Fellows Program


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The Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University invites outstanding faculty members, independent scholars, lawyers, and judges to apply for visiting, residential appointments for the academic year 2015–2016. Each year, through its fellows program, LAPA brings to Princeton world-class experts on the law. Successful candidates will devote an academic year in residence at Princeton engaging in their own research and in the intellectual life of the campus. Under exceptional circumstances, applications for only one semester in residence may be considered.
For 2015-2016, we plan to name up to five general LAPA Fellows, plus one LAPA/Perkins Fellowship in Law and Humanistic Inquiry for scholars at the early stages of their careers. Applicants to the program will be considered for all of the applicable fellowships, depending upon the applicant's proposed research project and qualifications. Eligible candidates applying with a stated interest in the LAPA/Perkins Fellowship (see below) will not prejudice their consideration for a general fellowship and vice versa. All fellowships are based upon the same salary calculations and carry the same privileges and conditions.
LAPA Fellows devote the major portion of their time to their own research and writing on law-related subjects of empirical, interpretive, doctrinal and/or normative significance. In addition, LAPA Fellows are expected to participate in LAPA programs, including a biweekly faculty-graduate seminar and a weekly discussion group, as well as some public events and conferences. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Princeton at least four days a week during the academic term. They enjoy access to Firestone Library and a wide range of other activities and intellectual resources throughout the University. Some fellows may be invited to teach a course in one of Princeton's graduate or undergraduate programs, subject to the needs of the University, sufficient enrollment, approval of the Dean of the Faculty, and the cooperation of the sponsoring academic department.
The fellows program is open to all regardless of citizenship, but it does not support work toward the completion of a degree. The program also does not support extended off-campus research. All applicants should have received a doctorate, juris doctor, or an equivalent professional degree by the beginning of the fellowship.

About LAPA

Since Princeton does not have a law school, LAPA is the primary site on the Princeton campus for law-related scholarship. The Program in Law and Public Affairs is housed in the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs on the Princeton campus and is co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School, the University Center for Human Values and the University. LAPA-affiliated faculty, graduate students and undergraduates come from all over the university and from all disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, as well as from the sciences and engineering. LAPA encourages its fellows to develop ties with relevant departments and disciplines around campus.

Financial Support for Fellows

Salaries vary according to individual circumstances but will not exceed a maximum that is set each fall. Fellows from academic institutions normally receive one-half their academic-year salaries for the appointment period at Princeton up to an annually set maximum amount, which may be lower than half salary for those on the high end of the salary spectrum. LAPA salaries will not be below a university specified minimum. While additional salary may be paid to fellows who teach a course, this opportunity cannot be guaranteed. In general, we anticipate that fellows visiting from other universities will come with sabbatical support from their home institutions, which would allow them to maintain their full salaries, although this is not a requirement for receiving a LAPA fellowship. Fellows who do not come with additional funding have been able to live modestly in Princeton for the year just on LAPA support. If applicants do not have sabbatical funds but would like to get their full salaries for the year, we recommend also applying for other sources of funds to supplement LAPA salaries. While at Princeton, each fellow will be provided with an office equipped with a computer and telephone.

Fellowship Residency Requirements

Fellows are expected to be in residence at Princeton at least four days each week during the fall and spring academic terms. Fellows should attend the LAPA Seminars, held on alternating Monday afternoons followed by dinner, as well as the fellows' lunch each Thursday. They should also plan to attend major LAPA events for which advance notice will be provided. Fellows are welcome but not required to participate in other University conferences, programs, or events in their field(s) of interest.

Research Proposal

In evaluating an application, the selection committee looks particularly closely at the proposal outlining work the applicant proposes to do while in residence at Princeton. Successful LAPA applicants should demonstrate substantial expertise in law-related matters; however, in explaining research projects, applicants would be well advised to write for an audience of academic generalists. LAPA is particularly interested in potential fellows with interests in policy or in normative or interpretive inquiry.
The program does not support, as a primary activity, off-site fieldwork or work in remote archives, development of course materials, work in legal practice, direct advocacy of causes or residence elsewhere. The program is designed to give fellows a year in residence at Princeton for scholarly reflection and writing, and prospective fellows might consider timing their applications for a year in which time devoted to reflection and writing on a substantial project would be most crucial for them.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee, made up of Princeton faculty members associated with the program, will evaluate applicants on the basis of (1) the quality of their achievements in their field of specialization and their ability to benefit from the activities of the program; (2) the quality and significance of their proposed projects; (3) the contributions they are likely to make in the future to legal scholarship and practice; and (4) their ability to contribute to intellectual life in legal studies at Princeton. In any given year, the program tries to get a mix of senior and junior scholars, domestic and international scholars, and those based in law schools or in the practice of law on the one hand and those whose homes are in other disciplines on the other.

The General LAPA Fellows Program

Drawn from law schools, the social sciences, the humanities, and from the world of policy-making and legal practice, LAPA's Fellows are engaged during their stay at Princeton in cutting-edge research about the law, legal practices and legal institutions. The fellows enhance Princeton's tradition of excellence in undergraduate- and graduate-level intellectual inquiry into law-related issues, and they provide an intellectual critical mass for innovative scholarly collaborations about law and legal institutions. They also add to the group of normatively engaged scholars on campus who consider either policy or ethics as a substantial component of their work. The fellowship in in law and humanities ensures LAPA's commitment to the humanistically oriented fields on campus.
LAPA does not designate annual themes for its fellows' cohort so applications on all law-related subjects are welcome for the general fellows program. That said, the selection committee in any given year does give consideration in the last phases of the decision process to whether a particular set of fellows would complement each other, bring synergies to the program and otherwise show signs of being more than the sum of their individual proposals. Because LAPA gets many more outstanding applications than it has fellowships, one of the final elements of the selection process is the coherent composition of the group. Intellectual clusters are often favored, as are mixes of senior and junior fellows, domestic and international fellows, and fellows based inside and outside law schools.
One of the general fellows, who will teach an undergraduate course through LAPA, will be named the Martin and Kathleen Crane Fellow in Law and Public Affairs.

LAPA/Perkins Fellow in Law and Humanistic Inquiry for Early Career Scholars

This fellowship is designed for a promising interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of law and humanistic inquiry.
Eligibility for this fellowship is limited to those who are a) within five years of receiving a terminal degree, b) in an academic position pre-tenure or c) starting over in a new field. (This latter category would include humanists who have moved (post-tenure) into law or law professors who have moved (post-tenure) into the humanities. It might also include people in other less predictable transitions – from practicing lawyer to academic, for example.
The fellow must work centrally in law, but should also show some substantial commitment to humanistic scholarship. This could be reflected in a Ph.D. in a humanities field (literature, history, philosophy, the arts, for example) or humanistic scholarship in a non-humanities Ph.D. field (anthropology, sociology, politics, for example). The LAPA/Humanities fellow would not have to have a Ph.D. in a related field as long as her/his scholarship showed substantial competence in humanistic work and as long as the candidate has an appropriate terminal degree (a J.D., for example).
Qualitative or theoretically oriented research in social science disciplines like anthropology, sociology and political science are also acceptable so long as the central engagement focuses on law issues.
Applicants applying for this fellowship do not prejudice their consideration for a general fellowship if not selected as the LAPA/Perkins Fellow. The terms and conditions are the same for all fellows.
The LAPA/Perkins fellowship is a collaboration of LAPA and the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.


Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
For additional information, see our web pages devoted to current and previous fellows.