PhD Fellowship Program

PACS PhD Fellowship 2024-25

Call for Applications

The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) brings together faculty, scholars, students, and practitioners dedicated to research and knowledge sharing to solve the world’s most pressing societal challenges and create social change. Each year, PACS welcomes a multidisciplinary group of new scholars to join its vibrant community through its Fellowship Program. We invite outstanding, highly motivated PhD students to apply. 

The deadline for applications to the 2024-2025 PACS PhD Fellowship is 

March 25, 2024.

***TO APPLY***

Eligibility: Second-year Stanford PhD students and beyond, at the pre- or post-dissertation proposal stage, are eligible. Students will be expected to begin the year with a well-defined research project to carry out during their fellowship year. The project is often, but need not be, connected to a dissertation. We welcome proposals from the social sciences, the humanities, and social science-related professional schools including Business, Education, Engineering, Law, and Sustainability. We view applicants who have already participated in the yearlong PACS workshop favorably (EDUC 374, LAW 781, POLISCI 334, SOC 374, SUSTAIN 324). We do consider repeat applicants, however, because we endeavor to build and sustain a research community, we unfortunately tend not to fund students in the final year of their programs. 

Research Topics: The PACS Center explores the role of civil society in a very broad sense, appreciating that civil society plays an expanding role in defining and addressing social problems in the U.S. and around the world. Some overarching themes include the vibrancy and role of civil society as a site for democratic deliberation and sustainability 

efforts; revisiting associational life in a digital era; and philanthropic trends and  accountability. We welcome research across different methodological approaches, and across different geographic regions. 

View the profiles of our current cohort of PhD Fellows here.

Funding: The fellowship provides up to a full academic year of support—stipend, tuition, and health insurance—for PhD students.

Expectations: Fellows will spend a year in residence, participating in the signature yearlong research workshop at PACS that meets alternating weeks throughout the fall, winter, and spring quarters. The workshop provides Fellows the opportunity to engage in discussions on recent literature and seminal works that form the corpus of scholarly knowledge of civil society, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector. Fellows have the opportunity to learn from others and present their work in an interdisciplinary setting. The fellowship cohort will also have the opportunity to meet regularly with one another and the PACS Associate Director of Research and Scholar Programs to further develop their intellectual and professional skills and community. PACS also offers several events with notable speakers throughout the year, which Fellows are encouraged to attend.

Application Requirements: Please provide the following information by completing this form that includes a request for:

  1. Description of research project
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Graduate transcript

Letter of Recommendation: Please select a faculty mentor who can speak to your skills, motivation, and research. Recommendation letters should be submitted separately here.

Deadline: All materials, including recommendation letters, need to be submitted by midnight on March 25, 2024.

Interviews: Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place in early May.

Announcement: All applicants will be notified of their status by the end of May.Questions: If you have questions, please contact Lisa Overbey at loverbey@stanford.edu.