Launched in 2005, the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship on Democracy and Development Program (DHSFDD) is a three-week academic training program that is hosted annually at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The program brings together a group of 25 to 30 mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from transitioning countries. This training program provides a unique forum for emerging leaders to connect, exchange experiences, and receive academic training to enrich their knowledge and advance their work.
For three weeks during the summer, 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.
Guest speakers from private foundations, think tanks, government, and the justice system provide a practitioners viewpoint on such pressing issues in the field. Past program speakers have included: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California Honorable Tino Cuéllar; Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; Stacy Donohue, director of investments at the Omidyar Network; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; and Judge Lucy Koh, judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Summer Fellows also visit Silicon Valley technology firms such as Benetech, TechSoup, Google and Twitter to explore how technology tools and social media platforms are being used to catalyze democratic practices on a global scale.
This program is aimed at mid-career practitioners working actively in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Applicants can 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). In their present capacity, applicants should play important and influential roles in their country's political, economic, and social development. Participants should have demonstrated professional and personal achievements in a relevant sector of democracy, development, and the rule of law.
Each year we strive to recruit a diverse group of 25 to 30 individuals who are at the right stage in their professional trajectory to benefit from rigorous academic training to enhance their potential to promote democratic change in their home countries. Successful applicants will have 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 our alumni hold a bachelor's degree at the time of their participation in the program but this is not a requirement for admission to the program.
A working knowledge of English is an important prerequisite for participation in the program. It is expected that each fellow have a solid command of written and spoken English to fully benefit and participate in the program.
The ideal participant will have extraordinary motivation and a keen interest in learning as well as sharing knowledge and experiences to help build and enrich the alumni community.
- This is not an academic fellowship but meant for practitioners only. We value practical experience over academic credentials, and we admit scholars only to the extent that they are active in government, public policy, civil society, economic development and rule of law. They should hold leadership roles in their respective sector.
- Applicants must be mid-career practitioners and have at least ten to 12 years of experience to qualify for the fellowship. Those with more experience are much more competitive in the selection process.
- Candidates must be from and currently reside in a country where democracy is not well entrenched. Candidates residing outside their home country due to war or conflict may be granted exceptions. Applicants will not be accepted from countries such as: the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and member states of the European Union.
- Candidates must be at least 28 years of age at the start of the fellowship in July 2017. The average age of our fellows at the time of the program is 38.
- Candidates must be actively working in the field of democracy, development, and the rule of law. We do not accept candidates who are in the midst of full-time university degree programs.
- Candidates must have a solid command of written and spoken English. All program materials and sessions are in English. Participants will also be required to give 9-minute TED-style talks throughout the three-week program regarding their work and motivation. English language proficiency is very important in order to benefit and contribute to the program dialogue.
Stanford asks all applicants to be prepared to contribute towards the cost of their participation in the fellowship, if they are selected. Typically this comes in the form of a fellow covering round-trip airfare to the Program. Stanford will pay for accommodations, meals, and transportation costs during the duration of the Program. In the past, some fellows have asked their employers to subsidize their travel to Stanford based on the benefits that the training will contribute towards their professional and organizational advancement. They may also choose to fundraise for these costs after selection decisions are issued in April 2017.
A small travel fund is available for fellows who under no circumstances can support their travel or need to apply for a partial subsidy. Priority for accessing the travel fund will be given based on need, and destinations where airline fares to California are exorbitant.
How To Apply?
In order to apply to the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program please create an account through our online portal (You may access the application portal via the original web page). The application form is available once you login and will be available through the deadline, Wednesday, November 16, 2016. Due to the volume of applications, we strongly suggest that you submit the application form as soon as possible. You will be asked to contact two references to furnish letters of recommendation to support your candidacy to the program. A complete application package will be due no later than Wednesday, November 16, 2016.
Applicants will be informed of their selection to the program by April 2017. Please do not email us concerning your application status before that timeframe as the program team will be very busy processing and reviewing files.
All application materials must be submitted in English. Applicants should be sensitive to word count and not exceed any of the stated word count limits in the narrative sections of the form as you will automatically be cut off.
The application contains the following
- Applicant Information
- Academics & Career Information
- Essay Questions
- English Language Proficiency
- Video Submission
- Financial Information
- Letters of Recommendation
- Personal Certification
Sections 3, 4, 6 and 8 require the most attention from applicants. More detailed instructions are provided in the Application Guidelines available in the riginal web page.
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