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2020 Academic Exchange Program for North Korean and Unification Studies


2020 Academic Exchange Program for North Korean and Unification Studies

1. Background and Overview

The “Academic Exchange Program for North Korean and Unification Studies” is designed to expand the base of experts on peace and unification of the Korean Peninsula as well as North Korean studies in the international community. This year, the Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea has designated the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University and the University of North Korean Studies as institutions to support scholars in the field of North Korean and unification studies.

As part of this academic exchange program, the ministry and these two designated institutions are calling for fellowship/scholarship applications from rising scholars who wish to conduct research on issues relevant to North Korea and Korean unification or pursue a master’s degree or doctorate in North Korean and unification studies.

2. MOU-IFES North Korean Studies Fellowship

a. Program Overview

The “MOU-IFES North Korean Studies Fellowship” is designed to provide fellowship support for 6 months to 1 year to scholars interested in conducting intensive research on North Korea and Korean Peninsula issues.

Managed by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University, this fellowship provides numerous programs for scholars including opportunities to work with prestigious experts on North Korean issues, attend special lectures by current and former government ministers and policy makers, and participate in academic exchange, expert workshops, and field trips, among other activities and events.

b. Program Outline

 Individual Research Project (50%)

 Cooperative Project with researchers/teams in the institute (20%)

 Participation in Academic Programs related to North Korea and Korean unification (30%)

   - Opportunity to attend/participate in program-related weekly seminars, field workshops, project presentations, and academic forums, among other events

c. Grant Period : 6 to 12 Months (possibility to extend fellowship for up to 24 months)

 First fellowship program for 2020 will start on September 1, 2020

 Recipient of the fellowship grant should enter the Republic of Korea at least 15 days prior to the start of the program

d. Applicant Eligibility

 Foreign nationals who mainly work in the fields of North Korean studies and/or peace and Korean unification studies (including PhD candidates working on thesis, and postdoctoral researchers). Persons with work experience (including journalists, government officials, international development experts, etc.) and research agenda relevant to the promotion of peace on the Korean Peninsula will also be considered.

 A PhD candidate (for scholars) or a person with over five years of experience in relevant fields.

 The following qualifications will be given favorable consideration:

 - Korean language proficiency
   - previous contributions to academic journals and media
   - previous presentations to academic conferences and seminars
   - public sector work experience relevant to North Korean and Korean unification issues

e. Grant Amount

 Living expenses (KRW 2,300,000 to 3,000,000/month)
 Round-trip flight ticket (expense reimbursement)
 National health insurance (Korea’s National Health Insurance)
 Initial relocation subsidy (KRW 1,000,000)

3. MOU-UNKS North Korean Studies Scholarship

a. Overview

The “MOU-UNKS North Korean Studies Scholarship” is designed to support rising scholars interested in pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate in North Korean and unification studies.

Scholarships will be provided to applicants of the master’s degree or doctorate in North Korean and unification studies at the University of North Korean Studies. Successful applicants to the doctoral program can receive a scholarship for up to three years.

b. Applicant Eligibility

 Foreign nationals under the age of 40 who apply to enter a master’s or doctoral program on studies of North Korea and Korean unification.

 Academic requirements: Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree with minimum final cumulative GPA of 80% or better.

 Favorable consideration will be given to applicants with Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) level 5 (or above) and those who have applied to the doctoral program.

c. Grant Period

 Up to 2 years for Master’s Degree applicants (renewed annually)
 Up to 3 years for Doctor’s Degree applicants (renewed annually)

 The initial grant will be provided for one year with annual review and renewal process. Minimum 80% of cumulative GPA or better is required for renewal.

 Application for 2020 will be open to freshmen able to start in September 2020.

d. Grant Amount

 Tuition (total amount)
 Living expenses (KRW 2,000,000/month)
 Round-trip flight ticket (expense reimbursement)
 National health insurance (Korea’s National Health Insurance)
 Initial relocation subsidy (KRW 700,000)

4. Additional Information

a. Research Topics

North Korea, Inter-Korean Relations, Peace and Unification of the Korean Peninsula and related topics

b. Number of Recipients

Approximately 10 people

c. Restrictions

Those who have received scholarships/grants with the same research topic in the past and those who are currently receiving other types of scholarship/grant from the government of the Republic of Korea are ineligible for this program.

d. Reminders

 The beneficiary of this program should stay in the Republic of Korea during the semester (September to December, March to June).

 Beneficiaries who wish to terminate their participation in the program at any point will be required to return the total amount of scholarship/grant received.

 All personal information provided by applicants will only be used for this program. All applicants consent to the collection and use of his/her personal information submitted in the application.
e. Required Documents

Classification Required Documents
General Requirements Application Form (Document 1), Cover Letter (Document 2), Certificate of Employment, soft copy of publications (journal articles, books, etc.), copy of passport, (2) Letters of Reference (Document 5), Written Pledge (Document 6), Medical Inquiry (Document 7) 
Fellowship   Research Proposal (Document 4)
Graduation Certificate from most recent school
Scholarship  Graduation Certificates and Grade Transcripts
(all certificates/transcripts from undergraduate degree)
Statement of Purpose (Document 3)

f. Application Period

April 1 to May 20, 2020 (Korean Standard Time GMT+9)

g. Application Procedures

Submit required documents via email to (required forms can be downloaded from
h. Notification of Selected Beneficiaries

May 2020 (date of notification may change without notice)

i. Contact

The Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University: / 82-2-3700-0708, 0736

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