The Robert M. Immerman
Professional Fellows Programs


The Robert M. Immerman Professional Fellows Program of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute provides East Asia focused mid-career professionals with a one-of-a-kind research and learning community at one of the world’s most prestigious universities and within a dynamic city.

Since its inception over 20 years ago, the program has attracted Professional Fellows from the fields of government, media, non-profit and business. While at the Institute, Fellows become informed with the latest research on East Asia, and develop their respective research areas and interests with Columbia University scholars and faculty. They can pursue their research not only within the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) but at other schools such as Business, Law, and Journalism, as well.

As an integral part of the Institute, Professional Fellows play an active role in the Institute-sponsored policy forums, brown bag lectures, and other special events. They are also encouraged to participate in the rich programming offered at Columbia University as well as pursue other professional interests across the campus.

Located in one of New York City’s most historic neighborhoods, Morningside Heights, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University offers all the amenities of a college town along with a vibrant urban environment. The campus is also in close proximity to the United Nations diplomatic community and New York’s financial center. This backdrop in combination with Columbia’s distinguished academic and research institutions creates a perfect learning environment for Professional Fellows to reflect on their careers, exchange perspectives and acquire new skills and contacts.

Under the Professional Fellows Program, prospective candidates can enroll in one of the following two categories: Professional Fellow or Professional Associate.
In both categories, the Institute offers enrollment for one or two semesters.

Professional Fellow 
  • Opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of Columbia’s distinguished experts in the participant’s field of research
  • Access to various University libraries and other facilities
  • Option to audit courses throughout the University with the permission of the course instructor
  • Opportunity to publicize the results of their research
  • Office space (shared)
  • Office services (mailbox, telephone and access to a photocopier, fax machine and computer)

Professional Associate
An Institute Associate is an inexpensive alternative to the Professional Fellows Program. Associates enjoy all the benefits of a Professional Fellow except office space and telephone access.

List of Current Professional Fellows and Professional Associates

Program Fee

Professional Fellow: $15,000 per semester 
Professional Associate: $10,000 per semester

Please Note: Professional Fellows and Professional Associates are responsible for their own travel and living expenses.

Applying To The Program 
Those interested in applying to the Professional Fellows Program, please send (email, fax or postal mail) the following materials to the address listed below:
  • Application (Download Application)
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Proposal (2-3 double spaced pages)
  • Financial support/guarantee statement from applicant’s employer or personal bank statement indicating his/her ability to cover living expenses as well as program fees*
  • TOEFL test results or equivalent measurement of English language ability
  • Headshot photograph

* In addition to program fees, you will need at least $2800 per month for yourself to cover living expenses. If your family intends to accompany you, an additional $1,000 per month for your spouse and $500 per month per child is required.

  • To begin research on January 1st (Spring Semester) applications must be submitted by October 1 of the preceding year.
  • To begin research on September 1st (Fall Semester) applications must be submitted by May 15 of that year.
American Language Program (ALP)
For those who wish to improve their written or spoken English language skills, courses are available during the summer and academic year through Columbia’s American Language Program.  For more information, go to

Alumni Connections
Lifelong friendships, professional contacts, and common connections with other Professional Fellow alumni are among the most powerful benefits of the program.  Our alumni network consists of members from many different organizations in a variety of fields including the following:
  • Asahi Shimbun
  • Bank of Japan
  • CommonWealth Magazine
  • Constitutional Court of Korea
  • Korean Broadcasting Systems (KBS)
  • Shanghai Media Group
  • Tokyo Broadcasting Systems (TBS)
  • United Nations
For further information or questions please contact: 

Sarah Kirsch
Program Coordinator for Professional Fellows
Tel: +1-212-854-8193

Robert M. Immerman Professional Fellows Program 
Weatherhead East Asian Institute
ATTN: Sarah Kirsch
420 West 118th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10027
Phone: +1-212-854-8193
Fax: +1-212-749-1497