FEATURED JOB: Watson Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program 2022-2024 - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University

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Watson Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program 2022-2024

Brown University


The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University aspires to promote a just and peaceful world through research, teaching, and public engagement.  Central to this mission is the Watson Postdoctoral Fellows Program, an effort to galvanize the careers of young social scientists conducting research related to the Institute’s three core thematic areas: development, governance, and security.  Participants in this program will join an interdisciplinary community of scholars engaged in theoretically and substantively important research addressing the most pressing global issues of our time. Fellows receive two years of support, to be taken within a three-year period, with the expectation that they will pursue research and participate fully in the intellectual life of the Institute.  Fellows will also teach one course per year in the Institute or in an affiliated Brown University social science department.

Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Brown University students, faculty, and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact on the world. Brown is a place where rigorous scholarship, complex problem-solving, and service to the public good are defined by collaboration, intellectual discovery, and working in ways that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.


The fellowship competition is open to candidates from across the social sciences on issues that can be understood in a comparative global context. The selection process, open with regard to nationality and geographic area of research, is highly competitive and typically generates over 500 applications for 4 or 5 places. Scholars who have received their PhDs within two years of the application deadline are eligible to apply.  Individuals who are currently – or have previously been – postdoctoral fellows in other programs are not eligible to apply.  As full members of the Watson Institute’s scholarly community, fellows are required to be in residence during the academic year.  Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $60,000, for this benefits-eligible position.  Additional funding will be made available for research expenses and research-related programming on campus.  Candidates selected for the Postdoctoral Fellows program who have not completed their dissertations by July 1, 2022, will be paid a reduced salary until their dissertation is defended.

Application Instructions

To receive full consideration, the following materials should be submitted by October 12, 2021 to the application portal:

  • A cover letter stating the applicant's academic field, status of their dissertation, and proposed research to be conducted during their fellowship period. The cover letter should not exceed 2,000 words and should make clear where in the Institute's core areas of security, development, or governance the proposed research best fits. Please also include a statement about teaching in a diverse and inclusive classroom.
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae.
  • A copy of each graduate transcript. 
  • A writing sample.
  • Three letters of recommendation from scholars familiar with the applicant’s research. 

Review of applications will begin on October 12; to receive full consideration applications should be received by that date. Awards will be announced in January 2022.



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Contact Info: 


For further information regarding the Watson Institute Post-Doctoral Fellows Program, please visit the Watson Institute website watson.brown.edu or contact:

Professor Rose McDermott, Faculty Director of the Watson Postdoctoral Fellows Program, Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University 111 Thayer Street, Box 1970 Providence, RI 02912. Rose_McDermott@brown.edu

For information about the application process, please email:  Watson_Applications@brown.edu