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James A. Kelly Korea Fellow

James A. Kelly Korea Fellowship

Pacific Forum - Honolulu, HI


Pacific Forum seeks one Resident James A. Kelly Korea Fellow [1] for 2021. The resident James A. Kelly Korea Fellow will serve for a period of six months, beginning in January 2021. (Find out more about our nonresident fellowship opportunities [2].)

Founded in 1975, the Pacific Forum is a non-profit, foreign policy research institute based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Forum’s programs encompass current and emerging political, security, economic and business issues and works to help stimulate cooperative policies in the Indo-Pacific region through analysis and dialogue undertaken with the region’s leaders in the academic, government, and corporate areas. The Forum collaborates with a network of more than 30 research institutes around the Pacific Rim, drawing on Asian perspectives and disseminating its projects’ findings and recommendations to opinion leaders, governments, and publics throughout the region. We regularly cosponsor conferences with institutes throughout Asia to facilitate nongovernmental institution building as well as to foster cross-fertilization of ideas.

Pacific Forum has hosted over 100 resident fellows from 21 countries world-wide since 2002. Pacific Forum’s fellowship programs offer promising scholars and young professionals the opportunity to serve as researchers with Pacific Forum and develop hands-on expertise on Indo-Pacific policy issues. Resident fellows are based in Hawaii to conduct research under the mentorship of Pacific Forum staff and to help with ongoing projects and programs. 


The James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship Program promotes academic study, research, and professional career paths focused on Korean Peninsula studies. It recognizes the exemplary efforts of Jim Kelly [3] to improve United States-Republic of Korea relations and encourage the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to denuclearize and join the international community of nations.

The overall objective of the fellowship is to promote stronger US-ROK, US-DPRK, and inter-Korean relations through a variety of Pacific Forum programs. The fellowship makes a deliberate effort to encourage the study of Korean economic and security issues, with particular focus on raising awareness among the next generation of scholars and officials in the US, ROK, and worldwide about the vital role the Korean Peninsula plays in regional and international affairs.

Kelly Fellows will develop their knowledge of Korean Peninsula issues through participation in the Pacific Forum’s Young Leaders program (if eligible), research under the guidance of Pacific Forum senior staff, and the continuing series of US-ROK and broader multilateral forums.

Pacific Forum senior staff will provide guidance and consultation for fellows as they conduct their self-directed research. The final product will be of quality to be submitted to a refereed journal or be published in the Pacific Forum’s Issues & Insights [4] series. In addition to conducting self-directed research, fellows will support other Pacific Forum research programs and activities including:

  • Weekly Fellows Meetings (currently conducted via Zoom)
  • Honolulu International Forum [5] meetings
  • Young Leaders [6] programs (if eligible). Pacific Forum fellows receive priority to attend relevant conferences

Pacific Forum is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following the latest guidance from the Office of the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii emergency order currently in effect. We anticipate the Resident Kelly Fellowship to be a hybrid program with a virtual start on Jan. 1, 2021, with possibility of conversion to an in-person resident fellowship at Pacific Forum offices in Honolulu if and when conditions permit. A modest cost-of-living stipend is provided for the resident James A. Kelly Korea Fellow. 

The cost-of-living stipend for a virtual resident fellowship is $2,000 a month. If conditions permit, the virtual resident fellowship will be converted to an in-person resident fellowship. In-person resident fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 per month to support living expenses in Honolulu.

Please note that Pacific Forum does not provide housing. Pacific Forum has partnered with the East-West Center to give fellows the opportunity to become EWC Affiliate Scholars. Through this program, fellows are offered on-campus accommodation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, gain library access, and can connect with faculty and scholars at the East-West Center or the University of Hawaii at Manoa. More information can be found here [7]. However, this opportunity is currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Eligibility and Qualifications:

  • Open citizenship (non-U.S. citizens must be eligible for a J-1 visa)
  • Undergraduate degree and several years of experience in Indo-Pacific security issues, or
  • Current student or recent graduate of master’s or doctoral program (political science, international relations, Asian studies)
  • Proficient in English (verbal and written skills)

How to apply:

To apply for the Kelly Fellowship, please complete the Resident [8] Kelly Fellowship online application form and include the materials listed below. All materials must be written in English. Any statement in your application that is found to be false will be grounds for disqualification.

  • A cover letter detailing interests and why the Kelly Fellowship will contribute to the applicant’s professional development
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A letter of recommendation
  • A description of a research project to undertake as a Kelly Fellow (not to exceed 1,500 words)​


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