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 about women outside of the United States. Competition is open to all graduate students but advanced projects are particularly welcomed.

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.

The Office of the Vice-Provost for International Education will be cosponsoring the fellowship providing additional funds. We are very grateful for their support of this important research opportunity.  

Applications for the Isabel S. Marcus Fellowship are due Monday, February 17, 2025.

Application Information

Applications must include:

1. Abstract summarizing your research project (e.g., your dissertation) and your plans for fieldwork and/or travel to archives and/or other research methodologies (500 words)
2. Provide a four page (double-spaced) application statement, including: description of the dissertation, its intellectual contributions, plans for the fellowship year, and a timetable for completion.
3. Resume or CV
4. Two letters of recommendation (Recommendations are sent directly from faculty member to the Scholarship Portal.)

Supplemental questions:

1. Are you a graduate student at UB working on a research project about gender and/or sexuality in an international context?
2. Have you passed your department’s proposal defense?
3. Is your project at an advanced stage of research?

The Gender Institute must be acknowledged in any publications or exhibitions that are enabled or enhanced by the fellowship.

Applications should be completed on the UB Scholarship Portal.

Criteria of Evaluation:

1. Applicants must show a commitment to research on gender and/or sexuality in an international context.
2. Applicants should demonstrate that they have passed the proposal defense stage.
3. Priority will be given to students at an advanced stage of their projects.
4. Applicants must show evidence of academic excellence.
5. Priority is given to applicants with a well-articulated project and research goals.
6. Review committee places importance on letters of recommendation.

Congratulations to 2024 Fellow: Anupriya Pandey

PhD Candidate, Sociology

A smiling woman with dark, curly hair.

Project: Locating Gender in Caste Ecologies: Dalit Women Negotiating “Freedoms” within the Pesticide Nexus in India. 

There is an increasing tendency to apply established Environmental Justice frameworks and other familiar categories of difference to the Global South, often neglecting the historical and political nuances of these contexts. This trend reflects a broader issue wherein communities in the Global South are associated with the "empirical" or material aspects, while Western theoretical frameworks dominate the theoretical tools. Notably, the analysis of ecological crises impacting some of the world's most marginalized populations often overlooks caste and its gendered experiences. My project addresses this gap by exploring shifts in caste and gender relations in tandem with the escalating ecological crises triggered by capitalist agrochemical industries. Focusing on Bihar, India, I will qualitatively examine how Dalit women experience new opportunities through leasing lands from upper caste landlords for intensive vegetable production. The project reveals a significant paradox: the transition from staple to vegetable agriculture in these novel land arrangements offers opportunities for Dalit women, liberating them from historical exploitation as they engage in dignified labor for themselves. However, this newfound agency is counterbalanced by the challenges posed by unsafe and excessive use of synthetic chemicals on their "owned" vegetable farms, trapping them in cycles of poison. The case of Indian Dalit women thus provides a crucial firsthand account, shedding light on the profound impact of global agrochemicals on the restructuring of rural women's livelihoods and the ecology. 

Former Fellows

Gabriela Cordoba Vivas, 
Media Studies
Project: ‘Gender Ideology’ as Performance. The Global Right and the Trans*feminist Response” 

Victoria Nachreiner, 
Project: "A Marriage of Aesthetics: Afropolitan Consumption, Bodily Practices, and Cis-Atlantic Gendering in Old Calabar, 1840-1940"

Marta Aleksandrowicz
, Comparative Literature
Project: “Flight, Cockroach, and the Maid: Toward a New, Feminine Universal in Olga Tokarczuk, Clarice Lispector, and Gloria Anzaldúa”

Azalia P. Muchransyah
, Media Study
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.

Gabriella Nassif, Gobal Gender & Sexuality Studies
Project: centers on migrant domestic workers in Lebanon &
Alexandra Prince, History
Project:concerns the history of the turn of the 20th century Jamaican religious movement known as Bedwardism

Elif Ege
, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project: "Feminist Intimacies around International Mechanisms: Pitfalls of Feminist Coalition-Building between Kurdish and Turkish Women in Turkey" &
Karolina Kulicka, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project: "'The Problem That Has No Name:' Mechanisms of Organizational Gendering in the Polish Civil Service."

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
Project: how Kurdish women construct transnational connections at a local level &
Karolina Kulicka, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project: 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"