USC Dornsife Berggruen Fellowship on Great Transformations



In the academic year 2023-24, the Berggruen Institute and the USC Dornsife Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life will sponsor up to ten (10) fellowships at the University of Southern California.

The Berggruen Institute seeks to encourage a deeper understanding of the great political, economic, social, and cultural transformations that are reshaping the human condition, in order to better inform practical responses. It organizes and supports inquiries that bring multicultural and interdisciplinary knowledge to questions of governance, of philosophy and culture, and of global restructuring including especially the role of China.

The Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life (STPL) at USC Dornsife generates a unique conversation among humanists, social scientists, and natural scientists about the social and political implications of new developments in science and technology. Through public programming, research, and training, STPL fosters sustained reflection on the possibilities and limits of technological innovation.

The selected USC Berggruen Fellows will work on project(s) under at least one of the Berggruen’s key thematic areas of research: The Planetary, Future Humans, Future of Capitalism, and the Future of Democracy. The description of each project is below. Applicants should plan to apply to participate in and contribute to one of the specific projects listed below during their fellowship period.


USC Berggruen Fellows can be either academics or unattached intellectuals (for whom the Berggruen Fellowship may serve as a retreat from work in industry, government, or the arts) but above all must be committed to intellectual work of the highest quality. Applicants should have a terminal degree or commensurate research expertise in the appropriate field of study.

In addition to well-qualified individuals with independent projects, we also seek teams of scholars eager to come to the Berggruen Institute to work together on a shared project or theme. We are especially eager to support teams that include diverse or unusual institutional, professional, disciplinary and national backgrounds. Those applying as a team should each apply individually, and indicate that they would like to have their application considered in conjunction with the other scholars on their team.

USC Berggruen Fellows will work from the Berggruen Institute’s office in Downtown Los Angeles, and will have access to the scholarly resources of the University of Southern California, and will present their research to faculty and students at USC. They will also participate in BI-organized working groups focused on their particular area of the Great Transformations.

The term of the fellowship is flexible. Stipend is commensurate with qualifications. For a full-year fellowship, Fellows with academic appointments will receive a stipend based on half of their annual academic year salary, up to $75,000 with the expectation that their home institution will make up the remainder. Fellows without sabbatical half-salary or a similar partial remuneration package can be paid up to $90,000 or more, depending on position and seniority. Fellows will be provided with $3,000 in research funds. Fellows from outside the Los Angeles area will be offered housing assistance and relocation subsidy.

To Apply

In order to apply to become a USC Berggruen Fellow, please submit an electronic application via the USC application portal. Follow this link or paste in a browser:

Fill out the information in the application portal including the names of your references. Then please upload the following materials:

I. Full curriculum vitae

II. Project Statement

Your project statement, up to 750 words, should answer two questions:

Question #1:  How do you propose to contribute to one of the Projects listed above?

Concisely describe the work you plan to do during your fellowship years:

  • Explain the intellectual agenda of your proposal and the ways it can contribute to the Project of your choice?

  • Address the public dimensions: How will your contribution “make a difference”? How would you propose to raise public awareness of the Project?

For individuals applying as part of a team, please describe both the overall project, as well as what you anticipate your unique contribution will be to the work.

Question #2:  What is your most important work to date?

Identify your most important book, book chapter, or article and explain why it was important—how it corrected a misconception in the literature, how it advanced thinking in some important way, and/or how it filled in an important gap in knowledge.

III. Writing sample

Please provide the link to one short writing sample, such as an article, essay, or book chapter.

IV. Two reference letters

Please provide the names and contacts of two references in the application portal. At least one letter should be from an expert in your area of interest. Reference letters are due two weeks after the application deadline. Your referrer will receive an automated email with instructions to upload their letter of recommendation after you submit your application.

The deadline for application is Monday, January 2, 2023. The deadline for receiving reference letters is Monday, January 16, 2023. Awardees will receive notification of their fellowships by April 1, 2023.

Questions about the logistics of applying should be addressed to Emily R. Anderson at For other questions pertaining to the details of the Berggruen Institute’s work, please contact Jennifer Bourne at

Application date
Up to one year
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, History, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences