Indonesia Research Fellowships

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Research Fellows Program. Kindly note that the Fellows Program  has been temporarily deferred for one year and that all applicants will be provided with an opportunity to revise and resubmit their research applications in a future academic year when we reissue the Call for Research Fellow Applications. 

Bird statueThe Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Indonesia Program invites Indonesian researchers, academics, and practitioners to apply for Indonesia Research Fellowships in order to pursue independent research projects at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, which is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. Made possible through the generous support of the Rajawali Foundation, this research fellowship opportunity allows successful applicants to join a lively community of researchers working on Asia-related issues.

  • Appointments will run for one full academic year, from August 1, 2015, to May 31, 2016.
  • With instructor approval, Research Fellows may audit classes at the Harvard Kennedy School or other Harvard schools.
  • Research Fellows will receive a certificate upon completion, but no degrees will be conferred.
  • Research Fellows will receive shared office space within the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge (outside Boston, Massachusetts).
  • Research Fellows will have access to the library system of Harvard University.
  • For Research Fellows, HKS will pay for appropriate housing, health insurance, and a modest living stipend. HKS will not provide international transportation or pay for pre-departure costs. (If accepted, Research Fellows are encouraged to seek financial support from their employers or other sponsors for these items.)

Criteria and Expectations

Research Fellowships may be focused on individual research or institutional development, as follows:

a) Research Fellows may pursue significant in-depth research in their areas of academic and/or professional expertise, including but not limited to: completing dissertation research and writing (for pre-doc Fellows); publishing articles following a dissertation (for postdoc Fellows); or completing an applied policy analysis of areas of professional expertise (for Practitioner Fellows).

b) Research Fellows may be representatives of research institutions or universities in Indonesia, and may use the fellowship to explore areas of academic development and collaboration such as curriculum development and case study development. Key is that the proposed work clearly strengthens the institutional capabilities of the host institution for teaching or researching public policy in Indonesia.

Fellows must be fluent in both written and spoken English. All fellows will be expected to participate in research seminars, produce a ten-page written paper summarizing their research (ideally published before completion of research fellowship period), and make at least two presentations about their research: one presentation on work in progress and one full presentation at the end of their fellowship period.

Indonesian Research Fellowships are open to candidates from government, academia, and independent research communities. Fellows usually fall into one of the following categories: Pre-Doc Fellow, Post-Doc Fellow, or Senior Practitioner. Although proposals for one semester of research may be considered, preference will be given to research proposals that represent ambitious and significant work over two semesters (one full academic year).

Strong proposals in any aspect of public policy will be considered, and candidates should feel free to propose research questions that are meaningful based on their area of expertise and their analysis of the challenges in Indonesia. Applicants are encouraged to review the 2010 HKS analysis of the Indonesian political economy, which encourages further study of 1) institutional transformation; 2) opportunities and challenges in globalization; 3) equity and opportunity; 4) improving public infrastructure services; 5) investing in human capital; and 6) political economy of reform. This report is also available in Bahasa Indonesia under the title Indonesia Menentukan Nasib: Dari Reformasi ke Transformasi Kelembagaan.

For Academic Year 2015-16, preference will be given where possible to candidates whose proposed research is linked to one of the following areas:

  • Local governments and governance in Indonesia, including the quality of public service delivery, competitiveness of local governments, economic or policy analysis of corruption, and identity politics
  • Economic and/or policy analysis of transportation and urban infrastructure in Indonesia, including public-private partnerships for infrastructure, improvements to public transportation, and other issues affecting the economic productivity and quality of life in Indonesia’s cities
  • Social policy in Indonesia, including effectiveness of social safety net programs, national strategy for poverty reduction, and local government experience with service provision for vulnerable populations
  • Energy development, including energy policy, energy markets, environmental policy, climate change, and carbon trading, or sustainability
  • Transparency and accountability in government
  • Islam and democracy
  • Strategic development of academic programs in Indonesia that teach public policy

Application and Deadlines

Candidates should apply by April 15, 2015 for the Indonesian Research Fellowships for the period August 2015 to May 2016. (Deadlines for the period August 2016 to June 2017 will be announced later at

To apply, please prepare the following materials:

1. Cover page with name, contact information, and affiliation.

2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae, including any publishing history.

3. Three letters of recommendation. One must be from a supervisor or host institution providing a strong rationale of why this candidate should be chosen; what her/his role is in terms of academic and programmatic leadership within the hosting institution; and how she/he will contribute to accelerating reform in Indonesia over the long term.

4. Proposal of 5-10 pages describing research or project to be conducted during this Research Fellowship:

  • Main policy questions to be examined
  • Value to Indonesia
  • Relevant literature and data
  • Research methodology to be used
  • Results to be achieved
  • Relationship of this proposed Research Fellowship to any previous or future research, including any internationally-published research
  • Relationship of this proposed Research Fellowship to accelerating reform in Indonesia

Please send the application materials via email to with “Research Fellow Application” in the subject line, no later than 5:00 pm (Cambridge local time) on April 15, 2015.

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