Democracy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation invites postdoctoral students who will be completing or will have recently completed a Ph.D. to apply for its Postdoctoral Democracy Fellowship. The Democracy Fellowships aim to support postdoctoral scholars whose research illuminates aspects of democratic governance in ways that are innovative and push the boundaries of their academic disciplines, whether political theory and philosophy, political science, sociology, law, or history. Furthermore, their research should have the potential for normative or practical relevance regarding urgent substantive policy or social problems related to democratic governance.

About the Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellows join the Ash Center’s academic community and participate in the Democracy Fellows weekly seminar. The fellowship provides time and space for the fellows to work on preparing either a book manuscript based on their dissertation or related academic publications. For more information about the Democracy Fellowships, see our Five-Year Retrospective.


Preference will be given to postdoctoral scholars whose research interests coincide with the Ash Center’s current focus on innovations in public participation and political participation in democracies or non-democracies. Eligible applicants will be completing or will have just recently completed dissertations—within the previous three years—in the fields of political theory, political philosophy, political science, sociology, law, or history. The duration of the fellowship is two academic years.



Fellows will receive a stipend of $60,000 annually, $2,500 per year for research during the fellowship, shared office space at the Ash Center, and access to Harvard’s libraries and online library services. Fellowships for the 2017-2019 academic year begin in August 2017.

How to Apply

The application for academic years 2018 - 2020 has now closed. Applications for AY2019-21 will be open in the summer of 2018, and will be due October 1st, 2018. With questions please contact Natalia Chavez, Program Assistant for Democratic Governance.

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.


Current Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow

Carolyn (Carrie) Roush, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University - Roush's research interests include American politics, public opinion, partisan polarization, and political psychology. Her current projects examine how the increasingly negative feelings that partisans hold toward their opponents influence their political beliefs, opinions, and behavior. Specifically, her research demonstrates that these negative out-party feelings have come to dominate the way that Americans think about the political world, influencing their positions on important political issues, the types of information they choose to accept or reject, and their attitudes toward democratic governance. Other co-authored projects explore alternate pathways through which partisans process unfavorable information and how partisan identities are formed in a cross-national context.

Carrie received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Vanderbilt University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dickinson College with dual degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Prior to her career in academia, Carrie worked in politics in Washington, D.C., an experience she credits with inspiring much of her research