Dr. Harka Bahadur Gurung was a Nepalese geographer, anthropologist, author, artist and politician, known for his pioneer conservation work. He was born on 5th January 1939 in Lamjung, in the village of Taranche.  After completing his secondary education at King George Military School, he studied for a B.A. and M.A. in Geography at Patna University and later received a PhD from Edinburgh University. Dr. Gurung published fifteen books and around 675 academic articles and reports on a wide range of topics from culture, demography, development planning, environment, geography, political economy, and tourism. He held important government posts such as the minister of state for education, Industry and Commerce, Minister of State for Tourism, and was the vice-chairperson of the National Planning commission on Population, Nepal

In his memory, New ERA started the “Dr. Harka Gurung – New ERA Fellowship Program”, that has been providing funding and technical assistance to research students conducting field research in pursuit of a Master’s degree from various universities in Nepal since 2005. This Fellowship Program is closely monitored by a steering committee which not only formulates the program’s guidelines but also takes an active role in the smooth operation of the program itself.  A total of 168 students from various universities across Nepal have been granted the fellowship so far and 120 students have completed their thesis.

The priority areas for research fellowship are:


Fellowship Advertisement

Every year, advertisement is placed in national newspapers, radio stations, website, and notification send to all major universities calling for proposals from prospective students across various disciplines. The call for proposal goes out twice a year so as to include graduate school from various Universities that have independent academic calendars. The fellowship is on a rolling basis and accepts proposals all year long.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants, who have completed their course work for Masters’ Degree along with successful completion of their first or second semester exam, and are planning a research related to their Master’s Degree, is eligible to apply. The proposal submitted by the applicants should be written either in English or Nepali and it should be in the final stages of completion. However, New ERA appreciates an opportunity to provide inputs to the selected candidates in finalizing the research proposal. The fellowship is intended to support the student in conducting field data collection, analysis leading to high-quality research and reporting.

Amount of Fellowship

Depending on the need, quality of research proposal and relevance of the research topic, New ERA awards up to Rs. 50,000/- for the Master’s Research Grant. In addition to financial support, New ERA also provides other technical support such as assistance in research design/methodology, framing data collection instruments, data analysis and review of the report.

Evaluation & Selection Process

The Evaluation Committee constituted by the Fellowship Management Committee of New ERA ensures transparency and fairness in the selection process. The evaluation committee reviews the proposals and makes a final evaluation of the applications before awarding the fellowships. Preference is given to female students and those from ethnic minority groups, disadvantaged groups, and remote areas. Preference is given to research that is carried out in Mid-Western and Far-Western regions of Nepal. Dalits, Madhesi, non- advantaged Janajatis, differently abled (students with disability), students from remote areas (as defined by New ERA) and females are especially encouraged to apply.

The selected candidates are short-listed and they are then required to present their proposal before the committee. On the basis of the proposal and presentation, the committee selects the students for the Fellowship Program. The selected fellows are allocated supervisors/mentors from the core pool of its research staff and consultants to provide technical assistance and mentor the fellow through the completion of the thesis.

If selected, the fellowship recipient is required to submit progress report(s) of his/her study to New ERA. Upon drafting of the thesis and before finalizing the thesis, the fellowship recipient is further required to present his/her findings at a workshop/seminar organized by New ERA. The recipient is also required to submit a final copy of his/her thesis, hard copy as well as electronic copy to New ERA.

(Short listed candidates invited for proposal presentation for the final round of evaluation is compensated the travel expense if traveling outside from Kathmandu.)

Documents required to apply for the Fellowship

The candidate has to submit all the below-mentioned documents along with the filled out application form. Failure to submit any of the mentioned documents will render the application invalid.

Documents required

    1. Filled out the fellowship application form
    2. Full text of research proposal in the format specified,
  1. An official letter of recommendation from the applicant’s supervisor/ guide,
  2. Photocopy of mark sheets,
  3. Applicant’s CV,
  4. Documents to other partial support, if any.

The fellowship recipients must submit a progress report(s) of their study to New ERA. Upon drafting the thesis, before finalizing the thesis, the fellowship recipients must share their findings at a workshop/seminar organized by New ERA. The recipients must also submit a final copy of their thesis, hard copy as well as electronic copy to New ERA. The recipient will have to complete the study within one and a half year from the time of signing the contract. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of the fellowship amount.

Announcement of Award Recipient

The research fellowship is on a rolling basis and accepts applications throughout the year. Proposals will be reviewed by a group of the expert from New ERA’s pool of researchers and the applicant will be informed (by telephone, email) if his/her proposal has been shortlisted for presentation. The announcement of the recipients will be made available in about a month’s time.

New ERA, P.O. Box 722
Rudramati Marga, Kalopul,
Kathmandu, Nepal.

Click link here to download the application form