2024 KF Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research

Program Outline

The KF Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research (PF) is designed to support the full-time research of emerging scholars who have recently obtained a Ph.D. with a Korea-related research topic at a university or research institution located outside Korea.

Eligible Applicants

Scholars who have recently obtained a Ph.D. in the humanities, social sciences, arts & cultural studies, or any other relevant field with a Korea-related research topic and fulfill the following criteria:

– Have obtained a Ph.D. within the past five years from the start date of the fellowship period.*

*Ph.D. candidates who are scheduled to receive their degrees before the start of the fellowship period are eligible to apply.

– Have not been awarded a position at a university equivalent to or exceeding that of a full-time lecturer, or as a senior researcher at a research institution.  

– Hold citizenship or permanent residency status in a country outside Korea.  

*Applicants who are Korean citizens must have already obtained permanent residency status in a country outside Korea as of September 2023.


Fellowship Period

1 year (starting from either the 2024 spring semester or the 2024 fall semester)

Fellowship Support

Stipend to support postdoctoral research*

*The amount will be determined based on the screening committee’s review of applicants’ proposals and on the circumstances of the region where the affiliated institution is located.

Application Schedule

– Application submission period: September 1 to October 11, 2023 (18:00 KST)*

*The deadline for the submission of reference letters is October 13, 2023 (18:00 KST). Please note that any letters submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.

– Notification of results: By the end of November 2023*

*The notification date is subject to change without prior notice.

Required Documents

1. Online application (https://apply.kf.or.kr/)

2. Supplemental documents*

*All documents are to be uploaded together with the online application, except for reference letters, which are to be submitted directly by referees.

① Research proposal

– Complete the form available on the online application portal.

– Free narrative proposal, including but not limited to detailed descriptions of the proposed research topic; research goal; significance of the research contributing to the field of Korean studies; suggested research methodology and materials; planned research schedule; and reasons why the research project shall be conducted at the proposed affiliated institution. Applicants are required to include a separate bibliography.

② Curriculum vitae

– Information about applicants’ educational experience (including the title of applicants’ dissertation and the date on which they obtained their Ph.D.), professional experience, scholarship and grant award history, research accomplishments, and publications.

③ Copies of letters to affiliated institutions

– Copy of letter(s) sent by applicants to the proposed affiliated university or research institution at which they hope to conduct research during the fellowship period.

– Maximum of up to three (3) letters; no changes of institution(s) are permitted after the submission of the application.

④ Copy of acceptance letter from the affiliated institution (if available*)

– Copy of acceptance letter from the affiliated institution, if the request for a postdoctoral stay has been accepted before the submission of the application.

*In case the request is accepted after the submission of the application, a copy of the acceptance letter should be submitted separately.

⑤ Details about doctoral dissertation

– Dissertation abstract, table of contents, chapter summaries, sample chapter, and publication plan (free form).

⑥ Copy of academic transcripts of graduate degrees

 Academic transcripts of M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

⑦ Copy of Ph.D. degree certificate (if available*)

– Copy of Ph.D. degree certificate, if the degree has been obtained before the submission of the application.

*If applicants have not yet obtained their Ph.D. when submitting their application, a copy of the degree certificate must be submitted before the start of the fellowship period.

⑧ Reference letters*

– Three (3) letters of recommendations (including one from the doctoral supervisor).

*How to submit reference letters:

 When applicants click on “Send email to request recommendation” on the online application form, emails will be sent automatically to the indicated referees, asking them to submit reference letters for the respective applicants.

 If applicants do not click on “Send email to request recommendation” on the online application form, emails will be sent automatically to the indicated referees once the application is submitted.

 Letters must be prepared in a designated form and directly submitted by referees via the upload link, as explained in the email that is sent to them.

Important reminder

 If reference letters are not submitted by the October 13 (18:00 KST) deadline, the application will not be considered as submitted and will be automatically excluded from the screening process. Please note that it is applicants’ sole responsibility to inform the referees in advance and ask them to submit their letters before the deadline.

⑨ Proof of nationality or permanent residency status

– Copy of picture ID indicating nationality, residency permit, or any other relevant details.

How to Apply

Complete and submit the online application form via the KF Application Portal (https://apply.kf.or.kr/) by clicking on the “Apply” button at the bottom of this announcement.  

– The application and all required documents should be submitted in either Korean or English.*

*If any of the documents are in another language, translated versions in either Korean or English must be attached to the original copy.

Important Reminders about the Program

1. Recipients may be awarded with the KF Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research only once, and previous recipients cannot reapply for the program.

2. Fellowship recipients may not receive any other concurrent grants or fellowships provided by the KF or other Korean institutions. Breach of this condition will result in the suspension of the fellowship, and fellows will be required to return the grant to the KF.

3. During the fellowship period, fellowship recipients must conduct research at a university* or institution located outside Korea, where Korean studies programs are offered or faculty members as well as research materials for Korea-related research field are available. During the fellowship period, fellowship recipients must stay in the country where the university or institution is located, devote the fellowship period entirely to their research, and actively participate in Korea-related academic activities

*Recipients may not conduct research at the university from which they obtained their Ph.D.

4. Fellowship periods may not be deferred to the following year.

5. Fellowship grants shall be awarded in three installments:

– The first installment (50% of the total grant) will be disbursed after all required documents are verified and the fellowship agreement is concluded.

– The second installment (40% of the total grant) will be disbursed after the interim report is submitted and reviewed by the KF.

– The third installment (10% of the total grant) will be disbursed after the final report are submitted and reviewed by the KF.

6. Fellowship recipients are required to submit an interim report after six (6) months have passed from the beginning of the fellowship period, and a final report detailing the progress made within seven (7) days of the end of the fellowship period, using the KF’s standard report forms.

7. Fellowship recipients must revise their doctoral dissertation during the fellowship period and publish it as book or research paper within three years after the end of the fellowship period. A statement that the research was supported by the KF must be clearly visible on the publication. Recipients must also inform the KF about any major academic achievements and activities they are involved in as well as any appointments to academic positions even after the fellowship period has ended.*

*The KF will monitor recipients’ research progress annually for three years following the conclusion of the fellowship period. Fellows who do not fulfill the above outlined responsibilities will be ineligible for future support from the Korea Foundation.

Important Reminders about the Application

1. All personal information included in the application form will be exclusively used for the program’s purposes. By submitting the application, applicants agree to the collection of their personal information by the KF.

2. As system errors may occur at the end of the application period due to heavy web traffic, it is recommended to submit the application well before the submission deadline. No exceptions will be granted, even if the failure to submit one’s applications was caused by system errors.


– Inquiries about the program: KF Fellowships Department (scholarship@kf.or.kr)

– Inquiries about the KF Application Portal: KF Help Desk (tech-support@kf.or.kr)

Attached: FAQs

For optimal operation of KF online application system, please use Chrome or Internet Explorer browser.


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