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.  

Application deadline for 2023 February 13, 2023.

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. Writing sample (5-10 pp.)
3. Resume or c.v.
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 input on the UB Scholarship Portal:

2022 Fellow: Victoria Nachreiner

Ph.D. Candidate, History

Image of a smiling woman with blue hair.

Victoria Nachreiner, Department of History

Victoria Nachreiner's dissertation, "A Marriage of Aesthetics: Afropolitan Consumption, Bodily Practices, and Cis-Atlantic Gendering in Old Calabar, 1840-1940," examines the changing meanings of womanhood, masculinity, and marriage in the context of trans-Atlantic exchanges. It aims to highlight how the introduction of European fashions, Christianity, Western education, and colonialism altered gender performances, sexual practices, and marriage regulations in the region. Central to this project is the premarital rite of fattening young girls in preparation for marriage due to its role in the transmission of ideas about womanhood and marriage through bodily practices. With support from the Isabel S. Marcus Research Fellowship, Victoria will return to Nigeria to conduct fieldwork essential for gaining the perspectives of African women whose voices have largely been effaced by contemporary written sources. 

Advisor:  Ndubueze Mbah, History

2021 Fellow: Marta Aleksandrowicz

Ph.D. Candidate, Comparative Literature

Image of a smiling woman with reddish-brown hair wearing a dark tweed coat against a brick wall.

Marta Aleksandrowicz, Department of Comparative Literature


Marta Aleksandrowicz’s dissertation project, entitled “Flight, Cockroach, and the Maid: Toward a New, Feminine Universal in Olga Tokarczuk, Clarice Lispector, and Gloria Anzaldúa,” examines connections between postsocialist Eastern European and decolonial Chicana and Latin American feminisms from literary perspectives to argue that their new formulations of universality create new forms of transnational feminist solidarity. In particular, she focuses on the Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector, 2019 Polish Nobel prize winner Olga Tokarczuk, and Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldúa. Her project examines main aspects of universality in their writing: forgotten mythologies; erased figures of history, society, and culture; unconscious experiences; multilingual, polysemic, affective dimensions of language and translation; work of desire; and tender attention to the fragments. Neither abstract nor exclusionary, this universal contests troublesome associations of universality with white Western masculinity. With support from the Isabel Marcus Fellowship, Marta will complete her doctoral research and continue deepening her knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese.

Advisor: Ewa Ziarek, Comparative Literature

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.

Advisor: Paige Sarlin, Media Study

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, they 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 their history dissertation project which examines the embedded gendered and racialized assessments within historical charges of religious insanity.


Alexandra Prince, History

Former Fellows

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
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


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 (if they are doctoral students).
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.