Latin American Program Announces Opening of the "Junior Scholars in the Study of Democracy in Latin America" Fellowship Competition

May 15, 2006

The Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, with the support of The Ford Foundation, announces the second competition for Junior Scholars in the Study of Democracy in Latin America.

Background. In October 2004, the Latin American Program held a conference to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the project Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. The conference included an extended workshop among some of the leading scholars of democracy, to take stock of where the discussion of democracy had gone and what remained to be said and studied. As a result of that exchange, it was decided to stimulate innovative work among relatively junior members of the academic profession and to focus attention on democracy in Latin America. The first competition was held during 2005. This is the second competition.

Subjects for study. Grants will be awarded for studies of democracy in Latin America that deal with one or more of the following subjects:
Citizenship and rights – political, civil, social, cultural, communal
Poverty and inequality – do democracies have special advantages or obligations in dealing with these social problems
Reforms of the state – for whom, by whom, to what purpose
Representation and accountability – how can they be improved
Local government, including cities – are these sites of democratic governance or the last redoubts of patronage and populism
The international context – what effect does it have on Latin American democracies.

The studies must be of publishable quality, as determined by the editorial committee of the project; they must be the equivalent of an article in a major scholarly journal or a chapter in a book; that is, approximately 7,500 to 10,000 words. The papers may be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese. To achieve a balance with the preponderance of quantitative studies in the first round, priority will be given to studies in which the principal methodology is qualitative and/or historical.

Applicants. Applicants for these grants may be citizens of any country in the hemisphere – Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. To be eligible, applicants must have received their Ph.D. within five years from the date the competition closes. In very exceptional cases, applicants from Latin America who have not completed formal doctoral studies will be considered if they are in an equivalent stage of their academic careers. This grant does not support dissertation research or writing.

Applications. Applications will be due no later than June 30, 2006. Application materials must include a curriculum vitae, a proposal of no more than 2,000 words, including bibliography, proof of the date of receipt of the Ph.D. or its equivalent, and two letters of recommendation from senior colleagues who are familiar with your work. The proposal statement should indicate why your project is important and innovative, either in terms of advancing existing lines or inquiry or proposing new ones. The letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Wilson Center, to the attention of:

The Director, Latin American Program
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Applicants are responsible for insuring that letters of recommendation arrive on time. Applications may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese and may be sent to the address listed above or by email to

The grant. Eight (8) grants will be awarded. The grant period will be ten months, August 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007. In late 2006 or early 2007, grantees will be asked to attend a workshop at which their drafts will be discussed by their fellow grantees and several distinguished senior scholars. After the workshop, and until the end of the grant period, grantees will be asked to revise their papers for publication. The final version of the study will be due on May 31, 2007.

The grant does not anticipate residence in the Woodrow Wilson Center. Grantees may continue in residence at their home institutions or in any other location. The stipend will be in the amount of $10,000, one quarter paid upon awarding the grant (as soon after August 1, 2006 as possible), one half upon delivery of the draft of the paper (no later than November 10, 2006), and one quarter upon approval of the final study. The Wilson Center will have right of first refusal to publish the studies written under this grant.

Administration. The grant competition will be administered by the Latin American Program of the Wilson Center. The selection committee will consist of Guillermo O'Donnell (Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame), Joseph S. Tulchin (Woodrow Wilson Center, Senior Scholar), and Augusto Varas (Ford Foundation). Questions should be directed to Kelly Albinak or 202-691-4078. For more information about the Woodrow Wilson Center, please see

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