Graduate Researcher Positions

As a research organization, the Kettering Foundation relies on a team of researchers to contribute to its programs. The position is open to doctoral candidates and recent post-docs and requires a residency at the Dayton, Ohio, campus for one academic year (usually July to July). Researchers work individually and within a 4 to 6 member team. The position is considered full-time with the expectation that the researcher will also have the flexibility to complete her or his dissertation and maintain an active individual research agenda. 

Researchers provide focused reviews of relevant scholarly and professional literature, work on individualized projects, and participate in research sessions with people and organizations attempting to strengthen democracy around the world. We seek candidates whose interests are complementary to the foundation’s interdisciplinary research into the challenges of democratic governance. The successful candidate will have strong communication and writing skills, especially the ability to understand and translate technical ideas and language into reports coherent to nonspecialists.

Eligibility Requirements

The foundation seeks diversity in disciplinary, personal, and geographic backgrounds. Previous researchers have come from departments of history, education, philosophy, journalism, public administration, and the social sciences. Graduate researcher requirements include:

  • being close to finishing your dissertation (or post-doc) and research interests that include elements of democratic theory and practice; 
  • spending one academic year in residence at the foundation’s Dayton, Ohio, campus;
  • ability to articulate research interests/findings in nontechnical language;
  • ability and willingness to read and write across disciplines and recognize interdisciplinary connections among research questions; and
  • ability to work independently and with others in research teams.
Application Process

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, current resume, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample to with “Graduate Researcher Position” in the subject line.

The cover letter should address the following:

  • What elements of Kettering Foundation research do you find most related to your research?
  • Where are you now in the timetable for completion of your dissertation?
  • What skills and knowledge do you hope to gain from a year at the Kettering Foundation?

We will begin reviewing applications March 15, 2022.

Compensation and Provisions

Researchers receive excellent full-time compensation and benefits, including medical insurance. The foundation also provides office space; use of a computer; access to internal library, electronic journal subscriptions, the foundation’s network, and other research resources. Researchers are also reimbursed for ordinary costs associated with a temporary relocation to Dayton.

Equal Opportunity Employer

As defined by and enforced under applicable state, federal, and local law, the foundation will provide equal employment opportunity for all, regardless of factors of discrimination under law.

Pursuant to applicable federal, state, local law, any decision regarding recruitment, employment, placement, compensation, benefits, training, transfer, promotion, and dismissal of personnel will be made without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, disability, or national origin of the individual or any other protected characteristic. The foundation encourages the hiring, promotion, transfer, and training of the best qualified individual available.