Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program on Democracy and Development at Stanford University 786 views

Type of Funding

Partially funded




The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University invites emerging political, civil society and business leaders from transitional countries where democracy is not well entrenched, and who are working actively in the field of democracy, development and the rule of law, to apply for the 2019 Draper Hills Summer Fellowship on Democracy and Development Program (DHSFDD).

The 3-week program which will take place during 14 July to 2 August 2019 at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, brings together a group of 25 to 30 mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from transitioning countries. During the DHSFDD, fellows will participate in academic seminars that expose them to the theory and practice of democracy, development, and the rule of law. These seminars allow emerging leaders to explore new institutional models and frameworks to enhance their ability to promote democratic change in their home countries. Fellows will also visit Silicon Valley technology firms such as Benetech, Google and Twitter to explore how technology tools and social media platforms are being used to catalyze democratic practices on a global scale.

The program curriculum includes:

  1. Academic sessions
  2. Case study workshops which are rooted in real-world stories and scenarios of specific policy reforms that have taken place in developing countries.
  3. TED-style talks
  4. Guest lectures featuring prominent figures in public service, the technology industry, and the philanthropic community
  5. Site visits to leading technology firms, such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.


Stanford will pay for accommodation, meals and transportation costs for the duration of the program, but Fellows will have to pay for the round-trip airfare themselves. Travel subsidy may be available for those who are definitely unable to obtain financing for their travel. Priority for accessing the travel fund will be given based on need, and destinations from which airline fares to California are exorbitant.


This is not an academic fellowship but meant for practitioners only, and applicants are therefore sought from mid-career professionals in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law. They could be policy-makers, academics, legal professionals, social entrepreneurs, business entrepreneurs, and leaders of civil society organizations (such as representatives of trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, the media, business and professional associations). Applicants should be individuals who are playing important and influential roles in their country’s political, economic, and social development. They need to have demonstrated professional and personal achievements in a relevant sector of democracy, development, and the rule of law.

They should be at the right stage in their professional trajectory to benefit from rigorous academic training to enhance their potential to promote democratic change in their home countries. They need to have academic credentials necessary to participate and contribute to the 6-hour seminars every day and tackle advanced academic readings to complement the classroom-based curriculum. Ninety-nine percent of past fellows hold a Bachelors degree but this is not a requirement for admission to the program. They should possess extraordinary motivation and a keen interest in learning as well as sharing knowledge and experiences to help build and enrich the alumni community.

Applicants should be proficient in English. Participants will be required to give 7-minute TED-style talks throughout the 3-week program regarding their work and motivation; hence English proficiency is essential.

Applicants must be mid-career practitioners with at least 10 to 12 years of experience and they have to be from and currently residing in, countries where democracy is not well entrenched. Candidates residing outside their home country due to war or conflict may be granted exceptions. They must be at least 28 years old. The average age of Draper Hills Summer Fellows is 38 to 42.

Candidates must be actively working in the field of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Those who are in the midst of full-time university degree programs are not eligible.


Applications are to be done online by 10 December 2018.

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