James Buchanan Fellowship

To introduce early-career scholars to the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy.

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

Application review will begin after the deadline and we anticipate decisions will begin to be announced approximately ten to twelve weeks after the deadline.

Details

The total award of up to $8,000 includes: 

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

Qualifications

In order to be accepted into the James Buchanan Fellowship program, you must:

  • Have graduated within the last six years from a doctoral program 
  • Have an academic position at an accredited university and/or a research position with an organization dedicated to in-depth research in social sciences and other sciences

About the Fellowship

The James Buchanan Fellowship is a one-year, competitive fellowship program awarded to scholars in any discipline who have recently graduated from their doctoral programs. The aim of this fellowship is to encourage early-career scholars to critically engage ideas in the political economy of Adam Smith and the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy. In addition, James Buchanan Fellows will be introduced to contemporary applications of these ideas to questions in social sciences dealing with the dynamics and institutional underpinnings of economic, political, and social coordination.

James Buchanan Fellows spend three weekends in residence at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) during the academic year participating in discussions on mainline political economy. Each colloquium is structured around a set of readings and includes discussion sessions, lectures, formal meals, and hospitality. Hayek Program scholars, affiliated scholars, and alumni of our James Buchanan Fellowship serve as discussion leaders and participants during the colloquia. Fellows will join a network of Mercatus students, alumni, and scholars who are conducting and engaging with cutting-edge research in contemporary political economy and are eligible to apply for conference and research funding.

Buchanan About Photo

Have more questions?

    Scholars who meet all of the following 4 criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

    • Scholars who have graduated from accredited PhD Programs within the last 6 years of their year of participation in the fellowship program
    • Scholars who have academic positions at accredited universities and/or research positions with organizations dedicated to in-depth research in social sciences and other sciences
    • Scholars who are able to commit to traveling three weekends for colloquia during the upcoming academic year.
    • Scholars who have research and/or teaching interests that would benefit from a greater understanding of key writings in political economy

    To apply to the James Buchanan Fellowship, click the "Apply" button above or below, and complete the online application, including:

    • A 1-2 page cover letter explaining:
      • your graduate school career to date,
      • your academic career goals,
      • your research interests and current projects,
      • your familiarity with the thinkers associated with the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy, and
      • what you hope to get out of the program.
    • A current resume/CV
    • A list of resent academic publications, if any
    • A few short answer questions

    Applicants can expect to begin hearing from Mercatus with application decisions ten to twelve weeks after the application deadline.

    Yes. Early-career scholars with a PhD from any discipline whose research and/or teaching interests would benefit from a greater understanding of key writings in political economy are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Any scholar of any nationality who holds or will hold an academic position (such as teaching, research, academic leadership, etc.) at a university or academic research center, in the US or abroad, during their year of participation is eligible to apply for the James Buchanan Fellowship. The program will arrange and cover airfare, as well as lodging and meals associated with in-person events that constitute the fellowship program.

    Each fellow is responsible for making the appropriate verifications of their eligibility to receive funding from the Mercatus Center. Fellows should check with their human resource departments, home departments or institutions, legal/immigration representatives or consultants, private foundations and/or others as appropriate to verify their eligibility to receive funding from the Mercatus Center. Fellows are responsible for any applicable taxes on the honoraria provided through the James Buchanan Fellowship program.

    James Buchanan fellows are required to be employed at an academic institution (such as a university and a university-based center) during their participation in the James Buchanan Fellowship Program, attent and actively participate in all aspects of the scheduled program of events including meals and organized social activities, arrive on time and prepared for each colloquia session having carefully read the assigned reading in advance, and be honest, responsible, fair, and civil in all activities of the James Buchanan Fellowship Program.

    The terms of the James Buchanan 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 the 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. Exact dates of the colloquia will be confirmed during the months of June or July preceding participation in the program.

    For each colloquium, fellows should plan to arrive at the conference hotel prior to 4pm on the day that commences the colloquium; fellows are free to leave at their convenience when the colloquium adjourns.

    Fellows are responsible for maintaining an up-to-date record 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 for the colloquia. 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. Participation in the program, however, is conditional upon (1) graduation from an accredited PhD program prior to the year of participation in the James Buchanan Fellowship program and (2) employment as an academic (such as a faculty member, researcher, post-doctoral fellow, in an academic leadership position, etc.) at an accredited university or an organization dedicated to in-depth research in social sciences or other sciences during the year of participation in the James Buchanan Fellowship program.

    Please note that we view it to be the responsibility of the applicant to determine whether work related to their formal academic employment or future academic employment will interfere with full involvement in the program. Applicants who can commit to full participation in the program are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Yes.

    Yes, scholars who were awarded a James Buchanan Fellowship are eligible re-apply to the fellowship every year until the fifth year after their graduation from a PhD program.

    James M. Buchanan Jr. was a founder of the Virginia school of political economy which explores the intersection between economics, politics, and law. Buchanan earned his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1986 for “his contributions to the theory of political decision-making and public economics.” He was the director of what eventually became the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University and was a Professor of Economics at George Mason University from 1986 until his death in 2013.

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

     

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    Confirm your qualifications

    In order to be accepted into the James Buchanan Fellowship program, you must:

    • Have graduated within the last six years from a doctoral program 
    • Have an academic position at an accredited university and/or a research position with an organization dedicated to in-depth research in social sciences and other sciences