Democracy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The application for academic years 2019-2021 has now closed. Applications for AY 2020-2022 will be open in 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 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 2020-2022 academic year begin in August 2020.

How to Apply

The application for academic years 2019-2021 has now closed. Applications for AY 2020-22 will be open mid-August 2019 and will be due September 30, 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, lettters of recommendation 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.

Current Democracy Postdoctoral Fellows

Carolyn (Carrie) RoushPh.D., Vanderbilt University

Peter Johannessen, Ph.D., Princeton University