Young Researchers’ Fellowship Program

Young Researchers’ Fellowship Program

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) is a social science research and post-graduate institute of BRAC University. Governance and development challenges are complex, interrelated, and often systemic. We believe rigorous research can inform policymakers and practitioners to find effective strategies and smart entry points for addressing these challenges. We also believe that solid research must be tied to sustained advocacy and capacity strengthening for increasing research uptake and improving policy and program outcomes. This is what we do and constantly strive to do better.

BIGD’s highly competent research team engages in cutting-edge research of the global standard, often in collaboration with other top researchers worldwide. Our masters’ programs equip next-generation development practitioners and policymakers with a strong theoretical foundation and the skills to solve real-world problems.

“Nurturing young researchers is our key strategy for promoting a long-term shift towards a culture of research-informed scrutiny of and support to policies and interventions.”

 —Dr Imran Matin, Executive Director, BIGD

Given our development-focused, long teaching tradition and world-class research capacity, we are uniquely positioned to be the breeding ground for the next generation of Bangladeshi social scientists. Our senior researchers continuously mentor and train our young researchers, i.e., research associates. It helps them grow and boost their confidence and capabilities in pursuing further studies to excel as social scientists and meaningfully contribute to the society. Our young researchers also help us grow.

We are stepping up. We believe we can do more for the next generation of social scientists.

We are pleased to announce the BIGD Young Researchers’ Fellowship (YRF) program. This fellowship will provide opportunities for experiential learning on research methodology and other crucial research skills to budding social scientists.

For now, we are focusing on quantitative research methods in the area of economic development. However, we plan to expand the scope of the fellowship in the future.

The program will be four (4) months long. The fellowship program has three key components:

  1. Training on applied research methods;
  2. Hands-on experience of different components (e.g., survey designing, survey instrument development, field activities, etc.) of social science research; and
  3. Mentoring from senior researchers on social science research.

Participants will have the designation of trainee research associate (TRA) during the fellowship period. The position demands full-time commitment, hence TRAs will not be able to hold another occupation during this period. TRAs will receive a certificate after the successful completion of the fellowship. BIGD will also offer the most suitable participants the opportunity to join as research associates. In addition, participants will be able to seek letters of recommendation from the trainers and mentors when they pursue other professional opportunities and higher studies.

We are looking for people who are hungry to learn and improve, determined work hard and not give up, and have the ambition to excel and build an impactful knowledge institute. If you think it is you, APPLY NOW.

Opportunities for TRA

As a TRA, participants will:

  • learn applied econometric methods from senior researchers and support them in research.
  • learn about study design, instrument development, and quality assurance and monitoring of all aspects of fieldwork.
  • get hands-on experience in writing reports/articles from analysis.
  • learn other research-related management skills.
  • potentially get an opportunity to join BIGD as a research associate (for chosen participants).
  • be able to pursue a research career using the skill sets learned as part of the program.



  • At least a bachelor’s degree from a reputed national or international institute with a demonstrated ability to understand mathematical reasoning. Demonstrating ability in mathematical reasoning could be in different forms, including but not limited to, successful completion of mathematically involved coursework (as part of an undergraduate program or from online classes), strong Graduate Record Examination (GRE) quantitative score, etc.
  • Must have successfully completed coursework in introductory statistics and econometrics (as part of an undergraduate program or from online classes).
  • Interested in and developing skills in relevant tools.
  • Active interest in national and global current affairs, economics, and politics.
  • Must be committed to adhering to academic integrity.
  • Must be respectful towards others.


  • Excellent oral and written English skills.
  • Ability to think critically and analytically.
  • Ability to work well in a team.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Prior research experience would be welcomed.

Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh, but field visits will be required. Openness to travel and live in modest but safe conditions will be required.

Honorarium (monthly): All selected participants will receive a monthly honorarium.


Applications for 2021 intake are now closed, please keep an eye out for the next cohort.

All applicants must complete this form. Applicants must attach several documents with the application (the list is given below). All documents must be attached as PDF files. Please use the following format for naming each document: [FirstName]_[LastName]_[DocumentType].

The list of required documents are as follows:

  1. An updated CV.
  2. All academic transcripts (combined into one PDF file).
  3. A statement of purpose (maximum 800 words). Please describe why you are interested in the fellowship, what makes you qualified to be a TRA, and how your participation in the YRF program would help you achieve your future goals. You may (or may not) chose to reflect on one story of your life that left a strong impression and why. It could be about a particular challenge that you faced and solved a great personal achievement or any other aspect that helps you to describe yourself to strangers who are interested in learning about you.
  4. (Optional) Proof of any additional qualification that you believe helps your application and want the selection committee to consider (please combine all such documents together into one PDF file with a cover page that contains the list of these documents).

  1. (Optional) The name of one (1) letter of recommendation from a teacher/professional who knows you well and can tell us about your analytical ability. This person cannot be an immediate family member. Please ask your referee to send their letter of recommendation to by the deadline. Please ask them to use “YRF Letter of Recommendation for [First Name] [Last Name]”.

All required documents must be submitted by the deadline for an application to receive full consideration. Any optional document submitted after the deadline might not be reviewed by the selection committee while judging the merit of the applicant.