The Academy Asfari fellowships are a joint initiative of Chatham House and the Asfari Foundation. The purpose of this fellowship is to offer potential and established leaders from the Middle East the opportunity to further develop their understanding, ideas and approaches on the most pressing challenges facing the Arab world. Fellows will have the chance to advance their knowledge, develop research skills and build links with the policy, academic and other communities in the UK and more widely.

Chatham House will provide a dynamic base within which the fellows can pursue their own research interests; further develop their personal interaction, communication, and leadership skills; extend their global networks; and deepen their expertise by contributing to the institute’s research and activities. This experience will inform the fellows’ contributions to improved regional and national decision-making on issues of great relevance to prosperity and security in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Call for applications 

The 2016/17 application window is now closed. The next call for applications will open in spring 2017.

Academy Asfari fellowships are open to citizens of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine or Syria, and displaced citizens of these countries living elsewhere in the Middle East. Candidates should be engaged in, or working with, civil society in these countries, whether they come from academia, NGOs, business, government departments, or the media. The fellowships are available for either an Academy fellow, a term of 12 months, or an Academy senior fellow position, a term of six months. 

Academy Asfari fellowships are open to individuals at the mid-stage of their career. The fellowships offer a comprehensive programme of activities at the institute and will work towards producing a Chatham House publication from their research. This new generation of emerging leaders will bring fresh insights to debates on critical issues for their region, while gaining a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities of a competitive yet interdependent world.

Academy Asfari senior fellowships are open to individuals at a more advanced stage in their career. The senior fellowships are six months in duration. These fellowships will provide an opportunity for established thought leaders to undertake a targeted research project of their own design, bring their particular expertise and perspective to UK and Western policy and public debates, consolidate their leadership skills and contribute to the life of the institute more generally.

Research topics

The parameters for the research themes have been designed in broad terms to allow applicants to devise a project that appeals to their own research interests.

The fellows are hosted by and based in research teams at Chatham House. During the fellowship, the fellow will conduct a research project of their own design. ​Below are examples from the spring 2016 call for applications, however please note that these are likely to change for the spring 2017 call for applications.

Research topic with the International Law Programme:

  • Law and war: promoting respect and improving compliance

Research topics with the International Security Department:

  • Cultural property protection and its role in conflict 
  • Internet governance in the Middle East 
  • The delivery of humanitarian aid in areas occupied by non-state armed groups

Research topics with the Middle East and North Africa Programme:

  • Youth participation in Palestine 
  • Reconstruction and state-building in Iraq


Should you have any further queries please contact us at [email protected]

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