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Two Fellowships on Women’s Empowerment in Eurasia, University of Oxford

Publish Date: Sep 08, 2016

Deadline: Sep 24, 2016

Programme Description

International Gender Studies (IGS) Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for two fellowships for research into women’s empowerment in Eurasia, generously funded by the Open Society Foundations - Eurasia Program. Eurasia is defined in this programme to include parts of Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine), the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).

The Global Dialogues & Women’s Empowerment in Eurasian Contexts Feminist Mentoring (WEF) Programme will provide opportunities for intellectual engagement, critical education and political empowerment of women from Central Asia and South Caucasus countries to enable them to become transformative leaders in their own societies and as global citizens. The Fellowship Programme will be implemented under the aegis of the International Gender Study Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, UK.

Our Programme is dedicated to two interconnected goals, the facilitation of the Fellows toward authoritative and leadership roles, and inculcating the importance of intellectual processes in bringing about social change, principally through critical education and political empowerment. As a secondary but highly important goal each Fellow will produce a single academic/conceptual or policy-oriented paper to be published by IGS. The purpose of the Programme is to investigate difficult and important issues that societies in these regions face in social and economic justice from a gendered perspective. The Programme will be both taught and independent research-based.

The Programme will balance academic programming with applied mentoring reflecting a holistic approach, developing both intellectual and professional skills. Fellows will take courses at the International Gender Studies Centre, with options such as 'Feminist analyses of power, empowerment and diversity', ' Gender violence and institutional transformation', ' Gender, development, and the state', and others.

Fellows are expected to take full advantage of the Foundations’ expansive reach and work to bring new people and fresh ideas into its organizational ambit. Successful projects should push the boundaries of current thinking and carry lessons that can be applied to a variety of settings. In addition to their conceptual/academic or policy paper described above, Fellows may produce work that may be later developed into a variety of products, including publications such as books, reports, or blogs; innovative public-education projects; or the launch of new campaigns or organizations. They should also be prepared to engage in activities such as hosting panel discussions, traveling to conferences, participating in policy debates, and actively promoting their ideas in public venues during and after the programme. The Programme will support the fellows financially in the production and dissemination of their research.

Programme Details

Applications are due by email by midnight (GMT) on 24th of September 2016. Short-listed candidates will be contacted by 28th of September for letters of reference and if advisable for phone interviews. If a letter of reference is requested, these must be emailed to IGS no later than midnight (GMT) on the 9th of October. Open Society Foundations’ approval of the selections will be sought prior to offers of place. Successful candidates will be notified by the 12th of October and should be prepared to immediately begin the visa application process. IGS will provide guidance throughout this process. Successful applicants will arrive in Oxford in advance of the beginning of Hilary Term 2017 (starting 15 January), on or around January 8, and will depart Oxford by July 31st. Trinity Term ends on the 17th of June and applicants are expected to remain until towards the end of July to prepare their work for publication.

The Hilary Term will consist of a course-based programme located at Lady Margaret Hall. Fellows will be in class for a maximum of three days every week and will be expected to prepare for seminars by reading from a provided reading list and completing writing projects assigned by course tutors. In the period between academic terms, Fellows will be expected to carry out a small period of field work. Due to the limited time-scale of the programme, the field work is not meant to draw main conclusions for the paper but will provide context and offer the opportunity for exploration of researchsites that may serve the basis for future projects. In Trinity Term Fellows will complete any remaining field work and write-up the document. The Fellows will be expected to contribute as a presenter in the Trinity Term IGS seminar series and will give one additional presentation in Oxford.

Fellowship Support

Successful applicants will be supported in accessing accommodation in Oxford, applying for a visa, and applying for medical insurance. They will be informed of opportunities and resources available within the wider University. Fellows will have access to the University of Oxford main libraries, the Bodleian, as well as College library access at Lady Margaret Hall. They will carry out their independent work in one of the many Oxford libraries and attend classes at Lady Margaret Hall. They will receive financial support for most research-related expenses (travel, accommodation, registration costs, etc.).

Fellows will receive a living and accommodation stipend commensurate with Oxford living expenses. In addition to the stipend, fellows will receive a project budget. That budget will include most expenses such as in-country travel (including airfare and hotel), visa costs, conference fees and health insurance. The purpose of the fellowship is to support individual fellows; therefore the program will only cover individual expenses and cannot support the families or dependents of Fellows. Fellows must not engage in paid employment while in the UK for the duration of this Fellowship, in order that they focus exclusively on opportunities and responsibilities associated with the Programme.

Eligibility Criteria

The proposed Fellowship Programme seeks to equip Fellows for the important task of making a difference in their home societies through individual intellectual and political empowerment. Aimed at creative thinkers and social change makers from the Eurasian region who have already attained a high level of University education, the Programme will select Fellows in consideration of their past accomplishments and for their potential in leadership roles. Accomplishments and potential may be demonstrated through engagements in the public and private spheres of activism, which may also be in the religious domain, and in both academic and civil society institutions. Its purpose is the enhancement of Fellows’ aptitude to participate in regional and global discourses and activity on cultural, political, social and economic issues, always from within informed, gender-critical perspectives.

Applicants should possess a deep understanding of their chosen subject and a track record of professional accomplishment. Fellows might have worked as journalists, activists, academics, and practitioners in a variety of fields, but they are expected to have obtained an advanced degree and be able to give proof of an impressive academic record. Priority will be given to candidates who have attained a PhD and also worked successfully in an activist capacity. Successful applicants will be eager to utilize the many resources offered by IGS, LMH, and the Open Society Foundations and be prepared to engage constructively with and within our global networks.

Applicants must meet the following essential criteria:

  • Citizenship and ordinary residency in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan
  • Except in special circumstances, at minimum candidates must have attained a PhD qualification and hold other qualifications that demonstrate formal and informal research experience
  • Proof of competence in written and spoken English (Support for improving English language skills may be provided by the Language Learning Centre at Oxford)
  • Established contributions to gender equality and demonstrated experience working in the area of women’s empowerment in the Eurasian Region (while the Fellowship Programme is explicitly committed to female empowerment, both male and female candidates are welcome to apply)

Ineligibility Criteria

The fellowship does not fund enrolment for a degree or for study as part of a degree programme. The applicant must meet all conditionalities met in the Essential Criteria list above. The applicant must be able to take up the position from January 2017 - July 2017. This successful applicant must be able to enter into a commitment to the programme following notification and must be available to begin the visa application process immediately.


Application Check-List

The candidate must email the following documents to no later than midnight (GMT) on 24th of September 2016.

  • A personal note stating reason for application (one page)
  • Brief listing of biographical information (name, age, gender, contact address, email, nationality, country of residence)
  • A full CV (Times New Roman 12pt font, single-spaced, one-inch margins)
  • A research proposal; Candidates must submit a preliminary RESEARCH PROPOSAL of no more than 500 words, outlining the Candidate’s objectives for the Fellowship. The document should indicate the significance of the fellowship to the applicant’s research project and demonstrate the fit between the research proposal and the intellectual resources available at the International Gender Studies Centre. A fully-developed research plan is not mandatory. Rather, do indicate your primary area of research and initial ideas. What kind of outcomes do you expect to work for (e.g., an academic working paper, policy report, or a critical state of the field overview in your outlined area of interest)?
  • In the first round, you are required only to submit the names and contact information of two referees. If you are notified that your application has made the shortlist, one Letter of Recommendation must be written by an academic supervisor with knowledge of your academic strengths, and the other should be written by a referee with knowledge of your civil society engagement (for example, the Executive Director of an organization, or the Editor of a news journal). Letters should make reference to the relationship with the candidate, and should include an appraisal of the candidate’s qualifications for a Fellowship position.

In Case of Questions

Applicants who are uncertain whether their qualifications fit within the Programme’s focus are invited to submit a brief letter of inquiry, accompanied by a CV, before proceeding with the full application process. The letter of inquiry should be addressed to Dr Maria Jaschok at Inquiries regarding any other matters related to the logistics of the programme should contact Ms Karen McCallum at

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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Host Countries

United Kingdom