About the Fellowship Program
Launched in 2005, the Draper Hills Summer Program (DHSF) is a three-week intensive 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 all regions of the world. 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. Summer Fellows also visit Silicon Valley technology firms such as Benetech, Google and Twitter to explore how technology tools and social media platforms are being used to catalyze democratic practices on a global scale.
The program is funded by the generous support from Bill Draper and Ingrid von Mangoldt Hills.
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 has a solid command of written and spoken English to fully benefit and participate in the program.
Due to the large volume of applications we receive each year to the fellowship program, we take our selection criteria very seriously. Please review the criteria below very carefully before submitting your application to the program. If you do not meet these criteria your application will not be reviewed.
- 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 2020. 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 7-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.
Dates For The 2020 Program
The dates for the 2020 Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program are Sunday, July 12- Friday, July 31, 2020. Applicants are required to participate the entire duration of the fellowship program. They must be sure that they can be absent from their professional obligations during that time and must make a commitment to attend the full program upon acceptance.
Deadline for applications is 5:00pm PST on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.