The Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) and the East-West Center (EWC) are pleased to launch the Development Research for Oceania Pipeline (DROP) program, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The purpose of DROP is to increase awareness and understanding of the development challenges of the Pacific. This program was established to provide support for graduate (Master and Doctoral) thesis and dissertation research related to priority Pacific development issues identified in consultation with senior officials of Pacific Developing Member Countries (PDMCs). Awardees will engage in policy-oriented field research with outputs developed in coordination with EWC and in line with ADB and regional development priorities.

Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2021 (HST); awards will be announced in May 2021.


  • Eligible graduate students will be at the writing stage of their thesis or dissertation by the beginning of the award.
  • Applicants must be officially enrolled in a regionally accredited graduate program.
  • Research must be policy-oriented field research related to priority development issues in Pacific Development Member Countries. 
  • Research much be undertaken in Pacific Developing Member Countries.

Award Components

  • Award Component 1, up to $35,000. The EWC awards each researcher up to $35,000 for educational studies and research in a Pacific Development Member Country.
  • Award Component 2, up to $15,000 to support residency at the EWC and possibly other policy institutes in the Region and participation in relevant regional meetings, dialogues, strategy sessions, academic conferences, and other events to share their research and engage with regional actors.
  • Award Component 3, DROP Mentoring. In addition to the funding, EWC and PIDP staff will work with the researchers in building research connections with Pacific scholars, engaging in policy dialogue through EWC-sponsored and related fora, and finalizing research studies and summaries for dissemination.