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Fellowship Opportunity


Click here to download the Wilson Center-Vidanta Foundation Fellowship brochure.

Fostering Innovation in the Americas

As a driver of economic productivity and social progress, innovation is impacting every region and functional dimension of the global economy. While both developed and emerging economies are capable of producing market-disrupting innovation, each tends to produce innovation with distinct characteristics and aspects. Understanding the trends and frontiers of innovation is no longer an abstract or novel branch of knowledge.

There is an imperative to harness innovation in the face of global competition, and governments, research institutions, corporations, and individuals are pursuing this goal in every corner of the globe. For Latin America and the Caribbean, the challenge to create, implement, and sustain innovation in the public, private, and non-profit domains is a daunting one.

The organizers will accept policy-relevant proposals that address key challenges to successful innovation ecosystems in the Americas. Examples may include: national, state, or local public policies to improve innovation ecosystems; fostering social enterprise; developing greater synergies between universities and the private sector; expanding public-private partnerships; generating the human capital and talent necessary for innovation to thrive.

Priority will be given to projects that can result in work that reaches a broad audience. While in residence, Fellows will be affiliated with the Latin American Program. They are encouraged to produce policy reports and other short written products during their Fellowship and to design, in collaboration with the Latin American Program, a seminar, conference, or meeting related to their research.

Who is Eligible?

Applicants who are citizens of any Latin American or Caribbean country and who reside in the region. Applicants must hold a valid passport and be able to obtain a J-1 visa. We welcome applications from outstanding women and men from a wide variety of backgrounds, including academia, business, government, journalism, and other professions.

A command of spoken English is necessary since the Center encourages the exchange of ideas among its Fellows and with the broader Washington policy community.

Applicants must have an undergraduate or graduate degree and a minimum of five years of relevant work experience. The Fellowship is not open to current students or to those working on a Master’s-level or doctoral dissertation.


Benefits & Access

The residential Fellowship will take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Each fellow is assigned a furnished office available to him or her every day around the clock. The Center is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., and includes conference rooms, a reference library, and a dining room. The building is a smoke-free environment.

The Wilson Center Library provides loan privileges with the Library of Congress and access to digital resources, its book and journal collections, and to university and special libraries in the area, and other research facilities.

Windows- based personal computers are provided, and each fellow is offered a part-time research assistant. Although fellows are responsible for locating their own housing in the Washington, D.C. area, the Center provides written materials to help facilitate the search process, if desired.

Fellows are provided with a monthly stipend and are required to purchase health insurance unless they have a medical plan that covers them while in the United States. The Fellowship includes round-trip airfare in economy class to and from Washington, D.C.

Length of Appointment

The Fellowship is for a minimum of four months and a maximum of six months.


Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by the Latin American Program and Vidanta Foundation staff as well as outside experts. Specific applications criteria are outlined below. The deadline for receipt of applications is March 31, 2017. Appointment decisions will be made by May 1, 2017, for fellowships beginning as early as September 2017.

Selection Criteria

Significance of the proposed research, including the importance and originality of the project;

The quality of the proposal in organization, clarity, and scope; and

The capabilities and achievements of the applicant and the likelihood that he or she will accomplish the proposed project.

Projects should involve fresh research, in terms of both the overall field and the applicant’s previous work. It is essential that projects have relevance to public policy, and fellows should want, and be prepared, to interact with policymakers throughout the Washington policy community and with others at the Wilson Center working on similar issues.

How to Apply?

Applications should be submitted via email and should contain the following elements:

A current CV indicating educational and professional background, nationality, date of birth, and contact information (address, email, and telephone number). Only the first three pages will be accepted.

A project proposal not to exceed five double-spaced, typed pages, using a 12-point font.

A short bibliography (optional and not to exceed one page) for the project that includes relevant print or on-line sources.

An indication of why residency at the Center will be beneficial to the project.

The names and contact information for two references.

All application materials must be submitted in English.

Please make your project clear to individuals outside your own field and explain its practical significance.

Completed applications, as well as any questions, should be submitted via email to: The deadline for applications is March 31, 2017.

Related Program

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more