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Uma Lele Mentor Fellowship Award Call For Applications

The deadline has passed.

The Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Trust is now accepting applications for the Uma Lele Mentor Fellowship Award.  The Uma Lele Mentor Fellowship Award supports a mentorship relationship with a view to promote high quality research of a policy/problem solving nature in countries with food insecurity and environmental pressures. It is meant to promote collaboration between an early career scholar who is a citizen of and resides in a developing country and a distinguished mentor.

The award is intended to cover the costs of travel and expenses for a scholar and mentor to work together on a specific research project in a high priority area for the scholar’s country. The maximum fellowship grant will be $5,000. Up to $4,500 can be allocated for travel expenses for the scholar to visit the mentor’s workplace and/or to meet with the mentor at a professional meeting. Up to $1,500 can be allocated for mentor travel and other expenses during the fellowship period. Research topics should fall within the mission of the AAEA (

Scholars should be professional economists who are citizens of and reside in a developing country. A complete list of qualifying countries is available under the headings “Low-income economies” and “Lower-middle-income economies” at: Scholars should either have completed their terminal degree or will complete it within the year. Students studying in countries that are not considered “low-income economies” and “lower-middle-income economies” may apply, but they must be completing their degree and planning to permanently reside in a “low-income” and “lower-middle-income” country by the end of 2024. Mentors can reside in any part of the world, but each must be an AAEA member.

To apply, scholars should submit the following:

  1. Cover letter outlining proposed plan for mentorship, including contact information for the mentor, proposed dates and nature of  the research project and collaboration, and outputs expected
  2. Recent CV
  3. Research proposal outlining the research project that the applicant will work on with his or her mentor (maximum 3 single-spaced pages)
  4. Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s department head/supervisor stating that the institution supports the applicant’s participation
  5. Letter of intent to collaborate from the proposed mentor
  6. Budget

Applications should be submitted in a single PDF format to Kristen McGuire at by Monday, October 16, 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Kristen by email or by phone at (414) 918-3190.

This fellowship is supported by donations to the Uma Lele Special Purpose Fund of the AAEA Trust. The ultimate goal of the Uma Lele Special Purpose Fund is to create vibrant, long-lasting networks of scholars working on current and newly emerging challenges to economic development.

Dr. Uma Lele is a recognized international leader, thinker, and policy analyst with extensive research, operational and evaluation experience in the World Bank, the CGIAR and other international organizations and US universities. Her areas of work include food, agriculture, health, environment, global public goods, science and technology, and external assistance and partnerships. Dr. Lele is a fellow of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and India’s National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and she has been recognized as an Outstanding Alumna by Cornell University.