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ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellowship Program in Legal & Higher Education

Applications for the 2017 ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellowship in Legal & Higher Education are now closed.  

The American Bar Foundation (ABF), in partnership with AccessLex Institute (ALI), is committed to developing the next generation of scholars interested in empirical and interdisciplinary research on legal and higher education. The purpose of the fellowship is to assist emerging scholars who are studying issues of access, affordability, or value in legal or higher education. This doctoral fellowship program seeks to assemble and coordinate a professional network of scholars who will produce innovative, objective, empirical, and interdisciplinary research in the field.

ABF/ALI doctoral fellows in legal and higher education will receive a stipend of $35,000 for one year (12 months). Doctoral fellows should retain benefits, including healthcare, through their home institution. Fellows will also have access to a modest research account to reimburse expenses associated with research, travel to meet with advisors, or travel to conferences at which papers are presented. Reasonable relocation expenses may be reimbursed on application.

Fellowships are awarded for up to 12 months, beginning September 1, 2017.

Fellowships are held in residence at the ABF. Appointments to fellowships are full time. Fellows are expected to participate fully in the academic life of the ABF so that they may develop close collegial ties with ABF faculty and other scholars in residence.

The ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellowship Program will support up to two pre-doctoral fellowships for emerging scholars interested in empirical and interdisciplinary research on legal or higher education in the 2017-18 academic year. Applications are invited from outstanding students who are candidates for Ph.D. degrees, across a broad range of disciplines, who have completed all doctoral requirements except the dissertation by September 1, 2017. Doctoral research must address significant issues in the field and show promise of a major contribution to social scientific understanding of legal or higher education. Students from underrepresented minority groups are especially encouraged to apply. There are no citizenship requirements for this fellowship. Non-U.S. nationals are welcome to apply; however, the ABF is unable to sponsor an H-1B visa. 

How to Apply
Please submit all materials through this URL:

Applicants must include: (1) 1-2 page cover letter of application; (2) 2-3 page description of a research project or interest that relates to legal or higher education; (3) resume or curriculum vitae; (4) writing sample; and (5) 3 letters of recommendation.

If you have questions about the application process or the position, please direct inquiries to with the subject line “ABF/ALI Doctoral Fellowship Program in Legal and Higher Education" or Julian Perez at (312) 988-6631.

About the Partners
The American Bar Foundation is a Chicago-based, independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and legal processes.

AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization that works to further access, affordability and the value of legal education specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly, through research, policy advocacy, and direct educational services to students and its network of nearly 200 American Bar Association (ABA)-approved nonprofit and state-affiliated law schools.

For more information on the ABF/ALI Visiting Scholar Program in Legal and Higher Education, please click here.

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