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ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program

Applications for the 2023-24 cohort of ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars are now open. 

Deadline: January 6, 2023 

The American Bar Foundation (ABF), in partnership with The JPB Foundation, is seeking a diverse group of empirical scholars interested in researching access to civil justice to join the ABF’s intellectual community for the ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program. Directed by ABF Faculty Fellow and MacArthur Award winner Rebecca Sandefur, the program brings together cohorts of faculty scholars in order to support their research, mentor their progress, and build intellectual relationships needed to grow the access to justice field. By facilitating the translation of research into practice, the program generates more effective approaches to improve justice for all. Learn more about the program in the video below.

Duration: This non-residential scholarship is for a duration of 18 months. Scholars selected for the 2023-24 cohort will be expected to attend an in-person kickoff meeting March 17-19, 2023 in Tempe, AZ. Over the course of the scholarship, Faculty Scholars will convene for additional in-person and virtual meetings. Throughout the term of the scholarship, each Scholar will be supported by ABF staff, personal mentors, and other experts who will offer guidance on publishing, getting research funding, and dissemination.

Financial Support: Faculty Scholars receive funds toward course reduction(s) in their usual teaching load and summer support. They have access to a research account to reimburse expenses associated with research or travel to conferences at which papers are presented. It is expected that the Faculty Scholar’s primary support (including benefits such as health insurance) will continue to be provided by their home institution.

Deliverables: By the end of their scholarship term, participants will submit at least one article from their access to justice research project to a peer-reviewed journal outlet and at least one proposal for research funding to a funding source external to their home institution.

Application Criteria and Section Process: Applications from empirical scholars in a broad range of disciplines and interdisciplinary programs are welcome. Individuals from groups historically underrepresented are especially encouraged to apply. There are no citizenship requirements. Non-U.S. nationals are welcome to apply; however, the ABF is unable to sponsor an H-1B visa. Comparative research is welcome, but the proposed project must include a U.S. component that would permit the project to produce insights relevant to the U.S. context.

How to Apply: Please submit all material through this URL: 

If you have questions about the application process or the position, please direct inquiries to with the subject line "ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program."

The ABF seeks a motivated, self-starting and effective Program Manager to support its Access to Justice Research Initiative. 

Deadline: November 30, 2022

About this Position: The Access to Justice Research Initiative supports the development and dissemination of use-focused empirical research on access to civil justice in the United States and globally. As a key member of this growing team, the position will be responsible for leading day-to-day operations, including program planning, stakeholder engagement, event design and coordination, and monitoring program finances and budget. The Program Manager will work directly with the Access to Justice Research Initiative’s Director and Senior Program Officer and coordinate closely with ABF finance, communications, and development teams.

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Support the ABF/JPB Access to Justice Scholars program, a cohort of 5-6 early career empirical scholars, including program administration, event planning, finances, and internal and external communications.
  • Coordinate US and global research programs, including planning and supporting meetings and workshops in the United States and abroad.
  • Support the development of new programs and opportunities to strengthen empirical research on access to civil justice and build links to effective policy and practice.


  • Bachelor's degree or commensurate work experience required
  • 3-5 years of work experience, including experience managing finances/budget, coordinating travel and events, and supporting complex projects with multiple stakeholders, preferably in a nonprofit or academic environment
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice
  • Commitment to personal growth and development, including on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to travel regularly, including travel outside of the United States
  • Must reside in Illinois and be able to work out of the Chicago office on a hybrid (remote/in person) schedule
  • Must maintain U.S. work authorization throughout employment

How to Apply: Please submit all material through this URL: 

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