David M. Rubenstein Fellowship in Governance Studies 2019


Brookings is pleased to announce the second round of the David M. Rubenstein Fellowship Program. The challenges facing the United States and the world require rigorous, innovative, evidence-based research that generate fresh thinking and innovative policy solutions. Through this program, Brookings is seeking to increase diversity in our scholarly community by recruiting the next generation of rising stars and creative thinkers to help achieve our mission of improving governance in the United States and across the world.

For the 2019 class, planned to start in September 2019, the Institution is again looking for ten outstanding early- to mid-career scholars and policy experts with a diverse array of backgrounds, experience, and scholarship expertise.  Each Rubenstein Fellow will have a primary affiliation with one of Brookings’s five research programs and candidates should submit an application to the program(s) he or she is interested in.

In addition to the program’s research priorities as discussed below, Brookings is placing an emphasis on policy researchers with a background in artificial intelligence, emerging technology, and/or data science with public policy. Strong candidates may be as conversant about deep reinforcement learning as they are labor policy, or as familiar with cryptography as they are international security. Alternately, they may use novel data (e.g., satellite imagery, social media posts, IRS records) or methodologies (e.g., machine learning, survey experiments) to gain insight into pressing policy questions. In both cases, strong candidates will draw on deep technical expertise to inform their policy research, and demonstrate a clear ability and willingness to work at the intersection of artificial intelligence, emerging technology, data science, and/or public policy.

Rubenstein Fellows will have the opportunity to enhance the policy impact of their ideas and academic achievements by working with Brookings’s network of scholars and experts, relying on the Institution’s abilities to develop and promote research to the policy community and the wider public.

Rubenstein Fellows will diversify, augment, and complement the core policy research expertise of the more than 100 resident scholars at Brookings.


Program Overview

The Governance Studies (GS) program at Brookings aims to be the leading, independent voice in the domestic policymaking sphere. Though analyzing public policy, contemporary governance challenges, and political institutions and processes, Governance Studies aims to inform debate and provide policymakers with tools and ideas to improve institutional governance at the national level.

The Governance Studies program is accepting applications for two David M. Rubenstein Fellows with a strong background in either: 1) American democracy, U.S. political institutions, U.S. domestic policy, transparency, rule of law, anti-corruption, race, and equity; or 2) artificial intelligence, machine learning, technology policy, and emerging technologies.


Under the supervision of the Vice President for Governance Studies, Rubenstein Fellows in Governance Studies will publish in-depth, peer-reviewed monographs and research papers as well as short opinion pieces, blog posts, and other products to promote their ideas in the public policy debate. Rubenstein Fellows will also participate in public and private events, raise money for research projects, interact with the media, and contribute to the overall intellectual life of the Institution.


Successful candidates will hold an advanced degree in political science, sociology, public policy, artificial intelligence, machine learning, information science, or a related discipline and have a record of, or demonstrated potential for, distinguished work through blending academic excellence with experience in the public or private sectors.  The individual must have the ability and competence to conduct cutting-edge research and outreach to impact public policy.

(The program does not fund pre-or postdoctoral research, work toward a degree, or the completion of projects for which substantial progress has been made prior to the fellowship period.)


Application Process and Selection Timeline

Interested candidates who meet the program’s eligibility requirements should apply online and submit:

  • A curriculum vitae (CV), including a list of publications, with a cover letter describing their research interests and priorities, and
  • A short piece of written work (no more than 5 pages) that highlights the candidate’s capabilities.


When you apply, please attach your CV and cover letter as one document and upload your writing sample as a separate attachment.

For full consideration, please apply by December 17, 2018. Candidates who advance will be invited to interview and present their work and research in January, 2019.  Following interviews, the GS Research Vice President will recommend finalists for selection by the President. Official announcement of awards will be made by March 31, 2019; however, some selections may be made in advance.

This is a two-year termed appointment.  We expect fellowships to begin in September, 2019.

Selection is based on a combination of the following criteria: depth and breadth of professional experience, quality and rigor of scholarly research, and a commitment to upholding Brookings’s core values of quality, independent, and impactful policy research that seeks to promote the public good.


Additional Information:

Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.

Brookings offers a competitive salary and generous benefits package and is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. Applications are welcome from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

Apply here!