Stanford PACS Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) Postdoctoral Fellowship – Fall 2022 ($70,000 stipend)

Stanford PACS Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) Postdoctoral Fellowship – Fall 2022 ($70,000 stipend)

Deadline: January 31, 2022

Applications for the Stanford PACS Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) Postdoctoral Fellowship – Fall 2022 are now open. The Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) invites promising new scholars to Stanford University for 1 year appointments as postdoctoral fellows, with potential for extension. Fellows will be affiliated with PDI and potentially a department or school at Stanford University.

Each fellow will collaborate with one of the PDI faculty on research relevant to their field of study and current line of scholarship. The fellows will spend 20 percent of their time working on their own research and 80 percent assisting in the research of one of the PDI directors. In addition, fellows may be asked to coordinate speaker series and seminars.

About the Program on Democracy and the Internet

The Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) envisions digital technologies supporting rather than subverting democracy by maximizing the benefits and minimizing the threats through changes in policy, technology, and social and ethical technological norms.

Digital technologies are having a profound impact on democracy in the United States and around the world. New communication platforms that give voice to the previously unheard also empower nefarious actors who seek to undermine democracy, silence journalists and minority groups, manipulate search engines, sow distrust, and more. Concerns about virality, deception, anonymity, echo chambers, and platform information monopolies pose new challenges for democracy in the digital age. Current research to understand these challenges and, on the basis of theory and evidence, craft solutions, remains nascent, fragmented, and incomplete. A strong knowledge base is critical for policy makers, corporate leaders, and technologists to make decisions that protect and promote democracy in the digital age.

The Program on Democracy and the Internet is investigating key research themes which include:

  • Government censorship, propaganda, and information operations on digital media platforms
  • Reform options for platforms to combat hate speech, bots, and disinformation
  • Algorithmic bias
  • Deteriorating health of digital information ecosystems and its effect on democracy and civil rights
  • Changes in the media landscape due to shifts caused by digital innovation
  • Impact of the internet on election campaigns and voting


  • The annual fellowship stipend is $70,000, plus the standard benefits that postdoctoral fellows at Stanford University receive, including health insurance and travel funds. The fellowship program falls under U.S. Immigration J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa activities. 


  • Scholars must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2022. We cannot consider applications from scholars who earned a PhD earlier than September 1, 2019.  
  • They encourage applications from candidates representing a broad range of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, law, computer science and engineering. 


Applicants will be asked to include the following: 

  • Cover letter detailing the reasons for the applicant’s interest in the fellowship.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Fellowship proposal detailing the research that the applicant would undertake while at Stanford, and how it fits within the research agenda of the specific initiative to which the applicant is applying. In this section, please disclose if you have additional funding arrangements.
  • Writing sample consisting of either a dissertation chapter or a recent published paper. There are no specific page length or formatting requirements for this sample.
  • Graduate transcript with proof that the applicant has completed all the requirements for the PhD, or a letter from their PhD advisor stating when they will do so.
  • Two (or more) letters of recommendation submitted via the application portal.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit PDI Postdoctoral Fellowship.