CAPRS Non-Residential Fellowship

Further scholarly research related to forced displacement in Asia Pacific 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 papers / products.

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 during, which will be organized 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.

Application Deadline: Tuesday 31 May 2022.

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 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 thesis including contribution to existing scholarship, justification, methodology, results, discussion.Project
  • Policy paper proposal: anticipated outcome, details of action-oriented project.
  • University support: Letter from university advisor supporting 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.

Please apply through this link.

2021 NRF Fellows

Dr Tracey Donehue

Dr Tracey Donehue is a PhD graduate from the UNSW School of Education. Her doctoral research was a participatory action research project with teachers in Indonesia focused on facilitating language teacher identities for unqualified teachers experiencing urban transitory displacement. She has five years’ experience as a teacher trainer and mentor for refugee teachers in Indonesia, and prior to that worked as an educator for Save the Children in the Australian Government detention centres on Nauru. She completed her Master of Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Her Master's thesis applied an identity theoretical framework to the issue of displacement, utilising a critical discourse analysis approach to the ascribed identities imposed on her former students on Nauru.

Tracey currently resides in Laos, though she regularly visited Indonesia, prior to COVID-19 restrictions, in her capacity as the GED Support Project manager for the Bogor region. Tracey established the GEDSP in 2018 as the first program to support people experiencing displacement in Indonesia to access formal education credentials. The GEDSP is supported by UNHCR Indonesia, and is currently being replicated in other sites of urban transitory displacement where people are systematically excluded from formal education. Tracey is passionate about the transformative potential of education for people in marginalising situations, both as a means of enhancing their current psycho-social well-being, as well as broadening the range of their future opportunities.

As part of her Fellowship, Tracey published a briefing paper entitled 'Thinking outside the box: The GED® diploma as an alternative formal education pathway for secondary and adult refugee students in sites of education exclusion'. This paper explores the General Education Development Support Project (GEDSP) as an alternative pathway to formal education credentials. It provides recommendations for how various stakeholders can support the sustainability and scalability of GEDSP initiatives to expand avenues for refugee education.

Dr Grant Mitchell

Dr Grant Mitchell was one of CAPRS inaugural Fellows as part of our 2021-2022 cohort. He has extensive experience in international refugee and asylum policy, including working with civil society, UN bodies, and governments in Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East on the development and implementation of alternatives to immigration detention.

Grant served for 10 years as the Director of the International Detention Coalition (IDC), a global civil society network working to secure the rights of people impacted by immigration detention. He has previously worked with the Swedish Migration Board, the Australian Red Cross, was a founding Board member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), and is a recipient of the Australian Human Rights Award for his work to secure the release of women and children from immigration detention. He currently serves as a Board Director of Uniting, the largest community service organisation in Australia.

A social anthropologist, his recent PhD thesis focused on how civil society can effectively engage governments for rights-based policy change. The model of effective engagement he developed has been “a new, original, and potentially life-changing contribution” for human rights advocacy.

Grant's NRF project focussed on the development of a Practice Guide for Civil Society: Engaging decision-makers on human rights issues. This was designed as a practical introductory tool aimed at students through to practitioners who want to build their confidence and capacity to engage decision-makers on human rights issues. The Guide draws upon lessons learned in the field of forced displacement, and the examples and exercises throughout highlight this in relation to immigration detention. It includes data drawn from his PhD thesis research that covered 16 countries across all regions and looked at the benefits, barriers, and creative approaches utilised by civil society to enhance decision-maker consideration of rights-based policy alternatives.

Dr Farhana Rahman

Dr Farhana Rahman received her PhD from the University of Cambridge, Centre for Gender Studies. Through feminist ethnographic research, Farhana’s PhD focused on how the mass exodus of the Rohingya community to the refugee camps outside of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, has transformed Rohingya gender relations and roles in displacement – specifically, how forced migration has affected the gendered subjectivities and lived experiences of Rohingya refugee women. Her peer-reviewed articles and chapters have been published in various journals and edited volumes, including Journal of Refugee Studies, Feminist Review, and Journal of International Women’s Studies.

Farhana is a Fellow at the Harvard University Asia Center and is also co-founder of Silkpath Relief Organization (, a non-profit providing humanitarian assistance to individuals devastated by calamities – in Afghanistan, and with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia. In 2015, she helped establish the first academic program in gender studies in Afghanistan, based at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, where she was a lecturer. Since 2014, she has worked as a consultant providing technical expertise and trainings on gender equality, social policy, and human rights for various projects with UN Women, UNDP, and USAID in Asia and Africa. For her extensive research and work in the field of gender and development, Farhana was the 2021 recipient of the Paula Kantor Award from the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).

Farhana's NRF briefing paper evaluates women’s exposure to, and contact with, the NGO industry and gender programming in Cox's Bazar Bangladesh and how this directly impacts and transforms gender asymmetries. This report will specifically target humanitarian aid agencies and NGOs that implement gender equality and women’s empowerment projects amongst Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, with the goal of addressing the inadequacy of these agencies’ gender programming.

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 experieced 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 

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 2022, we will support up to four fellows. Stay in touch with CAPRS for future opportunities via our newsletter and our website.