International Affairs Fellowship in India

The Program

The International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in India, created with a grant contributed by Bharti Enterprises, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between rising generations of leaders and thinkers in the United States and India. The program provides mid-career U.S. professionals who have had little or no substantial prior experience in India the opportunity to spend three to twelve months conducting research and working in India. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, journalism, NGOs, and think tanks. While in India, fellows develop a new professional network as well as gain fresh insights and perspectives into the country and the opportunities and challenges that confront the region. CFR will work with its network of contacts to assist selected fellows in finding suitable host organizations that best match the fellow’s proposed work in India. Possible placements include but are not limited to CFR’s local partner, the Centre for Policy Research, the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, or the Institute for Financial Management and Research.

I feel tremendously fortunate to have gotten to spend time working on my research topic, the India-Russia relationship, for a few months on this fellowship. But more than that, I feel luckier than I will ever be able to put into words to have gotten to spend time in India.
Emily Tamkin, Freelance Reporter (2019–20 IAF in India)


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be mid-career professionals.
  • Applicants must possess a strong record of professional achievement.
  • Although the program is intended primarily for those without substantial prior experience in India, exceptions have been made when an applicant has demonstrated that the fellowship would add a significant new dimension to his or her career.

Fellowship Award

The fellowship runs between three and twelve months. The program awards a stipend of $90,000 for a period of twelve months (or a prorated amount if the duration is shorter) as well as a modest travel allowance. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.

CFR will work with the selected fellows to place them in suitable host organizations. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.

Fellowship placement in 2022–23 will depend on health conditions allowing travel to, and residence in, the host country.

The program gave me access to meet with leaders and senior officials in almost every field and I took full advantage of building a deeper understanding of India. It’s hard to imagine a better opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most consequential countries in the world.
Luke A. Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, State of Connecticut (2008–09 IAF in India)

Selection Process

Selection as an IAF in India is based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • scholarly qualifications
  • professional experience
  • firm grounding in foreign policy
  • merits and feasibility of a project proposal that relates to U.S.-India relations
  • character and personal qualities conducive to promoting cross-cultural communication and cooperation

The selection process is highly competitive. Based on the overall application, the selection committee chooses one to four candidates to be fellows.

How to Apply

Interested candidates who meet the program’s eligibility requirements can apply online between July 1 and October 31 on an annual basis. 

2021–22 Fellows

Affiliations at the time of award

Tricia Bacon
Tricia Bacon

Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, American University

Kimberly Dozier
Kimberly Dozier

Contributor, TIME Magazine, and CNN Global Affairs Analyst

William Spindle
William Spindle

Freelance Journalist


A list of former fellows can be found online by visiting the Historical Roster of CFR’s International Affairs Fellows in India.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

[email protected]