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International Policy Fellowships

The International Policy Fellowships (IPF) program was launched in April 1998 as a program of the Open Society Institute-Budapest to identify and nurture the next generation of open society leaders in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, Mongolia, and countries of the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and North Africa. IPF joined forces with the Center for Policy Studies when it was established in late 1999 and began offering training to Policy Fellows to develop their capacity to write professional policy documents, identify appropriate policy instruments, and effectively advocate policies – skills that remain underdeveloped in countries where the Soros foundations work.

Center for Policy Studies

Launched in late 1999, the Center for Policy Studies (CPS) of the Central European University works with a broadening circle of policy analysts and institutions to promote the development of policy center networks throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Mongolia, and other countries of interest to the Soros foundations network including Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran and other countries of Middle East. The Center undertakes policy research and advocacy that furthers the open society mission and disseminates quality analyses in accessible formats.


Mission of the IPF Program

  • Identify the next generation of open society leaders in Central and Eastern Europe and other regions of interest to the Soros foundations network and support their policy research,
  • Improve the quality of independent analysis and help prevent ‘brain drain’ and by ensuring that these leaders are able to conduct research in their home countries while maintaining a high degree of mobility and intellectual freedom,
  • Develop the capacity of these leaders to write professional policy documents and advocate policies–skills that are underdeveloped in countries where the Soros foundations work, and
  • Utilize the ideas and policy papers of these leaders to encourage the development of program strategies for the Soros foundations network and other organizations.

Policy Fellows participate in three training seminars in Budapest over the course of the fellowship year conducted by professors of public policy from around the world and earn a Certificate in Public Policy. Fellows gain vital skills including how to write professional policy documents, identify appropriate policy instruments, and effectively advocate policies. The product of each fellowship is a detailed analysis of a major issue, published in English and translated into other languages. Outstanding young Fellows from Eastern Europe may be nominated to participate in additional training and research opportunities including a three-month International Junior Public Policy Research Scholar Fellowship in Washington, D.C. in affiliation with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s East European Studies program.


International Junior Public Policy Scholar Fellowship

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the United States’ official memorial to President Wilson, was established by congressional legislation in 1968. Meant to reflect and continue Woodrow Wilson’s commitment to a deeper understanding of issues crucial to global peace and stability, the Center serves as an international, interdisciplinary, non-partisan scholarly institute which fosters scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and encourages dialogue between the academic and policy communities. East European Studies, housed at the Woodrow Wilson Center, provides a non-partisan forum for bringing historical and contemporary understanding of the former communist states of Eastern Europe and the Baltics to the nation’s capital and throughout the country. For more details on the Wilson Center and its East European Studies program please visit the Center’s website at

Each fellowship year, the East European Studies program of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. sponsors and hosts one or two outstanding young IPF Fellows from Eastern Europe to carry out a proposed three-month research project as an International Junior Public Policy Research Scholar in residence at the Center. The fellowship, carrying a $9,000 stipend and requiring on-site residency for the duration of the grant, is limited to scholars from countries covered by the Wilson Center’s East European Studies Program–namely the former communist bloc including the Baltic states and former Yugoslavia but not the NIS states, Ukraine or Germany. This grant will count as the final three months of the International Policy Fellowship award and is only valid during the specific award year. Final selection of the nominated scholars is made by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s East European Studies program.


The Wilson Center provides access to research facilities and libraries (the Library of Congress, university libraries, the National Archives, etc.) and relevant faculty as needed. The Center also helps arrange introductory visits to relevant actors and organizations in Washington, D.C. influencing policy, including the U.S. Congress and Senate. Incoming scholars are also provided with administrative assistance and information regarding affordable housing, health care, and processing of required documentation. However, housing and visa arrangements are the ultimate responsibility of the selected scholars.

To be considered for a Woodrow Wilson Center scholarship, finalists of the International Policy Fellowships program who are short-listed and requested to submit a full application must describe how this grant will further their IPF research project. The Woodrow Wilson Center is especially interested in sponsoring scholars focusing on the following issues: international governance (regionalization, decentralization); the rule of law; public administration; civil society and institution-building and the role of non-governmental organizations; media; minority rights; economic reform and management; Southeast Europe Stability Pact projects; organized crime; and north-south tier development issues including strategies for closing the gap.




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Updated: 10.May.2004 [meO]
International Policy Fellowships program (IPF)