Post Doctoral Fellowships


Postdoctoral Fellowships 

Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society invites applications for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship renewable for a second year contingent on performance. The Center will award up to three fellowships. Applications are welcome from scholars across the humanities, social sciences, and social science related professional schools. We seek to appoint promising post-doctoral scholars who are actively engaged in research on topics related to our core scholarly mission, which is to develop and share knowledge to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society, and effect social change. It is a broad mandate, encompassing scholars from across the university. Potential applicants can get a sense of the wide range of scholarly projects under the PACS umbrella by consulting the research projects of current and past PhD and postdoctoral fellows at the Center. Topics range from the ethics of humanitarian aid, debates over school financing and form, assessments of the efficacy of foundation efforts at field-building, organizational capacity for continuous innovation, studies of altruism, and the role of social movements in civic engagement, to name only a few.

Each fellow will be affiliated with the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and potentially a department or school at Stanford University. The postdoctoral fellowship provides scholars with the opportunity to pursue original research related to philanthropy, social innovation, civic engagement and civil society (whether at the national or global level). Fellows will work closely with a Stanford faculty member while participating in Center activities, including an interdisciplinary workshop on philanthropy and civil society and some public events. There will be ample time for fellows to pursue their independent line of scholarship and to participate in workshops and activities outside of the Center, although it is also expected that they will collaborate with Stanford scholars and pursue research in tandem with their faculty sponsor.

Stanford University faculty members who are potential sponsors of a postdoctoral fellow include the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society Faculty Co-Directors Paul Brest, Woody Powell, and Rob Reich. A longer list of potential faculty is available on the website under the link for the faculty steering committee. The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society is an affiliate of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS). Since 2006, the Center has supported PhD students and undergraduates from across the university. The post-doctoral fellowship program, which began in 2010, is an effort to fund research from outside Stanford. The Center also sponsors a Junior Scholars Forum every June in which postdoctoral fellows participate.

The annual fellowship stipend is $55,000, plus the standard benefits that postdoctoral fellows at Stanford University receive, including health insurance and travel funds. The fellowship program falls under U.S. Immigration J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa activities. The start date of the fellowship will be September 1, 2015, unless otherwise agreed.

Applications should be submitted electronically by Jan. 9, 2015 to the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society via email to using the subject line "PACS Post-Doctoral Fellowship." Please include the following information in your application:

      •   Cover letter: detailing the reasons for the applicant's interest in coming to Stanford and an indication as to which faculty members they would be interested in working with should that faculty member have a reciprocal interest.

     •   Curriculum Vitae.

     •   Fellowship proposal: detailing the research that the fellow would undertake while at Stanford (five page limit).

     •   Writing sample: consisting of either a dissertation chapter or a recent published paper.

     •   Graduate Transcript: with proof that applicants have completed all the requirements for the PhD,  or a letter from their PhD advisor stating they will do so by June 2015.

     •   Two Letters of Recommendation

     •   Please disclose if you have additional funding arrangements.

To assume a Post-Doctoral Fellowship, you must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2015. We cannot consider applications from scholars who earned a PhD earlier than May 1, 2012. The deadline for submission is January 9, 2015 by 5:00pm PST. Questions about the application should be directed to Sam Spiewak, at Inquiries about the program can be directed either to Kim Meredith, Executive Director, or Faculty Co-Directors: Rob Reich or Walter Powell.

Send applications to:


Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Ruth Levine (JD/MA, Stanford University)

Yan Long (PhD, Sociology and Women's Studies, University of Michigan)

Emma Saunders-Hastings (PhD, Government, Harvard University)


Past Postdoctoral Fellows

Chiara Cordelli (Lecturer, Politics - University of Exeter; Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Politics – Princeton University)

Valeska Korff (Junior Professor, Dept. of Economics and Social Sciences – University of Potsdam)

Andrew Woods (Assistant Professor of Law - University of Kentucky College of Law)