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Open Call: PRRI Public Fellows

The PRRI Public Fellows program, created in 2017 with the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation, promotes and supports interdisciplinary public scholarship through a cohort of emerging scholar-leaders from across the humanities and social sciences. The program expanded in academic year 2021-2022 as part of PRRI’s Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative with renewed support from the Luce Foundation and an additional grant from the Mellon Foundation. The program now includes 16 diverse scholars each year working across the four major areas of PRRI’s work, including religious, racial, and ethnic pluralism; racial justice and white supremacy; immigration and migration studies; and LGBTQ rights.

The PRRI Public Fellows program will include a $5,000 annual stipend for each fellow and annual microgrants of $12,000 in each area of research to foster collaborative new scholarship and professional relationships among the cohort.  An open call for the 2023-2024 cohort of PRRI Public Fellows can be found below, or can be viewed and downloaded here as a PDF.

Click here to apply for the PRRI Public Fellows 2023-2024 cohort.

Open Call for Fellowships
PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute)

PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) is announcing an opportunity to join a diverse cohort of 16 non-residential Public Fellows who are engaged in public scholarship at the intersection of religion, culture, and politics.

PRRI Public Fellows will work alongside the organization’s research and communications staff during the 2023-2024 academic year (August to July).  This 11-month fellowship includes a stipend, support for a course release during the spring semester, and access to microgrants to support collaborative research. The PRRI fellowship will benefit those who want to shape their work for broader public consumption, receive communications support for placing public-facing work in top-tier media outlets, and integrate quantitative data into their research and teaching. Successful fellows will be eligible to apply for a one-time renewal at the end of the program year, but are not guaranteed renewal.

As a part of PRRI’s Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative, the organization is seeking applicants whose research agendas align with one of four principal vectors of PRRI’s ongoing work: 1) religious, racial, and ethnic pluralism; 2) racial justice and white supremacy; 3) immigration and migration studies; and 4) LGBTQ rights.  In each area of scholarship, PRRI will select four Public Fellows.

The ideal candidates are mid-career scholars (three to twelve years since earning a terminal degree) who have an aptitude and track record of socially engaged or public scholarship. PRRI is seeking a diverse cohort in terms of academic disciplines (both humanities and the social sciences), types of institutions (college, university, seminary, or research institute), and geographic location. PRRI encourages applications from women, people of color, and other members of under-represented groups who will contribute to the diversity of the cohort.

Fellowship Benefits:

  • 11-month fellowship with a cohort of 16 diverse scholars (four from each area of PRRI’s core areas of work) engaged in public scholarship.
  • Fellowship stipend of $5,000 and course release funds up to $10,000 for the spring 2023 semester.
  • Access to annual microgrants of $12,000 in each area of PRRI’s work for new interdisciplinary scholarly projects within the cohort.
  • Monthly meetings and quarterly trainings and workshops.
  • An in-person convening in Washington, D.C., with travel expenses paid by PRRI. During the convening, Fellows will meet with writers from major media outlets and leaders of advocacy groups, receive media training from PRRI’s communications consultants, and dialogue with experts in writing for trade, crossover and non-academic book publishers.
  • Advance access to PRRI data and archives.
  • Collaborative work with PRRI’s research and communications teams.
  • For Fellows from non-quantitative backgrounds, PRRI will provide training, support, and advice on how to connect public-opinion survey research to their field of expertise.

Application Requirements:

Applicants for the PRRI Public Fellows program must meet the following requirements:

  • Fellows must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree plus a formal affiliation with an accredited college, university, seminary, or research institute in the United States.
  • Fellows must have earned their terminal degree at least three years ago and no more than 12 years ago.
  • Fellows should have demonstrable academic expertise in at least one of the four areas of PRRI’s work (religious, racial and ethnic pluralism; racial justice and white supremacy; immigration and migration studies; and LGBTQ rights).
  • Fellows must be authorized to work in the United States.

Application Process: 

To apply for a fellowship, please follow this link. The application includes:

  • Statement of interest: in 800 words or less, please explain your interest in pursuing this fellowship opportunity and your professional development goals in public scholarship.
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Work samples: please provide links to and PDF copies of three articles published within the last three years, preferably in publications or sites aimed at the general public. These samples should be your best recent work.

The application deadline has been extended to June 15, 2023.  For questions, please contact PRRI at

Position: Director of Research

Status and Location: Full-time, Washington, D.C.
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
FLSA Salary Classification: Full-time Exempt
Hiring Salary Range: $140,000 to $155,000

Position Summary:

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) Director of Research provides oversight, management, and leadership to a growing research department. The incumbent oversees all phases of research including overall project conception, sampling and questionnaire design, data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Director of Research manages multiple projects and a research team of three. The incumbent serves as one of the organization’s on-the-record spokesperson for PRRI and writes occasionally for external audiences. The Director of Research is a member of the senior leadership team and reports to the CEO. This is a hybrid position with two days in the office and three days remote.


  • Directs and manages the administrative and programmatic resources of the research department. Oversees the implementation of systems, polices, and procedures that assist research department staff in completing multiple projects and within budget.
  • Initiates strategic planning and goal setting for future research, administrative structure, technology needs, and growth.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises research department staff. Sets performance expectations, provides support, coaches, and mentors staff.
  • Serves as a member of the PRRI senior leadership team. Provides input to organizational vision and planning and carries out the decisions and directives of the CEO and Board of Directors.
  • Serves as on the record spokesperson at events and in the media. Writes articles for external publication and analyses for the PRRI blog.
  • Participates in the publication and presentation of research papers at national meetings such as AAPOR and APSA.

Qualifications and Core Competencies:

  • Ph.D. in political science, sociology, or related field.
  • Expertise in religion and American politics.
  • Minimum eight to ten years of experience as quantitative principal researcher and team manager.
  • Experience managing multiple projects and team members.
  • Exceptional time management, project management, and organizational skills.
  • Strategic thinker; achievement- and results-driven.
  • Outstanding written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrates sound judgment and strong decision-making skills.

About PRRI:

Founded in 2009, Public Religion Research Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy.  PRRI research explores and illuminates America’s changing cultural, religious, and political landscape.  The organization’s mission is to help journalists, scholars, thought leaders, clergy, and the general public better understand debates on public policy issues, and the important cultural and religious dynamics shaping American society and politics.

Please visit our website for more information at

Instructions for Applying:

Applications will be received until May 5, 2023, or until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references here; incomplete applications may not be considered. PRRI offers a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. No inquiries, please.

PRRI is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other members of under-represented groups who will contribute to the diversity of our staff.

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