, including youth associations, producer cooperatives, community foundations, faith-based organizations, and others thriving throughout the region.

• Policy Influencers: Those who aim to inform decisions by community-led organizations, the IAF, and other donors and supporters of community-led development.


The IAF Research Fellowship Benefits

Being an Inter-American Foundation (IAF) fellow comes with several benefits that support and enhance the research experience. Here are some of the key advantages:

1). Stipend: Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend to support their research over a twelve-month period.

2). Research Support: The program provides an opportunity to conduct rigorous field-based research on community-led development, reflecting standards and best practices for robust and unbiased results.

3). Orientation Workshop: Fellows participate in a three-day in-person orientation workshop, which helps them prepare for their research journey.

4). Networking: Engagement with the network of Fellows offers a platform for collaboration, sharing insights, and building professional relationships.

5). Impactful Work: The research conducted has the potential to inform decisions by community-led organizations, the IAF, and other donors, contributing to the development and well-being of communities.


Research Topics

The IAF wants to understand whether and how community-led models have brought tangible impacts to their communities over time, and how communities are responding to global trends at a local level. IAF is especially interested in community-led efforts that strive to promote:

  • the generation of economic and other opportunities, particularly for women and youth,

  • effective ways to address the drivers of irregular migration and/or strengthen rootedness and resilience among vulnerable populations,

  • integration of migrants and other displaced populations,

  • responses to chronic violence (including gender-based violence),

  • social cohesion,

  • social inclusion (including of Afro-descendants, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups),

  • sustainable agriculture,

  • disaster resilience,

  • community philanthropy, and

  • other development issues in which communities are vested

The IAF welcomes research proposals that speak to the above development topics using one of the following frames:

  1. Community-led responses that reflect impact, scale, and sustainability

  2. Tenets of community-led development

  3. Local responses to global trends

Head to this webpage for a detailed explanation for the above points.


Deliverables and Requirements

IAF Research Fellows will be required to:

  1. Prepare and submit to the SSRC a Fellowship Report of 1,250 to 2,500 words, within six months of the expiration of the Fellowship Period, that clearly describes the research question, methods, findings, limitation, and implications for practice and/or policy.

  2. Develop at least one short, well-crafted, publishable note for the IAF covering key findings and recommendations for local organizations and funders.

  3. Collaborate with at least one community-based organization in carrying out the field research.

  4. Participate in a three-day in-person Orientation to better understand the IAF, network with IAF staff and other Fellows, and review Fellowship expectations.

  5. Participate in IAF-hosted platforms, such as social media and events.

  6. As required by the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, Fellows conducting research in a country named in the act would need to clear a country narcotics check and certify compliance with anti-narcotics provisions


Eligibility criteria

The inclusion criteria for the IAF Research Fellowship Program is quite relaxed, you only need to be:

  1. A citizen of one of the countries in which the IAF works or the United States

  2. Must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree.

Beyond that, Applicants may be enrolled in a graduate program or they may have completed their education; they may be working within academia as teachers or researchers; they may be working in partnership with community-based organizations; they may be part of an institution; or they may work independently. What matters most is that applicants can demonstrate that they can effectively answer IAF's questions that are the foundation of the report you must write.


Application Procedure

Applicants can apply in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French, and should write in clear, intelligible prose for a selection committee that is multidisciplinary and cross-regional.

Use Times New Roman font, 12-pt., and 1-inch margins. The application consists of:

  1. A standard online application form.

  2. A research abstract (250 words max) that summarizes your proposed research.

  3. An actionable research statement (250 words max) that describes how your findings may inform decisions by a community-led organization, the IAF, and/or other donors and supporters of community-led development.

  4. A personal statement (500 words max) that explains (a) what is motivating or inspiring you to pursue this research project on community-led development, and (b) how the proposed research will contribute to your understanding of the topic at hand.

  5. A research proposal (5 pages max) that covers: Relevance, contribution, methods, and work to date (if any)

  6. A selected bibliography (2 pages max) relevant to the proposed research. You may use whichever standardized citation style (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago) you prefer.

➢ To submit your application, visit the official IAF online application portal

Application Deadline: December 3, 2024, at 9:00pm EST (UTC-5)





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