International Affairs Fellowship in India

International Affairs Fellowship in India

The Program

The Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in India, with a grant contributed by Bharti, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between rising generations of leaders and thinkers in the United States and India. The program provides for one to four 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 the CFR’s local partner, the Centre for Policy Research; the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses; or the Institute for Financial Management and Research.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens
  • Applicants must be mid-career professionals
  • Applicants must possess a strong record of professional achievement
  • While 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


  • Applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree

Fellowship Award

The duration of the fellowship is 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.

How to Apply

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

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. CFR will work with the selected fellows to place them in suitable host organizations.

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