Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy Fellowship

Climate and Democracy


The University of Pennsylvania’s Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy and the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) invite applications for a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in any discipline whose research is pertinent to the theme of the Mitchell Center’s 2023-2024 faculty workshop series, CLIMATE AND DEMOCRACY.  In addition to pursuing independent research, the postdoctoral fellow is expected to attend and participate in Mitchell Center events; teach one undergraduate course related to their academic interests; co-lead a research seminar for Mitchell Center undergraduate fellows; and attend other Mitchell and PPEH events whenever possible. Fellows typically organize and lead a couple of small-scale events over the course of the year. The stipend will be at least $53,800 plus benefits, including health insurance.

Since its birth in revolutions that swept the Atlantic world two centuries ago, modern democracy has developed under a relatively stable, if gradually warming, global climate. Now, even as they are beset by a diverse set of challenges – including right-wing populism, increasingly powerful authoritarian regimes, forms of media susceptible to disinformation campaigns, the impacts of the pandemic, and mass migrations sparked by environmental stresses, political instability, and economic inequality – the world’s democracies must also face accelerating climate change as it intersects with these other pressures in unpredictable and potentially devastating ways. In a year-long series during 2023-24, the Andrea Mitchell Center is partnering with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities to explore the risks posed to democratic norms by climate change, as well as the capacity of democratic institutions to address the issue. And while it is possible to imagine a future in which natural disasters and democratic failures compound one another, we are asking how climate solutions and democratic values might reinforce each other and lead to greater political and environmental resilience.

Global in its outlook, multifaceted in its purposes, the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy seeks to contribute to the ongoing quest for democratic values, ideas, and institutions throughout the world. In addition to hosting speakers from the fields of academia, journalism, politics, and public policy, the Mitchell Center supports undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral research.  It continues the legacy of the Penn Program for Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, which fostered interdisciplinary scholarship from 2007 to 2017.

The Mitchell Center values interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and collegiality; is committed to promoting a culturally diverse intellectual community; and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and underrepresented communities. See below for the University of Pennsylvania's Equal Employment Opportunity Statement.


International scholars are welcome.  Applicants should have received the PhD no earlier than May 2018 but must have completed all requirements for the PhD by September 30, 2023.

Application Instructions

Application Link:
Application Deadline: February 15, 2023

In addition to the Personal and Profile information requested by Interfolio, the following information and documents will be required:


1.  Preferred Email Address
2.  Telephone Contact Number
3.  Country of Citizenship
4.  Country of Permanent Residence
5.  Date, institution, and field of your PhD degree
6.  Current Position. (Indicate your title, department, institution, and city/state).  If you are not employed, please state what you are currently doing.

Documents to be uploaded

1.  Cover Letter
2.  CV
3.  Title and Description of Proposed Research Study – No more than 1,000 words.
4.  Teaching Portfolio: Title and Description of Two Undergraduate Course Proposals – Single-spaced (one page each) proposals of possible Undergraduate Seminars you would like to teach at Penn.
5.  Writing Sample – An article or excerpt of a book or dissertations chapter. (20 page limit.)
6.  Confidential Letters of Recommendation (three) - Referees should be asked both to comment on your proposed project and to discuss your qualifications as a teacher.

Application date
1 year
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, Architecture and urbanism, History, Digital humanities and big data, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences