2020 YouthMappers Research Fellowship

The application period has closed.

  • 1 November 2019 Annual Chapter Reports Due

  • 1 November 2019  Research Fellowship Applications Due

  • 1 March 2020  Notifications of Selection Results

  • June 2020  Research Methodology Symposia***

  • 30 June 2020  Revised Research Plan Due

  • July - December 2020  Six Month Research Fellowship Period

  • 1 March 2021 Final Research Report Due


Inquiries may be directed to info@youthmappers.org

The YouthMappers program invites applications for the 2020 YouthMappers Research Fellowship, a 9-month program designed to enlist, enable, and showcase the contributions of open geospatial data for research on resilience of vulnerable populations around the world.


Applications must include exactly two individuals working as a team: a university faculty mentor together with one undergraduate or graduate student who is currently enrolled in any field at an institution of higher education that has a YouthMappers chapter in good standing, including having submitted a 2019 Annual Chapter report.* Students who have previously received a YouthMappers Leadership or Research Fellowship are ineligible.


The student member of the team will propose a research project and will be competitively selected on the basis of four criteria (a) the student’s long-term potential to contribute to this research topic; (b) the merit of the research to advance understanding on resilience of vulnerable populations; (c) the innovative creation and use of OSM data in the study; and (d) the research must take place in a county with USAID presence. If the student research proposed is also planned to be submitted in part or whole for an undergraduate thesis, masters thesis, or dissertation, the faculty mentor who is supervising this work should ideally be the second member of the team. For applications from teams in non-USAID countries (USA, Canada, etc.), preference will be given to proposed research collaborations with universities who will establish a YouthMappers chapter or plan on working with an existing YouthMappers chapter located in a country with USAID presence. These applications must include a letter or email of interest from the host university as indicated in the list of required materials, below.


The role of the fellowship faculty mentor is to guide and advise the student fellow in the conduct of their research project and offer supervision of the completion of requirements such as the final report. It is anticipated that the student is most likely either enrolled at the mentor’s home institution or will be working closely with the institution on fieldwork; this institution is thus considered to be the local host organization for the project and is encouraged to provide or assist in addressing extra needs related to the research, such as workspace, libraries, information, communication access or other relevant institutional resources wherever feasible. If the research proposed is in a different country** other than the location of the student’s home university in order to conduct extensive fieldwork, a faculty mentor who is working in and a native from that country could also be an appropriate choice for the second member of the team. 


Both Fellowship students and mentors are invited to attend Research Methodology Symposia*** in the United States, and will receive logistical support, airfare, hotel and subsistence to attend, subject to visa approval. There, they will take part in customized technical training sessions, engage in scientific discussions, and share about successful data and analysis practices. The purpose of the symposia is to enhance the quality of the proposed research and communication of results. Participation in the symposium is a REQUIREMENT of both mentor and student for receiving the fellowship. Selected finalist teams unable to confirm Research Methodology Symposia attendance will be replaced with alternate applicants.


From 6 to 8 student-mentor teams will be selected for this fellowship. Over the life of the program, the teams will have the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with other teams from around the world that will be selected through this YouthMappers program. Research topics should relate to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and explain how open geospatial data will help address the global challenges we face.



  1. Applicants will submit a one-page cover letter consisting of the full names, titles, contact information, and email addresses of both team members (student fellow and mentor), along with the research project title. 

  2. Applications will include a brief 2-page CV from each member of the team (student fellow and mentor) highlighting their qualifications, and demonstrating their potential to successfully carry out the proposal. 

  3. Applications will include a research proposal of no more than 5 pages with the following characteristics:

    • A carefully-defined research question or problem statement that relates to understanding the resilience of vulnerable populations (the research does not have to be specific to the discipline of Geography). 

    • A proposed research plan that includes, but is not limited to, the creation of data on OpenStreetMap; 

    • A discrete data analysis section that explains the methodology and exactly how data collected will be analyzed to directly address the research question or problem statement

    • A timeline that can be reasonably accomplished in the six month period from July-December of 2020

    • A detailed budget of how the fellowship funding will be allocated; this should include a total up to but not exceeding $7,000.00 USD where $1,000.00 USD will be allocated to the faculty mentor as a stipend and $6,000.00 for the student fellow to utilize to carry out the research. 

      • ​For applicants from non-USAID countries (Canada, USA, etc.) a reasonable portion of the budget should be reserved to support the host university or local YouthMappers chapter where the research will take place. This line item should be included with a number estimate and justification in the detailed budget.​
      • The $6,000.00 USD student stipend can be used for supplies, equipment, travel, internet/data, printing, and other costs related to carrying out the research project.

    • For applicants from non-USAID countries (Canada, USA, etc.) a letter or email message from the host university or local YouthMappers chapter indicating interest in collaborating on the research is required. There is no required commitment from host chapters or institutions for such applications.


UPLOAD AND SUBMIT the ten-page application (one-page cover letter, 2-page student fellow CV, 2-page mentor CV, 5-page proposal inclusive of a detailed budget) compiled in a SINGLE document (PDF or Word) via the application form: 






You will need a Gmail email address or Google account to access the form and submit your application. If you encounter issues with the form, please email info@youthmappers.org. Receipt of all submissions will be acknowledged within one business days by email.


Where merit according to the selection criteria is equal, preference will be given to students from countries served by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Students with a chapter of YouthMappers in any country are eligible to apply.**



The Fellowship will provide the following:

  • Logistical support, visa costs, airfare, hotel, and subsistence to attend the Research Methodology Symposia in the United States to be provided directly by the program, separately from the fellowship award; other personal travel expenditures are the responsibility of the student fellow and mentor.

  • Additionally, a team fellowship amount of $7,000 USD to be used to support the 6 months of research activity, including any and all expenses for fieldwork, stipends, equipment or other needs, paid in two installments of half of the funds provided at the beginning of the period in July 2020 (after submission of the revised research plan) and the other half of funds provided upon completion of all program activities and reports in March 2021 ($1,000.00 USD mentor stipend; $6,000.00 USD other expenses).

  • Networking support to provide additional mentoring by international experts and to connect their research results with relevant international stakeholder organizations

  • A formal certificate of recognition from the YouthMappers program

The official language for applications, training and program communication in this initiative is English but the research and final report may be produced in any language.

*Chapters are considered in Good Standing when they have been 1) formally approved by the program via certificate (see complete list of approved chapters) and 2) have submitted a 2019 annual report by November 1, 2019. Please note - applicants are NOT required to be formal officers of the chapter. There is NO LIMIT on the number of applicants considered per chapter, but the program may limit the number of selected participants for any given chapter or country in order to diversify participation.


**Preferred Countries include any country with a USAID presence and/or a YouthMappers chapter. Chapters located in countries without USAID presence (Canada, United States of America, etc.) can propose research in a country with USAID presence, with preference given to proposed research collaborations with universities who will establish a YouthMappers chapter.


*** Research Methodology Symposia will take place in the United States in early June 2020. The first week will be held in Washington, D.C. and include training in data collection tools and analysis techniques for OSM data taught by faculty at The George Washington University and the Arizona State University Washington, D.C. campus. A visit to the USAID Headquarters and other organizations germane to the needs of the selected fellows will also be included in the agenda. Student-faculty teams will also receive training in stakeholder outreach and scientific communications to improve the dissemination of results by experts in these areas from The George Washington University, Arizona State University, and West Virginia University. 

This program is organized by the YouthMappers co-founding administrative team at Arizona University, Texas Tech University, West Virginia University, and The George Washington University with funding support provided by the United States Agency for International Development through the USAID GeoCenter, Cooperative Agreement Number: 7200AA18CA00015

© 2016 by YouthMappers. Proudly created with Wix.com. Supported by USAID Award #AID-OAA-G-15-00007 and Cooperative Agreement Number: 7200AA18CA00015.

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