University Research Fellowship

Unisfere – empowering youth for sustainable development is pleased to launch University Research Fellowship for university students and recent graduates in Afghanistan. 

Fellowship Description:

The University Research Fellowship is a program offered by Unisfere that aims to enhance the academic research skills of bachelor students and recent graduates, and promote research culture and sustainable development in Afghanistan. Through the fellowship, participants will have the opportunity to learn about research and conduct research on community challenges in support of sustainable development. The fellowship is designed to equip young people with research knowledge and skills, while also making their research accessible to decision-makers, donors, and the public in order to encourage contributions to sustainable development.

The University Research Fellowship is open to bachelor students and recent graduates who are interested in conducting academic research in their desired areas, while addressing community challenges. Fellows can participate in the program from their home cities and will be guided by mentors with academic and research backgrounds through regular online meetings. Participants will be selected through a competitive process following an open call for applications. The fellowship is structured into two phases: the first phase, which includes learning workshops, topic selection, and proposal development, and the second phase, which involves conducting research, writing a research report, and defending the work in front of a panel of judges.

During the first phase of the fellowship, participants will attend a series of online learning workshops, select their research topics, and write a short research proposal. In the second phase, a smaller group of participants will be selected based on their application, research topic, research proposal, and participation in the first phase to conduct their research, write a research report, and defend their work with guidance from assigned mentors through regular online meetings. Mentors will supervise fellows’ research progress and provide necessary instructions on the next steps and the writing process of the research.

The research articles produced by the fellows in the second phase will be published on Unisfere’s Research Journal in English and one local language in Afghanistan, along with profiles of the fellows, and will be shared across social media to influence decision-makers and the public towards sustainable change. Upon successful completion of the first phase of the fellowship, participants will receive a certificate of participation, and second-phase participants will be provided with an official link to their research on Unisfere’s research journal. Additionally, after successful completion of the first phase of the fellowship, fellows will receive guidance from our higher education and scholarship experts in a mentorship process for their higher education journey.

Target participants:

  • Students in Afghanistan who are currently enrolled in bachelor’s degree or recent graduates (not more than three years) in any field of study willing to learn and experience the academic research process. 
  • Have a good level of English to write a research report and communicate in English. 
  • Demonstrate commitment to conduct a research which aligns with broader  Sustainable Development topics and addresses a community challenge. 
  • Be under the age of 35 years old at the start of the program. 
  • Have access to email and the internet to participate in the online part of the program and communicate with mentors.



The fellowship provides a range of benefits to fellows, including:

  • Gaining research knowledge, skills, and experience
  • Conducting academic research under the supervision of international academic researchers
  • Receiving guidance on higher education journey, scholarships, and applications from our higher education and scholarship advisors (for alumni fellows)
  • Enrolling in paid or unpaid internships with our partner NGOs and institutions related to their research topic (for alumni fellows)
  • Access to free educational programs offered in partnership with different educational institutions inside Afghanistan in the future (for alumni fellows)


Fellow’s participation methods:

Fellows can participate in the fellowship through the following methods:

  • Conducting research in their living city
  • Participating in workshops organized through online platforms
  • Being in contact with our partner organizations and institutions in support of their research
  • Participating in the defense and graduation ceremony organized through online platforms
  • All communications between Unisfere and fellows will be by email
  • Mentor-fellow communications can be through their own way of online communications


Selection criteria: 

  • Motivation to conduct academic research.
  • A good level of English to write the research report and communicate in English.


Fellowship phases:

The fellowship consists of two phases:

  • First phase: workshops, topic selection, and proposal development
  • Second phase: conducting research, writing the research report, presentation, and defense.



The fellowship’s mentors are academic researchers from different parts of the world with a research background who can guide fellows through the research process. Mentors provide feedback on research progress and the final research report. The mentors will be in regular contact with their assigned fellows through online meetings (at least two times per month), email, WhatsApp, or any other method of communication that they agree upon. Mentors and fellows can schedule meetings at times that are convenient for both.


Unisfere Research Journal:

The research reports/articles of fellows will be published in the Unisfere research journal. The journal provides a profile of fellows and a special link to their research articles. The journal was recently created with an aim to publish research articles related to sustainable development. Information and requirements for the research report/article will be shared with fellows later.


Digital influence:

We use participants’ ideas on why it is important to conduct research and address sustainable development along with their pictures in social media. This way we influence the public and students. 

How to apply: to apply for the fellowship please fill the online form in the Apply option with your information. You will hear from us about the outcome of your application via the official Unisfere’s email addresses.

The application must be filled out in English.

For questions about the application, please send us an email: [email protected] 


Applications are currently closed!

We will inform you here about our call for applications for the next cohort.