Martin Chautari (MC) has established a fellowship under the title 'Chautari Fellowship on Public Life and Public Knowledge' in the year 2010. This fellowship will be awarded to Nepal-based Nepali academics or public intellectuals who, in the analysis of the executive committee of MC, have demonstrated competently their commitment to public life and public knowledge in their domains of work in Nepal. Thus this fellowship falls under MC's larger commitment to expanding the quality of the public sphere and building the social contract between the state and citizens.
Initially only one such fellowship will be awarded per year and later, funds permitting, its number can be increased. It is expected that the fellow will use the one-year tenure of the fellowship to complete a major piece of work that will enhance public life and public knowledge in Nepal. This could be in the form of research and writing for academics, writers, print journalists and others for whom writing is the chief mode of production. It could also come in the form of an audio-visual product for documentary makers, broadcast journalists and others for whom such products are the chief mode of production. It could also come in the form of art work (any genre), theatre show or related public events for those engaged in such work in their capacity as public intellectuals.
The fellow will also be expected to deliver a public lecture or a similar event on a topic related to his/her work during the fellowship tenure, make 2-3 presentations in MC's regular discussion series, and participate in all major MC events. The fellow is also expected to interact informally with MC researchers and others in a regular basis during the fellowship period at the MC premises.
Each year, the executive committee of MC will come up with a few names of people who could be awarded this fellowship based on their track record. Among these, it will rank some individuals and approach them in order of the ranking. Once MC's offer has been accepted by a potential fellow, details of the fellowship tenure, work to be accomplished, and mutual expectations will be discussed and finalized. A memorandum of understanding describing these terms will be signed between MC and the fellow.
In most cases, the fellowship will be for a period of one year, coinciding if possible, with the reporting annual cycle of MC (mid-July one year to mid-July the following year). If that is not possible, the fellowship tenure period will be decided through discussions between MC and the fellow. The fellow will be provided with a stipend (the amount of which can vary each year) and when appropriate, working space within MC premises. S/he will have borrowing privileges from the MC library, access to related facilities and will also be provided partial research assistance when appropriate. S/he will also obtain gift copies of MC publications that appear during the fellowship tenure.
For 2011-12, this Chautari fellowship has been awarded to the engineer turned historian Yogesh Raj. During the fellowship year (November 2011 to October 2012), he will work on a research project entitled 'Travels of the Newar Potters: A History.'