Doctoral Fellowship in Urban Practice

The Urban Democracy Lab (UDL) at NYU Gallatin provides an outstanding opportunity for emerging scholars to participate in innovative community-engaged, practice-based research projects, develop and teach their own seminars, and expand their perspective beyond the university. The program is intended to help prepare the next generation of scholars who will bridge the divide between disciplines, between practice and scholarship, and between universities and community stakeholders. The Doctoral Fellowship in Urban Practice is offered through the generous support of NYU Gallatin donors.

One Year Program

Fall Term

September — December

Fellows devote 20 hours per week to a community-engaged research project initiated and primarily designed by a senior faculty member. They also attend monthly working group gatherings and UDL-sponsored public programs, while leaving time to continue work on their own thesis projects.

Spring Term

January — May

Fellows continue to commit 20 hours per week to the community-engaged research project and attend working group meetings, but they also begin to teach their own self-designed, undergraduate courses at Gallatin. For most fellows, this may be their first time leading a classroom as the sole instructor. UDL faculty and staff offer support and mentorship throughout this process, providing readings and discussion around pedagogy for the duration of the semester.

Application Procedures

Applicants must be advanced PhD students in good standing (ABD) in any social science or humanities discipline at NYU who are in the early stages of writing the dissertation. Fellows will be expected to be in residence at NYU Washington Square for the duration of the program and be active participants in our vibrant interdisciplinary community. (Please note: MacCracken Fellows who have eligibility remaining may not defer their fellowship funding if this position is accepted.)  

We seek applicants who have shown commitment to community engagement and who will benefit from the opportunity to put their own scholarship in direct relationship with a community organization by participating in collective, practice-based research and pedagogy. Expressed interest in existing practice-based projects at the UDL, such as New Urban Politics and the Right to the City, Democratizing the Green City, or Urban Humanities and its Publics, is a plus. Note that it is not necessary that the applicant’s dissertation topic be directly related to these projects or to New York City.

The duration of the program for academic year 2021-2022 is September 2021 through May 2022. Recipients should plan to dedicate 20 hours per week to participation in a research project collaboratively determined with the community organizations in the Fall and Spring semesters. The salary for the year for this component has not yet been determined, but it is expected to be higher than the 2020-2021 amount of $28,850. Additionally, the fellowship will cover Maintenance of Matriculation (as needed), related fees, and health insurance. Under the mentorship of UDL-affiliated faculty, fellows should also expect to teach their own course, for which they will be additionally compensated according to NYU rates, either during the official fellowship period in Spring 2022 or during the following Fall 2022 semester. Finally, fellows will be eligible for reimbursement of up to $500 for travel and research expenses. (Note however that travel may still be constrained due to COVID-19.) This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Union dues (or agency fees in lieu of dues) may apply. It is strongly recommended that fellows accept no other teaching, research, or other work positions during the period of the fellowship.


Electronic applications will be accepted via the form linked below until March 15, 2021 for the 2021-2022 year. 


Note that recommendation letters are expected by the March 15 deadline as well. When candidates submit an application, they will be prompted to enter contact information for recommenders, which will generate an automatic request to the recommender via e-mail. Recommenders should be ready to upload and send their recommendations upon receipt of that e-mail.

The UDL expects to offer two Doctoral Fellowships in Urban Practice in 2021-2022.

For questions, please contact us at