How to Apply

Applications are accepted and processed on a continuing basis. They can be requested by email or downloaded from this website.

The complete application includes:

Only complete applications will be considered. We will notify you of acceptance into the DFP's pool of eligible candidates within one month of receiving your completed application. Upon acceptance as a candidate for the program, World Learning retains your application in its pool of eligible candidates for one year. Acceptance into the DFP's candidate pool does not guarantee the award of a fellowship; it only indicates eligibility for consideration for future fellowships. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions page for details regarding selection for a Democracy Fellowship.

Criteria for acceptance include:

  • U.S. citizenship for fellowships requiring a national security clearance.
  • Ability to receive a U.S. national security clearance if required.
  • Ph.D., J.D. or Master's degree. (An undergraduate degree plus significant related democracy and governance experience may be considered on an exceptional basis when requested by USAID or the sponsoring organizations.)
  • Previous professional democracy and governance experience. While most new fellowships will be at mid-level (5-10 years directly related experience) or senior-level (10+ years), the DFP may offer some junior-level fellowships (0-5 years).
  • Academic background or practical expertise in democracy programs, elections, government, law, international relations, political science, or other fields relevant to democracy and governance projects.
  • Prior overseas experience and/or residence, as determined for each fellowship.
  • Professional foreign language capabilities, as determined for each fellowship.

In reviewing these application materials, please consider carefully whether this type of practical, working fellowship meets your professional expectations. In this regard, we stress a key distinction between World Learning's Democracy Fellows Program and other international fellowships, namely, that these fellowships are not designed for fellows to pursue their own research, teaching, or other independent activities. Instead, the focus is on finding the most highly qualified applicants to address the proposed goals and work activities of the sponsoring USAID office.




Mailing Address:
Democracy Fellows Program
Civil Society and Governance Program Team
World Learning International Development Programs
1015 15th Street, NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005 

Contact us by email.