CAPRS Non-Residential Fellowship

Further scholarly research related to forced displacement in Asia Pacific by converting your work 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-based situations. To further this mission, CAPRS is proud to introduce the Non-Residential Fellowship (NRF), an opportunity focused on supporting impact-oriented research across the Asia Pacific. The goal of this 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 $12,000 stipend over a six-month period to support them to convert their masters/PhD thesis into an action-oriented policy papers.
Each fellow has been assigned a mentor to work with them during the fellowship period (October 2021 - April 2022). Professional development seminars will be held prior to the start of the fellowship. 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 and attend a virtual Forum which will be co-hosted with Kaldor Centre at the University of New South Wales, where fellows will present their findings and recommendations to key stakeholders. CAPRS may provide additional funding to support the fellows in holding meetings and workshops with key stakeholders (government officials, NGOs, etc) in their research area and across Asia Pacific.

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.

2021 NRF Fellows

Tracey Donehue

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 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.

Dr Grant Mitchell

Dr Grant Mitchell 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.

Grant is currently a fellow at the Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS) at the University of Auckland and 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.

Dr Farhana Rahman

Dr. Farhana Rahman received her PhD from the University of Cambridge, Centre for Gender Studies, funded by the Cambridge International Trust, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund, amongst others. 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).

Frequently asked questions

Who was eligible to apply?

Recently graduated students holding a masters or PhD diploma whose thesis focused on an area of displacement in Asia Pacific. 

How can I apply in the future?

The next round of Non-Residential Fellowships will be announced in due course. Please check back regularly for updates.

What are the dates of the upcoming fellowships? Do you accept rolling applications?

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. 

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. 

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 2021, CAPRS is supporting three fellows through the NRF. Stay in touch with CAPRS for future opportunities via our newsletter.