International Research Fellowship

Established in 2012 to honor the distinguished contributions to research and education on women and gender of Professor Isabel S. Marcus, co-founder and co-director of the Gender Institute (1997-2003) and recipient of UB's 2012 Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education, the Gender Institute's Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship is awarded to outstanding UB graduate students to support and encourage research by and/or about women outside of the United States.  

Recent projects include a study of ‘care work’ among migrant women workers in Lebanon; research at the Jamaican Memory Bank, an audio archive in Kingston that includes interviews of women who belonged to the religious movement known as Bedwardism; a study of contemporary coalition-building among Kurdish and Turkish women; research on gender inequity in the Polish civil service.

Given international travel restrictions due to COVID-19, this year’s Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship will be awarded to a graduate student for an outstanding international research project related to gender and sexuality. Travel is not a criterion for this year. Competition is open to all graduate students but advanced projects are particularly welcomed.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2021.

The Gender Institute Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship to be awarded in 2021 to a UB graduate student to support research by and/or about women outside of the United States.

Application deadline for 2021 award will be February 15, 2021.
Due to the COVID-19 budget constraints, granting of awards will be as funds are available.

Applications must include:

1. Application cover sheet, available here    
2. Cover letter (1 page maximum)
3. Statement of research interests, accomplishments, and career goals (500 words)
4. Academic transcripts
5. Writing sample (5-10 pp.)
6. Resume or c.v.
7. Two letters of recommendation

The Gender Institute must be acknowledged in any publications or exhibitions that are enabled or enhanced by the fellowship. Applications should be sent to the Gender Institute Fellowship Review Committee at  Please use the subject line: "Isabel Marcus Fellowship Application."     

2020 Fellow: Azalia P. Muchransyah

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Media Study

Azalia P. Muchransyah.

Azalia P. Muchransyah, Department of Media Study

Azalia P. Muchransyah’s project aims to illuminate the status of media activism, especially documentary film, in contemporary Indonesia as well as to explore the potential of documentary media to contribute to the transformation of HIV activism and advocacy in the face of the paradoxes around HIV/AIDS in key population members related to Indonesian prisons. Situating HIV media in the history of humanitarian advocacy, her research looks into existing global studies to answer the question: What is the role of media in HIV advocacy and activism in Indonesia? Central to this project is an investigation of the capacity of documentary to illuminate paradoxes of HIV advocacy in Indonesia and address specific prison setups. Using an approach drawn from both visual anthropology and the history of activist media production, Azalia’s project consists of a written dissertation and a film. The Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship will help her cover the travel expenses to Jakarta to conduct her HIV research with activists, organizations, formerly-incarcerated people, people who inject drugs, LGBTQ people, and women.

2019 Fellows: Gabriella Nassif and Alexandra Prince

Gabriella Nassif

Ph.D. Candidate, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gabriella Nassif.

Gabriella Nassif, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gabriella Nassif's research centers on migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. She is both a scholar and a development practitioner whose academic research is concerned with understanding the comparative racialization, and subsequent valuation of migrant domestic workers, and whose praxis takes up the (de)valuation of care work in Lebanon more broadly. She currently works with the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World and also with the Lebanese American University, where she is the managing editor of the journal Al-Raida. With support from the Marcus Fellowship, Gabriella will return to Lebanon to complete her doctoral research. 

Alexandra Prince

Ph.D. Candidate, History

Alexandra Prince's project concerns the history of the turn of the 20th century Jamaican religious movement known as Bedwardism. A majority female movement, the history of Bedwardism has been mired in misrepresentations and allegations of insanity that have prevented both popular and scholarly considerations of Bedwardism as proto-black nationalist group principally comprised of black women. With support from the fellowship, she will be traveling to Kingston to conduct research at the Jamaica Memory Bank, a governmental organization that maintains audio interviews with the last surviving members of the Bedward's church, the Native Free Baptists. This is in support of her history dissertation project which examines the embedded gendered and racialized assessments within historical charges of religious insanity.


Alexandra Prince, History

2018 Fellows

The Gender Institute is pleased to award the 2018-2019 Isabel Marcus International Research Fellowship to Elif Ege, Ph.D. Candidate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Karolina Kulicka, also a Ph.D. Candidate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Elif Ege.

Elif Ege

This award supports Ege's research or her project, Feminist Intimacies around International Mechanisms: Pitfalls of Feminist Coalition-Building between Kurdish and Turkish Women in Turkey. She will use the funds to conduct the last part of her dissertation fieldwork on feminist coalition-building practices in Turkey. Her research in Turkey conducted with Kurdish and Turkish women's rights activists focuses on their mobilizations around international women’s rights mechanisms (such as CEDAW-Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) from a ‘grounded’ approach to discuss the possibilities and limitations of feminist coalition-building under the growing shadow of nation-states and national divisions. 

Karolina Kulicka reading.

Karolina Kulicka

Kulicka will use the award to support her trip to Poland in summer 2018, where she will be researching her project, “The Problem That Has No Name:” Mechanisms of Organizational Gendering in the Polish Civil Service. Her research brings to light those forces behind gender inequity that are invisibly engrained into seemingly gender-neutral organizational policies, practices and cultures. Using the example of the Polish state administration (often labelled as the most women-friendly in the world), her project analyzes how seemingly genderless institutional rules (e.g. political neutrality, professionalism), every-day work practices, spatial arrangements, new technologies, or the norms of the “right” looks can have a discriminating effect on female workers.

Former Fellows

Natalia Pamula, Comparative Literature
Project: "Collective Intimacy and the Promise of Invulnerability: Representations of Disability in Polish Literature, 1945-1989"

2017 Solidarity Fellowships
Elif Ege, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Research on how Kurdish women construct transnational connections at a local level
Karolina Kulicka, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Research on gender in Polish bureaucracies 

Anne Marie Butler, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project: "Unintelligible Bodies: Queerness in Contemporary Tunisian Art"

Mehwish Sarwari, Political Science
Project: "UN Responsivness to Wartime Sexual Violence"

Salwatura Prabha Manuratne, English 
Project: "Modern Incarnations of Figures of Violence in Asian and Asian Canadian Literature and Film"

Eman Abu-Sabah, Nursing 
Project: "Jordanian Health Care Providers' Responses Toward Intimate Partner Violence"

2013 Honorable Mentions
Maria Fernanda Glaser Danton, Global Gender Studies
Morani Kornberg-Weiss, English
Beth Kuberka, Romance Languages and Literatures
Nuning Parwaningrum, Global Gender Studies


Natalia Pamula, 2017 Isabel Marcus research fellowship winner.

Natalia Pamula

Mehwish Sarwari.

Mehwish Sarwari

Anne Marie Butler, Recipient 2016-17 International Research Fellowship.

Anne Marie Butler

Eman Abu-Sabah.

Eman Abu-Sabah

salwatura Prabha Manuratne.

Salwatura Prabha Manuratne