Democracy Doctoral Fellowships

The application for academic years 2019-2020 has now closed. Applications for AY 2020-2021 will be open by mid-August 2019.

The Ash Center is a vibrant and values-driven community. We are committed to diversity and welcome people of varied backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and disciplines. We actively seek applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities and underrepresented backgrounds.

The Ash Center awards two dissertation research fellowships to Harvard Kennedy School Ph.D. candidates or other Harvard University students in related fields. The aim of this fellowship is to support well-defined doctoral work from Harvard University students focused on innovations in public participation and political participation in non-democracies.

About the fellowship

Pre-doctoral fellows join the Ash Center’s academic community and participate in the Democracy Fellows weekly seminar. The fellowship affords doctoral candidates the time and space to work on completing their dissertations without the obligation of teaching at a critical time in their program. For more information about the Democracy Fellowships, see our Five-Year Retrospective.


Doctoral dissertation topics should fall within the parameters of the Center’s current focus on innovations in public participation and political participation in democracies or non-democracies. Candidates should have an excellent academic record and well-defined research objectives. Preference will be given to applicants whose projects have progressed beyond the conceptual stages of the research.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $30,000 annually and shared work space at the Ash Center.

How to Apply

The application for academic years 2019-2020 has now closed. Applications for AY 2020-21 will be open by mid-August and will be due October 31, 2019. If you have questions, please contact Teresa Acuña, Associate Director for Democratic Governance Programs.
Harvard is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.



- Are letters of recommendation requested as part of application?
        No, letters are not requested.

- I accidently submitted my application without completing it. Can you delete this application?
        If two applications are recieved by the same individual, we will use the last version submitted. 

- Can I make changes to my application packet after I have submitted?
        No, we are unable to make changes to your application.

The 2018-19 Democracy Doctoral Fellows:

Abigail Modaff, PhD candidate in History at Harvard University
Jonathan Gould, PhD candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University