2020 Visiting Fellowship Scheme

The Visiting Fellowship Scheme provides an opportunity for University of Melbourne faculties to engage with a range of different statelessness scholars and to expand international research collaborations.


The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School was established in 2018 with the objective of undertaking research, teaching and engagement activities aimed at reducing statelessness and protecting the rights of stateless people in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and as appropriate more broadly. The Centre offers Visiting Fellowships for up to two months. Visiting scholars are provided with a work-space, computer and library access. They are expected to give a public seminar as part of the Centre’s seminar series and to participate in the academic life and work of the Centre including offering a work in progress for our reading group, and participate in events and workshops where applicable.


The Centre accommodates both self-funded Visiting Fellows and those seeking a scholarship to cover parts of their expenses. Applications from self-funded Visiting Fellows will also be considered outside the application period, subject to the availability of space. Funding of up to AU$4000 is available for Visiting Fellows towards the costs of travel to, and accommodation in, Melbourne. As such, applicants should consider the cost implications before applying, as there may be additional expenses not covered by the fellowship. Visiting Fellows from outside Australia are responsible for obtaining and funding any necessary visas or insurance. Fellowships are funded jointly by the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and the Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative.

Application Process

The Centre acknowledges the diversity of individuals doing research or working on statelessness around the globe. Applications are invited from researchers ranging from PhD students, postdoctoral researchers to tenured academics to visit the Centre. Applications from non-academic visiting professionals will also be considered, if they propose an applied research project of relevance to the work of the centre.

The Visiting Fellowships are to be taken up within the time frame from February to December 2020. Once accepted, Visiting Fellows are encouraged to consider timing their visits to coincide with any major Centre activities.

Applications must include the following in one PDF document:

  • Curriculum vitae and list of publications
  • Research plan (maximum 1000 words), outlining the research, proposed activities/collaboration during visiting period and contribution to the work of the Centre
  • Proposed dates of the visit in 2020
  • Indication of whether a Visiting Fellowship grant is sought. For those seeking funding, please provide a brief justification, including any other funding sought or secured to cover expenses (maximum 250 words)
  • One letter of reference (for PhD students letter of reference from the PhD supervisor; for non-academic visitors letter of support from employer or other entity the visitor is professionally associated with).

Applications for 2020 Fellowships closed on 31 August 2019. 

Visiting Fellowships PDF document

Visiting Fellows 2020

Zahra Albarazi, Statelessness expert and consultant, United Kingdom
Proposed Research: Statelessness in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Talha Abdul Rahman, Legal Practitioner before Supreme Court, New Delhi, India 
Proposed Research: Assessment of adjudicatory processes regarding the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the state of Assam in India

Iryna Aleksieieva,  Project Manager and strategic litigation expert, NGO ‘Right to Protection’, Kyiv, Ukraine
Statelessness in Ukraine: limits to right to a nationality on grounds of national security

Victoria Reitter,  PhD student, Department of Sociology, University of Salzburg, Austria
Bureaucratic practices in handling stateless persons’ registration, statelessness determination and decision-making.

Visiting Fellows 2019

Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul, PhD Candidate (anthropology), Victoria University of Wellington
Proposed research: Stateless Shan in Thailand; and collaborator on the Centre’s nomadic peoples & statelessness project.

Heather Alexander, PhD Candidate (law), Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Proposed Research: Nomadic peoples and statelessness.

Julija Sardelic, Marie Curie Postdoc Fellow, Leuven International and European, University of Leuven, Belgium
Proposed Research: Statelessness and citizenship of Roma in Europe.

Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Visiting Fellow, Myanmar Studies Program, ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore
Proposed Research: How arbitrary state policies and practices in Myanmar have made citizenship regressively inaccessible for Rohingya.

Lindsey Kingston, Associate Professor, Director, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, Webster University, USA
Proposed Research: Conceptualising “statelessness-as-punishment” (denationalisation).

Past Visiting Fellows

  • Dr Laura van Waas
    Dr Laura van Waas
    Dr Laura van Waas

    Dr. Laura van Waas is a founder and Co-Director of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion as well as Assistant Professor at the Department of European and International Law at Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands. Laura’s PhD manuscript, ‘Nationality Matters’ (Intersentia, 2008), is widely used as a reference for understanding international statelessness law by researchers and practitioners all over the world.

    In more than a decade of working on the issue of statelessness, Laura has carried out a wide array of research and teaching projects, both within academia and for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other actors. She has worked as a consultant for UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva as well as the regional offices in Beirut and Bangkok. She has supervised or conducted studies on statelessness for, among others, Plan International, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Open Society Foundations, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the United States Department of State, the European Parliament and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

    During Laura’s visit to the Centre (from October – December 2017), she worked closely with the Centre’s Director, Michelle Foster, on the first stages in the design of a collaborative teaching project that involves developing a curriculum on statelessness as well as exploring other areas for research-related collaboration.