2018 NEAEF Fellowship Announcement

You are here


The Northeast Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF), with support from the Freeman Foundation, has been conducting its annual Young Leaders Training and Research Program in Regional Cooperation and Development since 2006. NEAEF is pleased to announce its 13th Young Leaders Program (YLP) from July 24 – August 11, 2018 at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Those dates do not include travel time. 


NEAEF awards YLP fellowships to support potential leaders working on the challenges and progress in regional economic cooperation in Northeast Asia, including the region’s relations with the United States. Awards are granted on a merit-based and competitive basis. NEAEF welcomes applications from young professionals, junior faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in economics, business, history, law, sociology, political science, environmental sciences, computer science, or related disciplines.

The main goals of the Young Leaders Program are to:

1) Enhance knowledge of the social, economic, and political institutions of the individual countries in Northeast Asia and North America;

2) Encourage young leaders to study a wide range of perspectives on regional and multilateral economic cooperation;

3) Foster a sense of community among young leaders by preparing them to work collaboratively and internationally;

4) Provide young leaders with practical education in policy making through opportunities for direct dialogues with policymakers and other experts; and    

5) Promote a better understanding among young leaders of individuals, countries, and cultures.

YLP consists of seminars devoted to regional issues of functional economic cooperation such as energy and environment, transportation and logistics, cross-border infrastructure development, trade, tourism and finance. Those seminars prepare the YLP Fellows for the annual NEAEF Conference from August 8 to 10.

In addition, YLP offers a series of collaborative problem-solving exercises, participant presentations, and cultural and educational events dedicated to the host country. Such activities may include visits to local government agencies, educational or research institutions, NGOs, or manufacturers in order to promote appreciation of the host country’s role in regional cooperation and development. 

An international faculty of leading academics, representatives of international organizations, government officials, parliamentarians, and executives from the private sector will lead or assist the seminars and collaborative exercises.


YLP Fellowships are awarded to persons from China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, and the United States who have demonstrated potential leadership. Applicants must be affiliated with an academic, research or business institution or a non-governmental, governmental or international organization when applying for the fellowship. Recent post-doctoral researchers or post-graduate students are eligible. People from Northeast Asia who are studying or working in the United States may also apply, as may U.S. citizens studying or working abroad.     

As all seminars and collaborative exercises are conducted in English, candidates must be proficient in English. Participants from the U.S. must have at least a basic proficiency level of one Northeast Asian language.

Exceptional consideration may be given to applications from past recipients in order to maintain the continuity of the evolving YLP cadre.


The award is a competitive grant and may cover all program-related expenses, including visa application, travel, local transfer, accommodation, meals, study tours, training, and materials. Cost sharing is highly encouraged to increase the number of participants. Limited amounts of other YLP-related expenses may be reimbursed on a case-by-case basis.  YLP Fellows are responsible for obtaining their Japanese visas, if required, and provide evidence of medical and liability insurance to NEAEF.

Participation in the entire duration of the program is required. No exceptions will be made.


Applicants are required to submit the following documents:

1) A cover letter, which includes:

a. specific motivation(s) for applying
b. research interest(s)
c. benefits expected from YLP

In addition, please provide the following information in your cover letter:

d. whether or not you are interested in making a presentation (If yes, provide a preliminary title, abstract, or presentation text.)
e. whether or not you have learned of YLP from any past YLP recipients or affiliates or were a past participant (If yes, please provide the name(s).)
f.  who have agreed to provide the required letters of recommendation
g. where you will be located in August 2017. If an applicant is selected, NEAEF will make the final decision on the YLP Fellow’s itinerary and the airfare to be covered by NEAEF.

2) Curriculum vitae

3) Two letters of recommendation

Please direct your inquiries or submit all the documents in your application to neaef@hawaii.edu by May 4, 2018. Only email submissions are accepted. If you do not receive a reply acknowledging receipt of your application, the application may not have been transmitted properly. In this case, please check with NEAEF on the status of your application.