The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship Programme is a federally funded international exchange program that offers democracy activists, journalists, civil society leaders, and scholars from around the world the opportunity to spend five months in residence at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, D.C., to work on projects related to democracy promotion.


The program, housed within the INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR DEMOCRATIC STUDIES of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a prominent center for analyzing global democratic developments, provides a collegial environment and intellectually rich setting for educational exchange and professional development.

The program provides five-month fellowships for practitioners to enhance strategies and techniques for promoting democracy abroad and five-month fellowships for academics to conduct original research for publication. Fellows reflect on their experiences, interact with peers, undertake research and write, and consider best practices.

Lessons learned and build professional relationships within a global network of democracy advocates while in residence. Fellows must submit a written product for their proposed research assignment. The fellowship concludes with a formal presentation during which fellows typically discuss their study’s findings or another topic related to the state of democracy in their native country.



Prospective candidates may apply to either the practitioner or scholarly course. The Reagan-Fascell program primarily targets practitioners from developing and aspirant democracies and practitioners from non-democratic nations. Applicants to the practitioner track are anticipated to have substantial practical experience promoting democracy or human rights in their home or target country.

No degree requirements are specified for the practitioner course. Although there are no age restrictions, applicants for the practitioner program are typically mid-career professionals with years of experience working in democracy and human rights. Human rights advocates, civil society leaders, political party figures, human rights attorneys, parliamentarians, labor union activists, journalists, and other media members are examples of candidates eligible for the practitioner track.


Prospective candidates may apply to either the practitioner or scholarly course. While the program predominantly designs for practitioners worldwide, it also allows distinguished academics from the United States and other established democracies to apply.

Applicants applying to the scholarly track must hold a doctorate (Ph.D. or academic equivalent), have published in their field of expertise, and have developed a detailed research outline for their fellowship project. College and university professors, analysts at research centers and think tanks, authors, and public intellectuals are examples of candidates who qualify for the scholarly track.


  • Demonstrate proficiency in English
  • Propose a project that focuses on the economic, social, political, legal, or cultural dimensions of democratic growth.
  • Be available to work in residence at the International Forum for Democratic Studies in Washington, D.C., for the five-month fellowship (October 1-February 28, or March 1-July 31). No additional fellowships or positions may be held at this time.

Applicants for the practitioner track must:

  • Have considerable practical experience promoting democracy or human rights in their country of origin or interest;
  • Be mid-career professionals

Applicants on the scholarly track must:

  • Hold a doctorate (a Ph.D. or academic equivalent) at the time of application;
  • Have a proven publication record in their discipline; and
  • Have developed a detailed research plan for their fellowship project.


Program Activities: Through its calendar of seminars, roundtables, field trips, and other events, the program aims to: (a) Raise awareness about the Endowment and its core institutes; (b) Provide education about democracy through field trips and seminars; (c) Support outreach for dialogue and interaction with the governmental, non-governmental, academic, and media communities in Washington, D.C., and beyond; and (d) Foster a sense of collegiality among fellows. In addition, the program offers numerous informal social and cultural activities, such as visits to sporting events, museums, movies, and happy hours.


Financial Support

Each fellow is provided with a monthly stipend for living expenses, basic health insurance, and round-trip transportation to and from Washington, D.C., at the beginning and conclusion of the fellowship period. Fellowship payments are calculated to cover the cost of a furnished, short-term rental flat and the “cost of living” for food, local transportation, and other essentials.

Fellows receive a fully-equipped office and a limited budget for long-distance phone calls and domestic professional travel.  Please be advised that fellows who wish to transport family members to Washington, D.C., are responsible for their dependents’ domestic round-trip travel and lodging expenses.

Research Associates

The organization assigns research associates to work with multiple fellows and they provide critical support in a variety of ways, including consulting with fellows on the shape and direction of their projects, offering research, written, and editorial support on issues relating to the theory and practice of democracy, facilitating outreach, assisting with the preparation and follow-up of fellows’ public presentations, and providing other support as needed.

Four librarians staff the Democracy Resource Centre (DRC), which contains approximately 20,000 books, journals, grantee reports, and other publications on democracy.


Before entering the United States, prospective fellows who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents must obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa. Accompanying family members must obtain a J-2 visa.

A candidate for a Reagan-Fascell fellowship cannot have participated in a J-1 research scholar program within the previous 24 months. U.S. law typically requires fellows sponsored on our J-1 visa to return to their home country for two years after completing their fellowship before they can apply for an H visa, an L visa, or legal permanent residence.


The application deadline for the annual Reagan-Fascell fellowship competition is October 31. The Endowment’s Board selects finalists of Directors following a rigorous evaluation process that includes expert external and internal review. We will communicate the results of the competition to all applicants in mid-April.

To ensure a competitive selection process for the numerous candidates who apply each year, the Reagan-Fascell program does not permit fellowship deferrals under any circumstances.

If recipients wish to pursue a fellowship in a subsequent year and cannot accept it in the year they were offered, they may need to reapply.


The application deadline is October 31, 2023.

The deadline for recommendation letters is November 7, 2023.


To apply for the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship, you must establish an account via OUR ONLINE PORTAL.

Click HERE for detailed instructions on how to create an account. After creating an account, the application process necessitates the following:

  1. Candidate information
  2. Proposal for a practitioner or academic fellowship
  3. A recommendation letter
  4. Curriculum vitae/Resume and Biography

Submitted all forms in English.


What is the Reagan-Fascell Fellowship for Democracy?

National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, D.C., offers a fully-funded international exchange program called the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship. It allows democracy activists, journalists, civil society leaders, and academics worldwide to conduct five months of independent research on democracy in a particular country or region.

 Who is eligible to qualify for the fellowship?

The fellowship provides both a Practitioner Track and a Scholarly Track. Applicants for the Practitioner Track are typically mid-career professionals with substantial practical experience promoting democracy or human rights. Applicants for the Scholarly Track must have a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or academic equivalent) and a publication record in their discipline.

Are family members permitted to accompany scholars during their fellowship?

Yes. However, the fellows are responsible for covering the costs of their round-trip travel and stay within the United States.

How is the selection procedure carried out?

There is an annual competition for the fellowship. Expert external and internal assessments rigorously evaluate the applications. The Board of the Endowment selects the finalist Directors. We will communicate the results of the competition to all applicants in mid-April.

Can a fellowship be postponed?

In general, the committee does not grant fellowship deferrals unless exceptional circumstances exist. Recipients who cannot accept the fellowship in the year they applied. If they wish to pursue a fellowship in a subsequent year, they may have to reapply.

How long does the application procedure take?

Typically, the application deadline is October 31, and the recommendation letter deadline is November 7.

How do I apply for the Reagan-Fascell Fellowship in Democracy?

You must create an account through the program’s online application portal to apply. The website for the program provides comprehensive instructions for completing an account and submitting the necessary application materials.



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