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IRiSS Predoctoral Research Fellowship Program

The Predoctoral Research Fellowship Program at the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS Predoc Program) provides early-career scholars an opportunity to work directly with a faculty mentor to contribute to cutting-edge social science research. During the fellowship year, participants will develop research skills, explore academic research careers, and network with a multidisciplinary community of scholars.

IRiSS offers a welcoming and inclusive environment for scholars from diverse backgrounds.

All positions for the 2024–25 Predoctoral Fellowship year have been filled. If you applied and did not receive an offer, please consider reapplying to the 2025–26 cohort. Check back here in Fall 2024 for an updated list of faculty projects and application deadlines.

Program Goals

The IRiSS Predoc Program aims to expand research capacity and strengthen the pool of scholars while providing mentorship to new research scholars. The program has three main goals:

  • to accelerate social science research by increasing the number of predoctoral fellows at Stanford under the mentorship of social science faculty;
  • to create opportunities for predocs to deepen their knowledge of social science topics and methods, learn about options for advanced study, and to build mentoring relationships to help launch their careers; and
  • to diversify the pipeline into academia and industry.

2024–25 IRiSS Predoc Program

The first cohort of IRiSS Predoctoral Research Fellows will be appointed for one year, beginning in July 2024, with the possibility of renewal for one additional year.  

IRiSS Predocs are expected to spend 90% to 95% of their time engaged in research. A small component of their time will be set aside for program orientation, research training, sharing research findings, and professional development. IRiSS Predocs are hired as non-exempt, social science research staff. They will be eligible for standard staff benefits.


Applications for the 2024–25 program year are no longer being accepted. The application window for the 2025–26 program year will open this coming fall.

Program Year: July 10, 2024 – June 30, 2025


This initiative is geared toward serving a broad cross-section of social science researchers.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduation with a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, received or expected no later than June, 2024
  • General understanding of scientific theory and methods, typically gained through completion of an undergraduate degree in a related field
  • General computer skills and an ability to quickly learn and master computer programs
  • Ability to work under deadlines with general guidance
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to complete detailed work accurately
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team
  • Ability to take initiative and see projects through to completion
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for pursuing graduate studies or a career in social science research

Please see the faculty projects page for any additional eligibility requirements for each research project.

Note: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Application Materials

Applicants for the IRiSS Predoc Program will need to submit:

  • A cover letter for each of your ranked choices of up to 3 faculty projects
  • A current résumé/curriculum vitae
  • College transcripts (unofficial)
  • Optional writing sample of any length
  • Optional information about your background, perspectives, or experiences in relation to a diverse and inclusive research community

Questions? Please see the FAQ page.