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Urban Studies Foundation USF International Fellowships

The deadline for applications to this award is 30th April 2021 (23:59 GMT).

Applications are invited to the USF International Fellowship scheme for urban scholars from the Global South. The Fellowship covers the costs of a sabbatical period at a university of the candidate’s choice in the Global North or South for the purpose of writing-up the candidate’s existing research findings in the form of publishable articles and/or a book under the guidance of a chosen mentor in their field of study. Funding is available for a period ranging between 3-9 months, and the proposed research may comprise any theme pertinent to a better understanding of urban realities in the Global South.


Applicants must be early-to-mid career urban scholars with a PhD obtained within the preceding 10 years (by the submission deadline) who currently work in a university or other research institution within the Global South. Candidates must also be nationals of a country in the Global South, defined as any country on the present OECD list of ODA recipients (2021).


The candidate must make suitable arrangements to be mentored by a suitably experienced senior urban scholar at the candidate’s chosen research institution. Further Particulars are available to download here and must be consulted before applying to the scheme. Guidelines for prospective mentors are also available to download here.


The financial support attached to the fellowship will meet accommodation and subsistence needs while staying at the host university, return (economy class) airfare, and assistance towards research costs (including any enrolment fees and other resource costs).

There is also a small budget available for the mentor to assist the Fellow to meet their intended research aims should this be appropriate. Short-listed candidates may also apply for a small amount of limited award support funds to cover either

(a) extra-ordinary care costs, for example, to support any additional care costs for the dependent person(s) incurred during the sabbatical (e.g. children), or

(b) costs arising from disability (see Further Particulars for terms). Fellowships may begin from summer 2021 but must start no later than one year after the application deadline (i.e. before 30th April 2022). Applicants are expected to be notified of an outcome within around one month of the application deadline.


Candidates must complete the online application form below no later than 30th April 2021 (by 23:59 GMT, UK time).

A link to the online application form can be found below, along with an application template (.docx) that may be used for offline preparation beforehand (recommended).

The application must include:

  • Applicant information including contact details, recent education, recent academic roles, and the names and contact details of two academic referees. Both referees should be prepared to submit blind letters of recommendation to the Urban Studies Foundation upon request.

  • Fellowship proposal information including dates, mentorship and host institution arrangements.

  • A draft budget in GBP with main cost items, including documentary evidence for all cost items above GBP 500 uploaded as a single pdf (e.g. flight prices, quotes for accommodation, local cost of living rates, etc.).

  • A proposal (in the English language) that includes: an outline of the planned research (1200 words maximum), intended outputs (300 words maximum), the designation of the host institution (300 words maximum), and a statement of how the candidate’s chosen mentor will support and facilitate the proposed research (300 words maximum).

  • Proof of applicant’s nationality and therefore eligible for the award.

  • Applicant CV listing academic achievements and publications (3 pages maximum).

  • Short CV from the mentor which includes any previous mentoring experience (3 pages maximum).

  • Supporting letter from the prospective mentor stating their willingness to act as a mentor to the fellow, and indicating the suitability of the host institution for the proposed sabbatical study (2 pages maximum).

All candidates should consult the Further Particulars document below before applying to the scheme. Prospective mentors may also find a guidance document below.


" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al