Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program on Democracy and Development at Stanford University 1292 views

Type of Funding

Partially funded




The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University invites mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from countries where democracy is not well entrenched, to apply for the 2020 Draper Hills Summer Fellowship on Democracy and Development Program (DHSFDD).

The 3-week program which will take place during 12 July to 31 July 2020 at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, will select 25 to 30 fellows to take part in the program, which provides a unique forum for emerging leaders to connect, exchange experiences, and receive academic training to enrich their knowledge and advance their work.

Fellows participate in academic seminars that expose them to the theory and practice of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Delivered by leading Stanford faculty from the Stanford Law School, the Graduate School of Business, and the departments of economics and political science, these seminars allow emerging leaders to explore new institutional models and frameworks to enhance their ability to promote democratic change in their home countries.

There will be guest speakers from private foundations, think tanks, government, and the justice system. Summer Fellows 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.


Stanford will pay for accommodation, most meals and transportation costs for the duration of the program, but Fellows will have to pay for the round-trip airfare themselves. However, Stanford asks all applicants to be prepared to contribute towards the cost of their participation in the fellowship.

A small travel fund is available for fellows who under no circumstances can support their travel or who need to apply for a partial subsidy. Priority for the travel fund will be given based on need, and for destinations from which airline fares to California are exorbitant.


This is not an academic fellowship but is meant for practitioners with at least ten to 12 years of experience. Applicants must be working as 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). They should be playing an important and influential role 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.  Practical experience is valued over academic credentials, scholars will be admitted only if they are active in government, public policy, civil society, economic development and rule of law.

Applicants must be nationals of and resident in countries where democracy is not well entrenched. Those residing outside their home country due to war or conflict may be granted exception. Those from countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and member states of the European Union are not eligible.

Candidates must be at least 28 years of age. The average age of past fellows is 38 to 42.

Applicants should be at the right stage in their professional careers to benefit from rigorous academic training to enhance their potential to promote democratic change in their home countries. They need to have the academic credentials necessary to participate and contribute to the six-hour seminars each day, and tackle advanced academic readings to complement the classroom-based curriculum. Ninety-nine percent of the program’s alumni hold a Bachelors degree at the time of their participation in the program,but this is not a firm requirement for admission to the program.

Applicants must be proficient in English

Candidates who are in the midst of full-time university degrees are not eligible.


Applications are to be done online by 1 January 2020.

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