Adam Smith Fellowship

A one-year program for doctoral students from any university and discipline who are interested in political economy.

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year are due March 15, 2024.


The total award of up to $10,000 includes: 

  • A stipend
  • All required readings
  • Travel and lodging to attend colloquia hosted by the Mercatus Center


In order to be accepted into the Adam Smith Fellowship program, you must be:

  • Enrolled in a PhD program from any university and in any discipline  

About the Fellowship

The Adam Smith Fellowship is a co-sponsored program of the Mercatus Center and Liberty Fund, Inc. Adam Smith Fellowships are awarded to graduate students attending PhD programs at any university and in any discipline, including but not limited to economics, philosophy, political science, and sociology.

Smith About Photo

Additional Financial Support

Additional sources of funding are available to our Smith Fellows, including:

Placeholder image

Have more questions? 

    Students who meet all of the following 3 criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

    • Students that will be enrolled in an accredited PhD program during the upcoming academic year.
    • Students that are able to commit to traveling 3 weekends and 1 week for colloquia during the upcoming academic year.
    • Students that have a research or teaching interest that would benefit from a greater understanding of key writings in political economy.

    Yes. Acceptance to the program is conditional on enrollment in an accredited PhD program during the year of participation in the Adam Smith Fellowship program.

    Yes. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine whether work related to completing a dissertation or going on the job market will interfere with full involvement in the program.  Applicants who can commit to full participation in the program are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Yes. PhD students from any discipline who have a research or teaching interest that would benefit from a greater understanding of key writings in political economy are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Any student of any nationality enrolled in any doctoral program at any university, in the US or abroad, is eligible to apply for the Adam Smith Fellowship. The program will arrange and cover airfare, as well as lodging and meals associated with the fellowship.

    Each fellow is responsible for making the appropriate verifications of their eligibility to receive funding from the Mercatus Center. Fellows should check with their home departments, international student offices, or private foundations (as appropriate) to verify their eligibility. Fellows are responsible for any applicable taxes on the honoraria provided through the Adam Smith Fellowship.

    The terms of the Adam Smith Fellowship carry with them the expectation that fellows will be substantially involved in the entirety of the formal colloquium schedule as well as the activities, including meals and hospitality, that are scheduled as part of the conference program. This expectation exists because conversations about the readings and the discussions in the colloquium sessions invariably continue beyond the time allotted by the program schedule. We also strongly encourage the fellows to interact with each other and faculty participants about their own and each other’s academic work and how it relates to the themes discussed in session. Consequently, in order to ensure that every fellow gets the most out of the experience, all fellows are required to lodge at the conference site and to be present for the entirety of the scheduled program. 

    Colloquium dates are subject to some variability. Historically, the program has hosted two weekend colloquia in the fall, one weekend colloquium in the spring, and one week long colloquium in the summer. Exact dates will be confirmed during the months of June or July preceding participation in the program.

    For weekend colloquia, fellows should plan to arrive at the conference hotel prior to 5pm on the Thursday that commences the colloquium; fellows are free to leave at their convenience on Sunday morning when the colloquium adjourns.

    Fellows are responsible for maintaining an up to date record with the program of a valid postal address to which packages can be shipped. Readings will be distributed both by email and by post 2 months in advance of each colloquium.

    Fellows may submit for reimbursement any conventional expenses associated with academic travel. These expenses include cab fare and mileage incurred by the fellow to and from home and the conference site, parking, and hotel accommodation in the event of travel delays.


    Yes, fellowship recipients are eligible to re-apply to the Adam Smith Fellowship each year of their studies. Adam Smith Fellows are also eligible to apply for conference travel and research support. Doctoral students may also be eligible for the Oskar Morgenstern Fellowship, Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship, Elinor Ostrom Fellowship, and Don Lavoie Fellowship.

    Email [email protected] regarding general questions about the fellowship or questions about your application status or application materials.

    Ready to get started?

    Confirm your qualifications

    In order to be accepted into the Adam Smith Fellowship program, you must be:

    • Enrolled in PhD program at any university and in any discipline