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Fellowship Application Guidelines and Selection Process

For questions not answered here, please see our fellowship FAQ.

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 Professional qualifications

The ideal candidate for a CASBS fellowship is a highly accomplished academic or thinker (relative to career stage).

  1. Has a PhD, professional degree (e.g., JD, MD), an equivalent foreign degree, or has achieved an equivalent level of professional reputation.

  2. Is three to four years past the doctorate or equivalent degree (CASBS does not offer post-doctoral fellowships).

  3. Is an academic faculty member—or an independent researcher—who exhibits a high level of achievement (adjusted for rank), including a strong record of research publications.

  4. Communicates clearly in English.

  5. Is someone who is very interested in participating in regular interdisciplinary conversations.

  6. Is willing to commit to being in residence for the course of the fellowship year without conflicting commitments.

Although excellence in both research and accomplishments continues to be a necessary qualification for successful fellowship applicants, it is not a sufficient qualification. We seek fellows who will be both influential with, and open to influence by, their colleagues in the diverse multidisciplinary cohort we assemble for a given year. The primary focus of the fellowship year is on reflection and writing, but we expect the work to be informed and transformed by the fellowship experience as a result of interactions with other fellows.

We encourage applications from minorities, women, international scholars, and scholars from a wide variety of colleges and universities.

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Fields of research

In addition to scholars working in fields of the behavioral and social sciences, those in other areas will also be considered for fellowships if their work has human behavioral and social dimensions.

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About the Center’s selection process

The Center’s selection process is based on an online application system. All scholars requesting consideration must apply via our online application portal.

The Center’s fellowship selection committee, composed of past CASBS fellows specializing in multiple disciplines, considers the best-rated applications for CASBS fellowship awards.

Final roster decisions (for all scholars requesting consideration, including past fellows) take into account a range of criteria for cohort composition, including but not limited to: disciplinary balance, institutional diversity, and demographic diversity (race/ethnicity, gender, career stage, nationality, and geographic location). Please note that priority in individual applicant selection will be given to first-time fellows.

Please also note that fellowship awards are not transferable to later years.

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Residential and other requirements

CASBS is committed to the concept of a residential fellowship. Consequently, fellows must reside during their fellowship term in a community within ten miles of the Center. San Francisco, Berkeley, the East Bay, and San Jose, for example, do not fulfill this requirement. Center staff can provide information about finding housing and schools for those relocating for the fellowship year, but fellows are ultimately responsible for finding their own housing.

We further require that fellows:

  1. Not hold a concurrent teaching appointment or have commitments, including research or collaborations, that result in prolonged or frequent absences from the Center.  We ask fellows to limit their travel to the absolutely essential for the fellowship year.

  2. Be present for lunch three to four days a week and attend the weekly seminars and other speaker events hosted by the Center.

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As appropriate, stipends for the academic year will be awarded to supplement faculty sabbatical support; a significant portion of the fellow's total support is generally provided by sabbatical funds and external funding from awards and grants secured by the fellow. Except in unusual circumstances, Center stipend support is contingent on the applicant's provision of firm assurances of matching funds. Depending on available funds, the Center provides stipends according to the following principles:

  1. A Center stipend is based on the fellow's academic salary for the year before residence.

  2. That stipend cannot exceed one-half of the fellow's academic year (nine-month) base salary for that year and is additionally subject to an upper limit set by the CASBS board of directors.

  3. The cap is currently set at $75,000.

  4. The sum of the fellow's salary from a home institution and a Center stipend may not exceed the fellow's base academic salary for the fellowship year.

Fellows receive their stipend payments directly; the Center cannot assign a fellow’s stipend to a third party or institution.

We can only provide stipends to first-time fellows. Returning CASBS fellows are expected to provide their own stipend.

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CASBS partner fellowship programs

CASBS partners with several entities to provide funding for some residential fellows whose research projects focus on certain topics.

An applicant’s statement of interest in one of these options does not bear on the CASBS fellowship selection committee’s process, nor does it guarantee that an applicant will receive this particular fellowship in the event that they are awarded a CASBS fellowship.

Berggruen Fellows

The Berggruen Institute seeks to encourage a deeper understanding of technological, social, and cultural transformations that are reshaping the human condition, and a better informed practical response. It organizes and supports inquiries that bring interdisciplinary knowledge to questions of governance, of philosophy and culture, and global restructuring including, especially, the role of China.

To this end, the Institute sponsors up to five fellowships annually at CASBS. Berggruen fellows need not be academics, but they must be committed to intellectual work of the highest quality. As fellows, they will have time for their own projects of research and writing, but they will be asked also to collaborate with other fellows and to make at least some effort to present their work to non-specialists.

For 2018–19, applications to be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS should describe a project to better understand the rapid technological innovations of our era, and the potential ethical, social, economic, and political implications, and other challenges and opportunities they present. Fellows need not be experts on technology as such, but they should be interested in bringing their own distinctive intellectual resources to understanding the role of technology in potentially deep transformations.

Fellows may focus on one or more of three core dimensions of change:

(1) transformation of human ‘nature’ itself, whether through genetic engineering, use of neuroscience, or other means, and with it of human self-understanding, culture, and social organization;

(2) transformation shaped by artificial intelligence, including questions about the future of work and employment, the ethics and safety of A.I., and both risks and opportunities in its ever-more widespread use;

(3) transformation of politics and governance, especially in democratic societies, including the role of new media, issues of polarization and trust, social cohesion, institutional capacity, and ability to make effective policy to address changing conditions. 

Applications for a Berggruen fellowship at CASBS should be made through the CASBS application portal. All applications are reviewed by both the CASBS fellowship selection committee and the Berggruen fellowship committee.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Bourne of the Berggruen Institute at

The Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship Program

The Center is a participating residential research center in the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship Program of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The Burkhardt fellowship is open to recently tenured humanists to support long-term, unusually ambitious projects in the humanities and related social sciences. Application for the Burkhardt fellowship must be made directly to the ACLS by late September for a fellowship in the next one to three years.

Please note that scholars who are awarded a Burkhardt fellowship by the ACLS have an “automatic” firm invitation from CASBS only if those scholars are completely self-funded by their Burkhardt award, their sabbatical funding, other non-CASBS funding sources they might have, or any combination thereof. Should a Burkhardt fellow require additional funding from CASBS, he or she must also apply separately to our residential fellowship program.

Ethics in Society-CASBS Fellows

In 2018–19, the Center for Ethics in Society-CASBS Fellowship will offer a new joint fellowship to support two fellows from philosophy or political science with normative research interests. We are especially interested in candidates with research interests in inequality, global justice, environmental ethics, biomedical ethics, and ethics and technology, but we welcome all applicants with strong normative interests. Scholars with a JD are also eligible so long as their research interests focus on ethical dimensions of public policy or law. Ethics in Society-CASBS fellows will spend time each week participating in the intellectual life of the Center (i.e., attending two weekly workshops) and joining, when possible, the public programming of the Center.

For more information, please contact Anne Newman, Director of Research, Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University, at More information about the Center for Ethics in Society can be found at

William T. Grant Scholars

The Center encourages William T. Grant Scholars to contact us regarding a fellowship year at CASBS. This career development program supports promising early-career researchers with interests in reducing inequality or understanding the use of research evidence.

W.T. Grant Scholars who wish to spend a year at CASBS must apply to our residential fellowship program.

For more information on the William T. Grant Scholars program, visit the William T. Grant Scholars Program website.

National University of Singapore Fellow

New in 2018–19 is the National University of Singapore Fellow (NUS Fellow), sponsored by the National University of Singapore (NUS).  Leading scholars in the behavioral and social sciences from within NUS will be considered for the fellowship. 

Applicants interested in the fellowship must first be approved by NUS. For more information about the position and the process, please contact Brenda Lim at

Presence-CASBS Fellow

The Presence-CASBS Fellowship supports one fellow whose projects will be engaged in nudging forward the strategic focus of Presence.

Presence is an incubator and curator of research, education, and clinical interface initiatives that address three strategic focus areas:

  1. Harnessing technology for the human experience in medicine
  2. Studying and advocating for the patient-physician relationship
  3. Reducing medical errors.

Presence was founded at Stanford University in 2015 by Abraham Verghese, MD, Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine.

Presence works with partners on and off campus and is anchored in the Stanford School of Medicine.

We seek applicants who can articulate how their fellowship will contribute to the Presence mission and strategic direction. Contributions range from primary research in our focus areas (utilizing our living labs—Stanford Hospitals and Clinics—if needed), policy outcomes, publications, social movements, and other impactful initiatives.

Please direct all questions to Sonoo Thadaney, Executive Director, Presence. She can be reached at; the most updated information can be found at  

Stanford-Taiwan Social Science Fellow

The Stanford-Taiwan Social Science fellow (STSS fellow) is sponsored by the Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) of the National Applied Research Laboratories of Taiwan (NARLabs). Leading Taiwanese scholars in the behavioral and social sciences will be considered for the fellowship. 

Applicants interested in the STSS fellowship must first be approved by STPI. For more information about the position and the process, please contact STPI at or visit STPI's website.  

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