Democracy Fellows and Grants Program

USAID Democracy Fellows and Grants Program

The Democracy Fellows and Grants Program (DFG), engages committed professionals and the research community to support USAID in advancing democracy, good governance, and human rights around the world.

Beginning in September 2012, the Institute of International Education (IIE) assumed management of USAID’s Democracy Fellows and Grants Program (DFG), under a six-and-a-half year cooperative agreement with USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center). Building on IIE’s established ties to US universities at the forefront of research in DRG sub-sectors and decades of experience managing fellowships and information exchange, DFG is designed to:

  • Develop a pool of committed DRG professionals at the junior, mid, and senior levels
  • Strengthen relations between USAID and academic, think tank, and research organizations in the DRG fields
  • Promote research and innovative solutions to DRG programs by accessing and applying the learning and innovation among DRG scholars, research institutions, and practitioners.

USAID’s Democracy Fellows Program was initiated first in 1995 to promote democratic practices in emerging and transitional democracies by placing experienced DRG professionals within USAID. The current iteration of the DFG program is the first to offer grants to research institutions, as well as fellowships to DRG professionals.

Please join DFG Mailing List to be notified of available Fellowships and Grants.

Learning Agenda Literature Reviews

On July 14, 2017, the Institute of International Education hosted representatives from three multi-disciplinary research teams led by the University of Colorado, the University of Minnesota, and Brown University to present to USAID their findings from literature reviews conducted in response to the second set of USAID’s 2016 Learning Agenda research questions.

Learn more

Democracy Fellows' Lunch

On May 3, 2017, the DFG Program hosted a Democracy Fellows’ lunch, featuring a presentation by Casey Johnson, IIE’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Democracy Fellow. Casey discussed his recent TDYs in El Salvador, Morocco, and Jordan and his research on gang violence prevention programming in Latin America and its applicability for countering violent extremism in the Middle East.

Learn more

Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative Research Workshop

On May 12, 2017, Michigan State University (MSU) professors Dr. Erica Frantz and Dr. Jeff Conroy-Krutz facilitated the second Think Session of Phase II of the Theories of Democratic Change Research Initiative.

Learn more


This program is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This web site program page is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The contents are the responsibility of the Institute of International Education (IIE) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.