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Non-Resident, Fellows / Scholars Program

About IFES
IFES advances democracy for a better future. We collaborate with civil society, public institutions, and the private sector to build resilient democracies that deliver for everyone. As a global leader in the promotion and protection of democracy, our technical assistance and applied research develops trusted electoral bodies capable of conducting credible elections; effective and accountable governing institutions; civic and political processes in which all people can safely and equally participate; and innovative ways in which technology and data can positively serve elections and democracy. Since 1987, IFES has worked in more than 145 countries, from developing to mature democracies. IFES is a global, nonpartisan nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Virginia, registered as a 501(c)(3).
Job Responsibilities:About the Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust
The IFES Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust is focused on improving the ability of democracies to deliver for all people through cross-sectoral anti-corruption initiatives that address the global democratic trust deficit. Political corruption thrives and expands in unjust systems of power; the more unjust or autocratic a country's governing structure, the more corruption can flourish. The Center for Anti-Corruption and Democratic Trust addresses pervasive forms of political and electoral corruption that pose the greatest threat to democracy. We do this by serving as an incubator for new academic and practitioner partnerships and global initiatives that raise awareness of the issues and innovate to address them.

Click here to read more about the Center.

Objectives of the Fellows and Scholars Program
The Fellows and Scholars program provides an opportunity for academics, researchers, and practitioners to collaborate with diverse IFES experts in HQ and our field programs around the world. It also allows fellows and scholars to access a diverse array of IFES data, networks, and tools and directly contribute their expertise and knowledge to address persistent or emerging democracy and anti-corruption challenges.

How Program Participants and the Center work together
At the start of a fellowship, the Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust conducts an orientation program that introduces the fellow to IFES and the Center’s mission, publications, training, and current programming and research.

Along with access to a wide range of IFES comparative data and resources, fellows and scholars are connected to a rich network of partner institutions, think tanks, and scholars in DC and globally. They are regularly invited to join seminars, panels, brown bags, working groups, and briefings around emerging issues.
Participants will also engage in various activities, such as developing and advising on projects and providing technical support to IFES country and regional offices on integrating relevant topics in program activities. Fellows/scholars are also encouraged to collaborate on research projects with our teams.

For the year-long fellowship with the Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust (and during any subsequent extensions), fellows and scholars agree to complete at least three of the following on issues/topics timely and relevant to the Center’s work and objectives:

  • Contribute to the development of one or more initiatives, research projects, or tools
  • Speak, present, or contribute to one or more Center public events
  • Conduct one internal ‘brownbag’ discussion, presentation, or workshop for IFES staff
  • Publish one or more articles on IFES’ website
  • Collaborate with the Center on developing a funding proposal in a priority thematic area or region of interest.

Fellows are invited to participate in IFES events and encouraged to promote the Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust to external networks by sharing Center outputs, job and internship postings, posting about the work of the Center on social media, talking about the work of the Center in external events, and connecting the Center with emerging research, technical, and policy discussions.

Fellows and scholars will collaborate with the Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust on mutually agreed projects related to the Center’s core work. Travel opportunities may occasionally be available, depending on the research topic, project objectives, and available funding. Fellows and scholars are welcome to propose joint research projects that they think would be a good fit forthe Center’s work. We will consider these proposals in the context of institutional goals, capacity, and resources.

Program Logistics
The Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust Non-Resident Fellows and Scholars program operates on a flexible, one-year (extendable) basis.

It is generally a volunteer / unpaid program. However, depending on the specific scope of collaboration agreed with a fellow or scholar following the selection process, a modest honorarium or stipend may be provided for specific research initiatives or fieldwork (subject to available IFES funding).

Minimum Qualifications
The Center for Anti-Corruption & Democratic Trust is looking for diverse and committed professionals at all levels who will advance democracy building and governance promotion around the world. Qualified fellows and scholars must commit to a one-year, non-resident engagement, with the option of extending for an additional year or more. An extension may be based on performance, program or research need, or available funding.

Fellows and senior fellows are practitioners, where senior fellows have ten or more years of relevant experience.

Scholars are academics/university-affiliated professionals; ideally, scholars would have recently completed or are in the final stages of their law or postgraduate (masters/doctorate) degrees or a post-doc.

All applicants should have a strong academic or professional background related to democracy, the rule of law, or governance and demonstrate written and oral proficiency in the English language. Fluency in other languages is a plus.

Application process
Interested applicants should submit the following:
  • Brief cover letter that highlights areas of interest and their alignment with the Center’s work
  • Resume
  • One relevant piece of research or writing sample.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and starting dates can be negotiated. The Center will review all applications with an internal review committee.
 “All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.
IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. IFES will also take affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
IFES is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor”