Scholarly Track

Proposal Guidelines for Scholarly Track

Your project proposal is the most important part of your fellowship application. It should be clear, concise, and comprehensible to individuals outside your own field or concentration. As you look through the questions that follow, please note the word counts provided as guidelines for the length of your response to each question.

A scholarly proposal will be stronger if it exhibits the following characteristics:

  • articulates a clear, original hypothesis and outlines a suitable methodology
  • explains how the research results may contribute to the existing literature on democracy
  • offers comparative potential with other countries or regions
  • has practical or policy relevance in the field of democracy promotion
  • contains a realistic work schedule

Project proposals must be the applicants’ own original work and not someone else’s. The program maintains zero tolerance for plagiarism of any kind. Applicants are expected to maintain the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in the submission of their written materials, including scrupulous regard for copyright and intellectual property rights. 

Through the Online Application System, please be prepared to address the following questions:

1) Fellowship Project Title

Provide a title for your proposed fellowship project.

2) Fellowship Project Proposal

Describe the issue related to the theory or practice of democracy that you propose to research and why it is important. How would a fellowship at the International Forum for Democratic Studies facilitate your work? What sources will you draw on and what methodology do you plan to use (library research, personal interviews, site visits, etc.)? How will you evaluate your results? In what ways will your research contribute to existing academic and/or policy literature in your field? Will your project have broader implications for other countries and regions? (2000 word minimum)

3) Fellowship Product

Indicate what scholarly product(s) will result from your research (article, essay, book manuscript, etc.) and why is this the best publication format for your ideas within the five-month fellowship period? How will these results be disseminated (journal or newspaper publication, electronic media, blog, etc.) and in what language(s)? Please provide a detailed outline of your proposed written product and a timeline for its completion. Who is the target audience and how will you know that your product will reach them? (300 word minimum)

4) Fellowship Impact

Tell us how the results of your research may contribute to the understanding of democracy and human rights. Will your findings have comparative potential and practical implications beyond the scholarly realm? In what ways may your findings resonate with academic, civil society, and policy audiences? Looking ahead, how do you plan to ensure the delivery of your fellowship product, and how will you evaluate its success? Are there other ways in which your project may have an impact on your field of interest or on your own professional development? (300 word minimum)

5) Personal Background and Professional Experience

Provide a narrative description of your professional and personal experiences, with a particular focus on your activities and achievements as they relate to the promotion of democracy and human rights. (500 word minimum).

6) Outreach and Presentation

With which academic institutions, think tanks, and other organizations do you hope to interact, and why? Please include specific names of colleagues and counterparts in the scholarly, media, NGO, and policy communities, located in Washington, D.C., with whom you would plan to meet. What are the expected benefits of these meetings?  As you envision your fellowship presentation, please suggest a tentative title and identify your target audience. (250 word minimum)

7) International Exchange

Through its calendar of seminars, roundtable discussions, field trips, presentations, and other opportunities for international exchange, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program encourages an active and ongoing dialogue among fellows on matters of mutual concern. How do you see yourself contributing to and benefiting from the collegial life of the program? (75 word minimum)

8) Optional Question on Democracy Work

The Reagan-Fascell program is mindful of the personal costs that can be associated with democracy-related activities. If you have been politically targeted on account of your work, please elaborate on the nature and timing of the intimidation you have experienced. Any information you share will remain confidential and will not affect the outcome of your application. (Optional)

9) Bibliography

If you wish to include a bibliography of works cited in your project proposal, please upload it here

 NEXT :: Step 3. Letters of Recommendation