Digital Civil Society Lab


Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) brings promising new scholars to Stanford for 1-2 year appointments as postdoctoral fellows. The Lab is pleased to welcome applications for 2018-2019.

About the fellowship

We seek to appoint exceptional scholars who are actively engaged in research on topics related to priority research areas, which include:

  • The key dimensions of digital infrastructure and data and how they influence the role of independent civil society in democracies;
  • Understanding, creating, and expanding access to software, hardware and digital practices that align with the values of civil society in democracies;
  • The nature of digital data donations and/or the governance mechanisms, enterprise forms, or legal constructs that such donations require;
  • The role of digital infrastructure, data, and connectivity and their influence on relationships between governments, markets, and civil society.

We encourage applications from candidates representing a broad range of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, law, computer science and engineering.

Each fellow will be affiliated with the Digital Civil Society Lab and potentially a department or school at Stanford University.

The Digital Civil Society Lab is an initiative of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS). Stanford PACS is an affiliate of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS).

The annual fellowship stipend is $63,000, 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 2018, unless otherwise agreed.

How to apply

Application materials should be submitted to the Digital Civil Society Lab via email to using the subject line “DCSL Postdoctoral Fellowship 2018.” The deadline for applications is January 13, 2018. Please include the following items and information in your application:

  • Cover letter: detailing the reasons for the applicant’s interest in the fellowship;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Fellowship proposal: detailing the research that the applicant would undertake while at Stanford (three page limit, single spaced);
  • Writing sample: consisting of either a dissertation chapter or a recent published paper. There are no specific page length or formatting requirements for this sample;
  • Graduate transcript: with proof that the applicant has completed all the requirements for the PhD, or a letter from their PhD advisor stating when they will do so;
  • Two (or more) Letters of Recommendation.

Please disclose if you have additional funding arrangements.

To assume a postdoctoral fellowship, you must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2018. We cannot consider applications from scholars who earned a PhD earlier than May 1, 2016.

Questions about the program, application process or requirements should be directed to Heather Noelle Robinson, Program Associate of the Digital Civil Society Lab, at

Non-Resident Fellowship

Non-resident fellows at the Digital Civil Society Lab are civil society professionals pursuing concrete projects with the potential to inform and transform digital civil society broadly.

Fellows participate in, and help inform the design of, the Digital Civil Society Lab’s research workshops, conferences, and seminars, while working with Lab affiliates on a specific question or challenge facing civil society in the digital age.

Typically fellowship terms are one year and include multiple visits to Stanford, for several days to several weeks at a time, including one week where all fellows convene simultaneously. Fellows are connected with the Digital Civil Society Lab’s networks at Stanford and beyond. 

To inquire about non-resident fellowships at the Digital Civil Society Lab, contact Lseaman at