Junior Scholars Forum

This program is on hold due to pandemic restrictions and it will be resumed once in-person events and programs are permitted.



The goal of the forum is to highlight exciting work being done by young scholars and to contribute to the development of their scholarship. This year, for the Junior Scholars Forum 2019, we will host the forum on the Stanford University campus. The annual Junior Scholars Forum brings together newer researchers, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty, working in the general areas of civil society, the nonprofit sector, and philanthropy to increase the sense of intellectual community and enhance the overall quality of research.

The Stanford PACS Junior Scholars Forum, which has been run by the center for the last five years, is generously funded by the Rockefeller Foundation for the next three years.

In summer 2014 the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society hosted its inaugural Junior Scholars Forum, a gathering that brought together newer researchers with senior scholars for two days of presentations, intensive discussions and socializing. The forum highlighted exciting work being done in the fields of philanthropy and civil society. The 11 junior scholars selected for the inaugural forum were drawn from a competitive pool of applications and came from political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Each paper selected will have two discussants, one an established scholar working in the area of research, the other a graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow who is also working on the topic. The forum will provide ample time for discussion and meals together so that we can begin build an intellectual community that we hope will last beyond forum.We are open to a wide variety of topic areas.


Some themes that we are particularly interested in and in which there is active work under way at Stanford:

Walter W. Powell and Johanna Mair

 Walter W. Powell, Faculty Co-Director and Johanna Mair, Academic Editor, Stanford Social Innovation Review; Codirector, Global Innovation for Impact Lab at Stanford PACS.

  • The expansion of global governance, particularly transnational organizations and their causes and impact
  • The role of social movements and advocacy groups in policy reform or revolt efforts at measuring effectiveness in the social sector
  • The relationship between philanthropy and democracy
  • New organizational forms, ranging from hybrids to b corps, from cooperatives to for-profits with a purported social mission; corporate social responsibility; impact investing
  • Novel approaches to analyzing the role of social capital in civil society
  • New open models of public media and knowledge, ranging from journalism to encyclopedias to scientific production


The theme for the 2020 Junior Scholars Forum is Mechanisms and Outcomes of Social change and will feature a curated call for scholars conducting research in social movements.