Predoctoral Researcher Positions

As a research organization the Kettering Foundation relies upon a team of resident researchers to contribute to its programs. The research group includes positions open to doctoral candidates and recent post-docs. The position includes residency at the Dayton, Ohio campus for one academic year (usually July – July).

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.

Residents work individually and within a 4-6 member research group. The position is considered full-time with the expectation that the researcher will have the flexibility to complete the dissertation and maintain an active individual research agenda. 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 non-specialists.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • doctoral candidate close to finishing the dissertation (or post-doc) whose research interests include elements of democratic theory and practice;
  • course work completed and dissertation proposal has been accepted by the candidate’s department; able to spend one academic year in residence at the foundation’s Dayton, Ohio, office;
  • able to articulate research interests/findings in nontechnical language;
  • able to read and write across disciplines and recognize interdisciplinary connections among research questions; and
  • able 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. Please send email to with subject “Predoctoral Researcher Position.”

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?

Important Dates:
We will begin reviewing applications March 15.

Compensation and Provisions

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