Call for Fellowship Application on"Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral Dialogue: Governance, Conflict Resolution, Peace-Building and Challenges in the Borderland"

1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021

Governance, conflict resolution and peacebuilding in the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland are inter-twined in complex patterns; the knitting together of these processes ensures that change in one dimension unleashes transformation in the others. Poor governance serves as a root cause of conflict as well as an obstacle to peace-building. Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two neighboring countries, are clustered together in a regional set-up, where war and conflict in one state has resonated in the form of extremism, militancy, violence, loss of political legitimacy and economic depredation in the other. The sharing of a common border, history and culture results in an interdependency of national stability, where both states share common stakes in peace, conflict resolution and good governance. In the wake of the international intervention to rebuild the Afghan state in post 2001, this mutual dependency for creating a peaceful region has become even starker.

An understanding of how such state building has unraveled in Afghanistan, as well as current challenges in the form of governance, administration, among others, that might be hampering Pakistan’s efforts, need to be researched, understood and analyzed critically, so as to find a practical, credible long-term solution, impacting both sides of the border. Post 2020 is promising to herald a new beginning for peace and state building in the region. However, the withdrawal of international forces from the region is also posing new sets of challenges for both states in terms of improving governance and building peace based on indigenous solutions and resources.

The Department of Political Science at the University of Peshawar (UoP) and the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan are collaborating to launch an academic fellowship program in 2021. Under this program, fellowship grants will be awarded to research projects that focus on exploring the nexus between peace building, conflict resolution and good governance in the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland. Fellowship applications in this regard are expected to undertake an in-depth academic research on the Pakistan-Afghanistan region in the existing scenario, with emphasis on issues that involve complex intertwining of governance, peace and conflict. Such research is expected to promote regional peace building through exploring the outstanding points of conflict as well that of fruitful cooperation between the two countries.

Fellowship applications can explore, but are not limited to the following themes:

  1. Conflict Resolution and Peace Building in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Region (Post-9/11 Period):
  2. Religion, Difference and Violence
  3. Peace Building in Afghanistan – Peace Agreements, Regional Collaborations: Successes and Failures
  4. Gender and Peace Building
  5. Globalization, Conflict and Local Economies ?
  6. Migration, Diaspora, Refugees, and Internally Displaced Persons
  7. Borders and Transnational Mobility
  8. Trade, Growth and Regional Peace
  9. Governance in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Borderland:?
  10. Challenges to post 9/11 state building in Afghanistan
  11. Democratic Governance, Public Space, and Resistance
  12. Law, Human Rights and Gender Rights ?
  13. Politics of Identity
  14. Governance Reforms at National and Subnational Levels.
  15. Development Narratives: Economic Transformation and Development
  16. Globalization, Regional Integration and Peace Building

Fellowship Guidelines

UoP and HSF Pakistan have embarked on research cooperation in 2021, which includes research grants for small scale research projects of UoP students (PhD/MPhil/and BS Final year students only) working on Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral dialogue and solutions for the challenges related to the above-mentioned topics and subsequent questions. Those students selected for funding will work under the supervision of the faculty of the Department Political Science, UoP to conduct original theoretical and empirical research.

This HSF-UoP research grant includes a monthly stipend from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021. The best research papers will be considered for publication and copy-editing / proof-reading support will be provided to authors selected.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants need to be enrolled as students (PhD/ MPhil / and BS Final year students only) of UoP for the entire period of the project year (i.e. 1 December, 2021)
  • For the complete period of funding, student applicants cannot take on any other work contracts unless approved by both HSF and UoP

Scholarship holders are expected to:

  • have good proficiency of English and academic writing
  • demonstrate an interest and willingness to conduct original empirical research in the given timeframe
  • attend monthly supervision meetings
  • write and submit a short monthly report on their progress, challenges and intended activities
  • observe standard research ethics
  • submit a publishable paper at the end of the year


Application Procedure

The proposed research projects have to be focused on the topic "PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN BILATERAL DIALOGUE: GOVERNANCE, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, PEACE-BUILDING AND CHALLENGES IN THE BORDERLAND" with either individual case studies involving one of the states or comparative projects including both states.

Please submit:

1. A short CV with contact details and grade point average (max. 1 page, Times New Roman 12 or similar font)
2. An abstract of the research proposal (max. 350 words)
3. A research proposal (max. 3 pages, Times New Roman 12 or similar font) outlining (i) the research topic, its relevance and focus, (ii) one central research question, (iii) the intended theoretical and methodological approach (with detailed info on research method(s) to be employed), (iv) a tentative work plan for six months (April-September 2021).

Applications have to be submitted via e-mail to the UoP Office e-mail address:
Also in copy:


Application Deadline: May 5, 2021

Selection interviews will be conducted by the project coordination team in the following week.

We are looking forward to your application! Best Wishes and Success!