USAIDResearch Fellowship Announcement: Fellowships to Support an Enabling Legal Framework for Civil Society in the Middle East/North Africa

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are pleased to announce the availability of 2 new research fellowships. The fellowships will provide the opportunity to travel to ICNL’s office in Amman, Jordan for 2-3 weeks during May/June/July 2013 to conduct research on the legal framework for civil society.  The fellowships are open to applicants from Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen.

This is an action-oriented fellowship. It is designed to provide opportunities to engage practitioners and scholars to advance the legal environment for civil society by providing them with: support and expertise of ICNL’s international staff; access to our extensive library of NGO legal materials; and meetings with NGO representatives, academics and others in Amman, Jordan. ICNL will cover the cost of travel to and from Amman, Jordan as well as room and board for the agreed-upon time period. No honorarium will be offered.

Application Instructions

To apply for the Research Fellowship, applicants must submit the following items in English or Arabic:

  1. Application coversheet;
  2. Proposal; and
  3. Resume, Curriculum Vitae (CV), or other statement of work history and education.


In three pages or less, please address the following topics:

  1. Your past or present experience on issues relating to the legal framework for civil society;
  2. The issue(s) you would like to research through the Fellowship;
  3. Your research design/methodology, including:
    1. the work product you intend to produce through the fellowship (e.g., a research paper, an assessment of your country’s legal framework and recommendations for reform, etc., that may be written in Arabic or English);
    2. the research you will undertake before arriving in Amman, Jordan;
    3. the research you plan to undertake while in Amman, Jordan; and
    4. your plans to disseminate your research upon your return home;
  4. How your Fellowship will contribute to the development of the legal environment for civil society in your country;
  5. Your interest and commitment to remaining engaged on the legal framework for civil society upon your return home; and
  6. Any conflicts you have that would prevent you from being able to travel to Amman, Jordan in May, June, or July 2013.

Note Regarding Research Proposals:

The topic proposed must relate to the legal environment for civil society (e.g., the rules governing the establishment, operation, or sustainability of NGOs, NGO-government relations, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, etc.). Illustrative research projects might include: an assessment of your country’s legal framework for civil society and recommendations for reform; an analysis, from an international perspective, of a draft law affecting civil society; comparative analysis of an issue of regional concern; or, an analysis of how to improve the implementation of legislation affecting civil society in your country.  This is a non-exhaustive, illustrative list of possible research projects.  You are welcome and encouraged to propose other research projects to advance the legal framework for civil society in your country or region.

Please note that research will be required of all fellowship recipients prior to arriving in Amman, Jordan, and participants that choose to undertake a two-week fellowship will be expected to conduct considerably more research.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  1. Compliance with eligibility requirements and application procedures;
  2. Demonstrated interest and experience relating to the legal environment for civil society;
  3. Quality of the proposed research project, including the significance of the issue to be studied, research methodology/design, feasibility of the project, and likelihood that the Fellowship will help advance the legal framework for civil society in the applicant’s country.
  4. Commitment to continue working on civil society legal issues for a minimum of 12 months upon the applicant’s return home, and ability to effect change based upon leadership potential.
  5. USAID’s concurrence.

This initiative is only open to applicants from Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen.

ICNL may offer fellowship follow-up grants to fellows based on a grant request to be completed during the fellowship; therefore, a separate application is not necessary and will not be considered at this time.  Grants may be offered to support in-country follow-up work, such as in-country meetings, roundtables or workshops, as well as publications or technical assistance activities.  Grant applications will be considered in conjunction with USAID, and by offering a fellowship ICNL is not obligated to offer a follow-up grant.

Fellows’ Obligations

Fellows are required to agree to all terms of the fellowship, including a commitment to 1) complete a research project; 2) spend 2-3 weeks in Amman, Jordan; and 3) continue work in the field of civil society law reform in the fellow’s home country for a minimum of 12 months following the visit to Amman, Jordan.  

Work products produced by the Fellows may be subject to USAID Branding and Marking requirements.

How to Apply

Interested applicants can apply by submitting the application form and all required documents in English or Arabic by April 15, 2013. Applications should be submitted by email to ICNL Administrative Officer Lana Marouf at