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ABF/National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Law and Inequality

Applications for the ABF/National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program are now closed. 

EXTENDED DEADLINE: February 1, 2023


Pending budgetary approval, The American Bar Foundation (ABF) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support one postdoctoral fellowship. The ABF is committed to developing the next generation of scholars in the field of law and social science. The purpose of this fellowship is to encourage original and significant empirical and interdisciplinary research on the study of law and inequality.


The Postdoctoral Fellow will receive a salary of $65,000 per year for one academic year (12 months) and benefits from the ABF. 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.


Fellowships are awarded for up to 12 months, beginning September 1, 2023.


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. Because this is a full-time program, the ABF does not allow fellows to hold concurrent fellowships, but we support and encourage fellows to apply for research grants.


The ABF/NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will support one postdoctoral fellowship. Applications are invited from scholars who have recently received their J.D.s or Ph.D.s (within the last two years) or who will have completed the dissertation by September 1, 2023. Applicants from underrepresented minority groups are especially encouraged to apply. Only U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

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 law and inequality; 

(3) resume or curriculum vitae; 

(4) a writing sample, reflective of a candidate’s best work and appropriate to a candidate’s discipline;

(5)  names and contact information of 3 professional references that we may contact if appropriate, one of whom should be the applicant’s dissertation chairperson; and

(6) a Contributions to Diversity Statement, 2-3 pages in length, highlighting demonstrated and planned efforts to promote diversity and equity through their research or other work, including detailed examples and descriptions that demonstrate both understanding and actions in the following three areas:

  1.         Awareness of and ability to articulate understanding regarding diversity broadly conceived, and historical, social, and economic factors that influence the underrepresentation of particular groups in academia. Life experience may be an important aspect of this understanding.
  2.        A track record, calibrated to career stage, of engagement and activity related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Specific details about these activities should be provided, including goals, strategies, outcomes, and your role in the cited activities. Strong evidence typically consists of multiple examples of action from undergraduate through current career stage.
  3.        Specific, concrete goals, plans, and priorities for engagement on diversity, equity, and inclusion as a potential law faculty member.

Funding for this fellowship is provided by the ABF and the Law and Science Program of the National Science Foundation under grant award SES 1946670.

If you have questions about the application process or the position, please direct inquiries to with the subject line “ABF/ NSF PostDoctoral Fellowship Program in Law and Inequality.”

View the Program Flyer here

About the American Bar Foundation 

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world’s leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation

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