Should I apply to the James Buchanan Fellowship?

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

  1. Scholars who have graduated from accredited PhD Programs within the last 5 years of their year of participation in the fellowship program
  2. 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
  3. Scholars who are able to commit to traveling two weekends for in-person colloquia and three two-day virtual colloquia during the upcoming calendar year
  4. Scholars who have research and/or teaching interests that would benefit from a greater understanding of key writings in political economy
When does the fellowship year start and end for the James Buchanan Fellowship?

The James Buchanan Fellowship follows the calendar year; hence, the year of participation within the fellowship program begins January of each year and concludes in December of each year.

I am currently on the job market and have not completed my job search. Can I still apply?

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.

My doctoral degree is not in economics, political science or philosophy. Am I still eligible?

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.

I am not based in the United States. I am eligible for the fellowship?

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.

Am I eligible to receive the funding provided by the James Buchanan 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.

Why is it important for me to attend all scheduled events including scheduled lunches and dinner?

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.

What is the schedule of colloquia for the coming calendar year?

Colloquium dates are subject to some variability. The program will typically host one in-person weekend colloquium in the spring, three virtual two-day colloquia in the summer and one in-person weekend colloquium in the fall. Exact dates of the in-person colloquia will be confirmed during the months of June or July preceding participation in the program. Dates for the virtual colloquia will be determined once the fellowship year has started.

For the in-person 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.

How will the readings and other materials associated with my involvement in the James Buchanan Fellowship Program be provided?

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.

What expenses are reimbursable under the terms of the James Buchanan Fellowship?

Fellows may submit for reimbursement any conventional expenses associated with academic travel for the in-person 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.

The Mercatus Center was unable to award me a fellowship this year. Can I apply again?


Are there additional opportunities for support for prospective or past participants in the James Buchanan Fellowship Program?

Yes, scholars who were awarded a James Buchanan Fellowship are eligible re-apply to the fellowship every year until the fourth year after their graduation from a PhD program. James Buchanan Fellows are also eligible to apply for conference travel and research support.

Who was James Buchanan?

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 University of Chicago and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics 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.

I still have questions about the Mercatus Center James Buchanan Fellowship Program.

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