Democracy Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applications for AY2024-25 are now closed. Applications for AY2025-2026 will open in September 2024.

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About the Fellowship

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.

Postdoctoral Fellows join the Ash Center’s academic community and participate in the Democracy Fellows weekly seminar. The fellowship then provides time and space for the fellows to work on preparing either a book manuscript based on their dissertation or related academic publications.


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.

The Ash Center is a global and values-driven community that believes diverse perspectives are paramount to better understanding and addressing real-world problems. In fostering an environment of rigor, curiosity, and integrity, we value and respect different opinions, lived experiences, and diverse research and policy areas and approaches. We actively seek candidates who share our commitment and values.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $65,000 annually, shared office space at the Ash Center, and access to Harvard’s libraries and online library services. The fellowship appointment period is August 1st through July 31st of the second year.

How to Apply

All Ash Center fellowship applications can be accessed through our universal fellowship application. You will be asked to create an account and log into the application. Once logged in, your progress is automatically saved as you fill out the application before submitting. You can revisit your application at any time on the “My Applications” menu item.

Access the Application

Meet the Current Fellows

Dimitri Courant
Headshot of Dmitri Courant

Dimitri Courant

Democracy Post-doctoral Fellow, AY2023-2025

Jamie Shenk
Headshot of Jamie Shenk

Jamie Shenk

Democracy Post-Doctoral Fellow, AY2022-2024

Max Kiefel
Headshot of Max Kiefel

Max Kiefel

Democracy Post-Doctoral Fellow, AY2022-2024



Frequently Asked Questions

Are letters of recommendation required?

Each fellowship is different, some do require letters of recommendation while others simply ask for references. Please login and view each application for requirements.

I need to make a change to my application—can I edit it once submitted or re-submit?

Throughout the application process, the application will automatically save and you can revisit it at any time. If you an unsure of any response, we encourage you to wait (your application does autosave and you can revisit it at any time on the “My Applications” page) and only submit once you’re ready. You cannot change your application once it is submitted.

Can I confirm that my application was received?

On the “My Applications” page, the status of your application will be displayed. The status “Submitted” indicates it has been received.

Do you provide visa sponsorship for Ash Center fellowships?

Yes, Harvard University can provide J-1 visa sponsorship for eligible fellows.

When will I hear the final decision?

All fall applicants will be notified by early spring.

Will I be required to relocate to Cambridge to complete this fellowship?

Yes, we expect fellows to be in Cambridge to participate in required on-campus activities.