Australian National University (ANU) PhD student Mark Fabian has been awarded one of four overseas 2016 National Parliamentary Fellowships which will see him head to India, where he will examine how the country can avoid the pitfalls of an economic middle-income trap.
Mark will be based in the office of a Member of India's Parliament as well as with an academic institution in New Delhi.
Mark has just completed a Master of International Development Economics at ANU, which drew his attention to the middle-income trap phenomenon where developing countries hit a wall in terms of economic growth.
"We have a number of countries that seem to reach a point in their development where the institutions they've used to get there have empowered vested interests that then hold back competition and inhibit further growth," Mark said.
"India's a really interesting case for that at the moment, and a really important one."
"They are roughly at the middle-income stage and have a lot of institutions that are considered important for avoiding the trap. But they still seem to have trouble gaining reform momentum."
Mark said the Fellowship will provide invaluable experience.
"It's very hard to get real experience in foreign policy. This program will be great because I'll be placed directly into a foreign political institution at quite a high level," he said.
Dr Shiro Armstrong who is involved in running the National Parliamentary Fellowship Program (NPFP) said the program was aimed at building Australia's future policy leaders.
"The people who have been picked are extremely ambitious people who we know are going to play an influential role in the future," he said.
"For them to know how these countries operate, and to build these networks up is extremely important, not just for them personally but much more broadly for Australia."
The NPFP is offered by the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy in association with the PRS Legislative Research in New Delhi and the Japan Center for International Exchange.
The three other successful NPFP applicants are Ben Ascione (ANU), David Sami UWA, Mark Fabian (ANU) and Ben Langley (ANU).