CAPRS Non-Residential Fellowship

Further scholarly research related to forced displacement in the Asia Pacific region by converting your existing research into action-oriented policy papers through this fellowship.

About the programme

The University of Auckland’s Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS) focuses on generating evidence-based and high-impact research to support persons forcibly displaced by climate or conflict.

To further this mission, CAPRS offers the Non-Residential Fellowship (NRF), an opportunity focused on supporting the conversion of existing research to impact-oriented policy papers across the Asia Pacific. More specifically, the program is to create a supportive platform for scholars who have already completed a masters or doctoral thesis related to forced displacement in the Asia Pacific region – with a focus on converting their research into action-oriented impact.

NRF fellows receive a NZ $12,500 stipend over a six-month period to support them to convert their masters/PhD thesis into an action-oriented policy paper / product.

Each fellow will be assigned a mentor to work with them during the fellowship. Professional development seminars will be held during the fellowship to support fellows in their work. These seminars will provide guidance on research impact, working with the media, communicating findings across different audiences, and fostering the mentor/mentee relationship.

Fellows will be required to have completed their policy paper conversion by the end of the fellowship period. In addition, Fellows will be expected to present their findings and recommendations to key stakeholders through a virtual forum at the end of the Programme.

Fellows will also attend a special workshop on academic publishing, which will be organised by Routledge, a global publisher of academic books, journals and online resources in the humanities and social sciences.

This fellowship programme has been sponsored by CAPRS' partner institution, Potato Productions Singapore.

Further information can be found here.

Applications for 2023 have closed. The next round of applications will be advertised in mid-2024.

Eligibility criteria

  • Must have recently completed and received qualifications in either masters or PhD studies.
  • Must conduct their work in the Asia Pacific and be pertinent to the wider region.
  • Must convert research that is explicitly related to displacement. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
    • Education in emergencies
      • May include access at the primary, secondary, or tertiary level
    • Inclusive education for forcibly displaced communities
      • May include factors based on race, disability, neurodivergent, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
    • Climate change induced displacement
    • Role of gender and sexuality in displaced and refugee communities
    • Effects of COVID-19 on displaced and refugee communities
    • Mental health of displaced people in host communities
    • Work opportunities post displacement
    • Government responses and attitudes towards newly arrived refugees and its impact on opinions of the general population
    • Cultural Heritage “on the move” – Intangible cultural heritage of displaced communities
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have lived experience of forced displacement.

Application requirements

  • 1 page CV: format with selected articles, current status, education background, work experience (where applicable)
  • Thesis Synopsis: Summary of your thesis including contribution to existing scholarship, justification, methodology, results, discussion.
  • Policy paper proposal: anticipated outcome, details of anticipated action-oriented project.
  • University support: Letter from a university advisor that supports your project.
    • This letter will speak to the applicant’s research and work in their field of interest. The applicant may select who is best suited to provide this letter.

Our 2023/2024 NRF Fellows

Dr Betty Barkha

Betty Barkha, hailing from the Fiji Islands, presently serves as a Research Fellow at the Global Institute for Women in Leadership at the Australian National University. Her academic journey culminated in a PhD, titled "Cascading Tides, Invading Lives," which centers on scrutinizing the Gendered impacts of Climate Change-Induced Displacement and Planned Relocation in Fiji. Employing Pacific research methodologies through an intersectional feminist perspective, her work delves into the intricate interplay of factors such as gender, ethnicity, religion, and structural constructs in shaping diverse experiences of climate mobility. Within this context, Betty explores the reinforcement and mitigation of gender inequalities in state-led responses to planned relocation and displacement. Betty also worked alongside the team of experts at the UNSW Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law in developing the first draft of the Pacific Regional Climate Mobility Framework.

She has over a decade of experience working with development organizations in Asia and the Pacific, and is a member of several boards and advisory groups. Notable roles include her tenure as the Pacific Gender Equality, Disability & Social Inclusion Technical Advisor for Save the Children Australia and previous positions at Human Rights Watch, FHI 360, and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD). Betty is also the co-chair of the board for the International Women's Development Agency (IWDA) and an advisor to FRIDA Young Feminist Fund and the Global Resilience Fund for Women and Girls. Her leadership contributions extend to previous board positions with the CIVICUS Alliance and the Association of Women in Development (AWID).

Dr Betty's research interests include gender, climate change, displacement, and social inclusion. She is committed to using her research to inform policy and practice that can help to protect the rights of women and girls affected by climate change. Dr Betty also has a Master of Arts in Sociology and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology.

Dr Emily Miller

Dr Miller is a researcher whose work focuses on migration and settlement for people from refugee and non-refugee migrant backgrounds. Since 2016 she has been involved with several research projects investigating settlement experiences in Australia, with an emphasis on engagement with participants’ communities and service providers working with them. Her research examines the experiences of adults and young people in relation to overall settlement, social determinants of health, feelings of belonging or discrimination, cultural change and adaptation, health and wellbeing, family relationships and challenges, and employment.

Emily has a background working with high school students in a range of roles, including as a teacher. She built on these experiences in her PhD, examining experiences in high school for young people from refugee backgrounds in South Australia. This research emphasised engagement with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, their families, and educators working in high school settings. Dr Miller was awarded the university-wide Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize for most outstanding PhD thesis at the University of South Australia. In her broader work, Dr Miller has conducted research across a wide range of topics and in different contexts, including in university settings, with services providers, employers, and government, in Australia, Canada and the United States of America. She is motivated to conduct research that can amplify the voices of marginalised groups, to effectively communicate research findings and provide evidence that informs policy and practice.

Emily’s ancestors migrated to Australia from Ireland and Scotland in the nineteenth century. Although she identifies as Australian, she recognises that these lands are the unceded territories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She lives and works on the Country of the Kaurna Nation and pays respects to Kaurna Elders.

Dr Asher Hirsch 

Dr Asher Hirsch is a Senior Policy Officer with the Refugee Council of Australia, the national peak body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. His work over nine years has involved research, policy development and advocacy on national and international issues impacting refugee communities, including at the Australian Parliament and in national and international media.

Asher is also a Lecturer at Monash University in public law, human rights, and refugee law, and has taught at a number of other universities. Asher has also worked with Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia, the Human Rights Law Centre and the Centre for Multicultural Youth.

Asher holds a PhD in law from Monash University, as well as a Juris Doctor, Master of Human Rights Law, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Bachelor of Arts. His PhD focused on Australia’s externalisation policies in Southeast Asia. It investigated Australia’s externalisation policies in cooperation with Indonesia and the International Organisation for Migration which aim to stop asylum seekers from reaching Australian territory. It examined Australia's legal responsibility for refugees in Indonesia, arguing that Australia cannot escape responsibility for human rights violations of refugees by outsourcing migration controls to Indonesia. This research is vital, as other countries seek to emulate Australia’s externalisation policies to prevent access to asylum and attempt to evade responsibility for refugees.

He has published over 20 peer-reviewed academic papers, including an edited book on Refugee Externalisation Policies, together with Dr Amy Nethery and Professor Azadeh Dastyari.

NRF 2023 Academic Symposium

Meeting the ‘Dual Imperative’: Working towards solutions for displacement in the Asia Pacific through policy-oriented research

To mark the closing stages of the 2022-2023 CAPRS NRF Fellowship, and to support Fellows to finalise their papers, CAPRS in partnership with the Kaldor Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia hosted a Symposium entitled "Meeting the ‘Dual Imperative’: Working towards solutions for displacement in the Asia Pacific through policy-oriented research".

Research in refugee and forced migration studies has often been characterised by a ‘dual imperative’ whereby researchers seek to be both academically rigorous while at the same time relevant to policymakers and displaced communities. Yet, what are the practical steps researchers can take to meet this dual imperative and more strategically translate their research into policy and practice? And what are the implications of this policy-oriented focus for research related to refugees and displacement?

Held on 27-28 April, this symposium offered an opportunity to examine these questions with a focus on research that seeks to address displacement in the Asia Pacific. The symposium also showcased research findings and policy recommendations of scholars working on protection issues in the region and prompted discussion as to how this research can go beyond the realm of academia and engage in and influence policy and practice. The focus on the Asia Pacific is significant given the limited availability of solutions for displaced populations and the increasing number of people experiencing protracted displacement in the region.

Day 1: Watch the recording

Day 2: Watch the recording

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to apply?

Recently graduated students holding a masters or PhD diploma whose thesis focused on an area of displacement in Asia Pacific. Applicants who have experienced forced displacement are strongly encouraged to apply. 

How can I apply?

Fill out the application for this fellowship by following this link.

The dates of the fellowship don't work for me, can I propose new dates?

Unfortunately, all fellowships must begin and end around the same time, and we do not accept rolling applications. We will be providing this opportunity on a yearly basis and you are welcome to apply in a future round.

I am not based in Asia Pacific, but my research focuses on displacement in Asia Pacific, can I apply?

Yes! As long as the research is specific to this region, you can still apply.

I am based in Asia Pacific, but my research has a global focus, can I apply?

The research must be specific to this region. You may contact NRF Programme Coordinator, Evan Jones, at to further discuss if your area of focus is eligible. 

My research focuses on displacement in Asia Pacific but is not listed as a possible topic, can I still apply?

Yes, we welcome other areas of focus for consideration.

How will the fellowship work be structured?

Every fellow will be able to structure their work as best suits their schedule and in conversation with their mentor. This opportunity is geared to fit in with other research and work obligations fellows may have.

When will I hear back about the status of my application?

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted approximately three weeks after the closing date, for interviews with the selection committee. Final selections will be made a couple of weeks later. 

How many fellows will be supported through this opportunity?

In 2023, we will support up to four fellows. Stay in touch with CAPRS for future opportunities via our newsletter and our website.