Democracy Visiting 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 faculty, doctoral, and postdoctoral students to apply to its Democracy Visiting Fellowship Program and further their research on substantive democratic governance issues.


We are broadly interdisciplinary and invite scholars who use approaches from political theory and philosophy, political science, sociology, law, or history. We are especially interested in drawing scholars whose work focuses on innovations in public participation and political participation in democracies or non-democracies.

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.


The duration of the fellowship is one academic year, lasting August 1 until July 31. Visiting Fellows will be expected to participate in a weekly community seminar series and engage in the activities of the Ash Center and Harvard Kennedy School more broadly. The Democracy Visiting Fellowship carries a modest administration fee, and offers institutional support including physical and online library access, access to Harvard’s electronic resources, and use of our shared fellow study space. If required, dedicated office space can be arranged that carries an additional fee.

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

David Weil
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David Weil

Visiting Democracy Senior Fellow, AY23-24;
Co-Director, Transparency Policy Project AY2018-2023

Soha Hammam
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Soha Hammam

Nonviolent Action Lab Research Associate and Democracy Visiting Fellow, AY2023-2024

Michael Lucas
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Michael Lucas

Democracy Visiting Fellow, AY2023-2024



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.