Named in honor of NED’s principal founders, former president Ronald Reagan and the late congressman Dante Fascell (D-Fl.), the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program is a federally funded, international exchange program that offers democracy activists, journalists, civil society leaders, and scholars from around the world the opportunity to spend five months in residence at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in Washington, D.C., in order to undertake independent research on democracy in a particular country or region.

Located within NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for analysis of global democratic developments, the program provides a collegial environment and rich intellectual setting for educational exchange and professional development.

The program offers five-month fellowships for practitioners to improve strategies and techniques for building democracy abroad and five-month fellowships for scholars to conduct original research for publication. While in residence, fellows reflect on their experiences; engage with counterparts; conduct research and writing; consider best practices and lessons learned; and develop professional relationships within a global network of democracy advocates. Fellows are expected to complete a written product relating to their proposed research project. The fellowship culminates in a formal presentation in which fellows typically focus on their research project or another topic relating to the state of democracy in their country.

Eligibility

All applicants should:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in the English language
  • Propose a project focusing on the political, social, economic, legal or cultural aspects of democratic development
  • Be available to work in residence at the International Forum for Democratic Studies in Washington, D.C. during the 5 month fellowship period (October 1-February 28 or March 1-July 31). No other fellowships or jobs may be held at this time.

Applicants on the practitioner track should:

  • Have substantial practical experience working to promote democracy or human rights in their country of origin or interest
  • Be mid-career professionals

Applicants on the scholarly track should:

  • Possess a doctorate (a Ph.D., or academic equivalent) at the time of application
  • Have a proven record of publications in their field
  • Have developed a detailed research outline for their fellowship project

Benefits:

  •  Each fellow receives a monthly stipend for living expenses, plus basic health insurance and roundtrip travel to and from Washington, D.C., at the beginning and end of the fellowship period.
  • Fellowship payments are calculated to cover cost of a short-term, furnished rental apartment, plus “cost of living” for food, local transportation, and other necessities. Fellows are provided with a fully equipped office, plus a limited budget for long-distance phone calls and professional travel within the United States.
  • Please note that fellows who wish to bring family members with them to Washington, D.C., will be expected to cover the costs of their dependents’ roundtrip travel and stay within the United States.

Selection Process

  • The Reagan-Fascell program holds an annual competition for fellowships, with applications due by October 15. Applications are assessed through a rigorous evaluation process, including expert external and internal review, culminating in the selection of finalists by the Endowment’s Board of Directors. All applicants are notified of the competition’s outcome in mid-April.
  • In order to ensure a competitive selection process for the many candidates who apply each year, the Reagan-Fascell program is unable to offer fellowship deferrals except under extraordinary circumstances. Awardees who are unable to accept a fellowship in the year for which they applied may be asked to reapply if they remain interested in pursuing a fellowship in a future year
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