Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship Programme

Building human capacity in ocean affairs and the law of the sea since 1981

The Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship (HSA) was established in 1981, in memory of the late Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe, the first President of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1973-1980), in recognition of his contribution to the development of the law of the sea. The late Ambassador Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe of Sri Lanka had been Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee to Study the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and Ocean Floor from 1967 to 1970 and subsequently, of the Standing Committee for the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction, from 1970 to 1973.


           HSA was established by General Assembly resolution 36/108 on the “United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law” of 10 December 1981 and by General Assembly resolution 36/79 on the “Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea” of 9 December 1981.

           By the said resolutions, the General Assembly invited Governments, as well as universities, philanthropic foundations and other interested national and international institutions and organizations to contribute to HSA.

           The Fellowship was established as an activity to be carried out within the framework of the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study and Wider Dissemination of International Law (TLA Trust Fund).

Fellowship Award Recipients

Object and Purpose of the Award

           The Fellowship is intended, primarily, for Government officials as well as research fellows or lecturers who are involved in ocean law or maritime affairs, or related disciplines, either in Governments or educational institutions and bodies. The purpose of the Fellowship is to assist candidates to acquire additional knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in order to promote its wider appreciation and application, and to enhance the specialized experience in those fields.

            The selected fellows are provided with the facilities to undertake research and further study at one of the participating institutions for a minimum of three to six months and a further one to three months of internship with the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs. Special consideration is given to persons who may not have the means or facilities for further studies, training, or experience in their own or other countries. The Fellowship is intended to further the selected fellows in their vocations and thus to benefit their countries.

Participating Institutions

Several educational institutions are associated with the Fellowship programme and have offered facilities for selected fellows to carry out specialized research and studies for a minimum period of three to six months. The institutions participating in the programme are listed here.

For more information on the HSA Fellowship, see The Guidelines and Rules concerning the HSA.


Candidates must:

  • have a degree in Law, Marine Sciences, Political Science, Ocean Management or technical training in Ocean Management, Administration of Ports or in related disciplines; 
  • have at least five years of work-related experience;
  • be between the ages of 25 and 40 years.


Please submit the following forms to DOALOS:

Incomplete applications will not be considered