What is it?

The Hoover Student Fellowship Program (HSFP) offers Stanford students a competitive opportunity to participate in important work at the Hoover Institution across both key research initiatives and organizational areas. The program is a three-quarter-long paid fellowship in which students will be paired in topical areas of their preference with Hoover fellows or staff members.

Students in the fellowship will provide research and operational support, while also benefiting from mentorship and partaking in exclusive programming for the fellowship cohort. Students should expect not only guidance from their mentors and research supervisors, but also a chance to learn more about research, policy, and public affairs from influential leaders at Hoover and beyond. The fellowship will take place in-person throughout the academic year.

Work Commitment: 10 hours / week (October 2023 - June 2024 academic year)
Hourly rates: $18 / hour (UG), $23 / hour (GR) 

Please view the student responsibilities, program eligibility, and project directory below for more information about the program and research projects available this year.

Applications open: Applications are now closed for the 2023-24 HSFP.
Applications due: Thursday, August 31, 2023 @ 11:59 PM

*If you can't view the application form, sign into your Stanford account through Google.

speakers and students

Student responsibilities:

Conduct advanced research and work on special projects for your mentor, often including:

  • Executing online research.
  • Collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing data.
  • Analyzing trends and reporting on current events in each respective fellowship area.
  • Writing summaries and memorandums on requested topics as well as proofread and help edit materials.

Assist with operational duties, often including: 

  • Scheduling and prepping for meetings
  • Building and maintaining distribution lists for event and/or research dissemination
  • Responding to correspondences on behalf of your mentor or Hoover research initiative
  • Crafting marketing materials or project output 
  • Supporting general Hoover events or programs related to your project

At the culmination of the fellowship, all student fellows will complete a final presentation based on their work in the program. Each participant will present their work to the Director of the Hoover Institution, Hoover Fellows and Staff mentors, and their peers in the program.

Additional: student fellows expected to perform other related duties as requested. The fellowship will be structured to maintain flexibility and tailoring based on staff or fellow needs.

Who is eligible?

  • Fully-enrolled Stanford undergraduate (sophomore, junior, or senior) of any major
  • Any Stanford graduate student (GSB, SLS, any Masters program, and PhD program)
  • Students must commit to the fellowship position from Autumn 2023 through Spring 2024
  • Students with strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills. Emphasis on flexibility, attention to detail, and ability to work efficiently and independently in a fast-paced environment.

Questions? Contact Matt Kramer at mmkramer@stanford.edu for more information!

Program Deadlines

Applications open:
Applications are now closed for the 2023-24 HSFP.

Applications due:
August 31, 2023

Semi-finalists will be interviewed in September

Fellowship begins:
Early October 2023

Program Application

Thank you for your interest in the Hoover Student Fellowship Program!

Applications are now closed for the 2023-24 Hoover Student Fellowship Program. Stay tuned to our website and Hoover channels for updates about the current cohort and next year's program!

Apply Now

Project Directory 2023-24

American Foreign Policy and National Interest in Europe and the Middle East

What are American interests in Europe and the Middle East? The project explores various questions in US foreign policy. European topics include shared security concerns, especially with regard to Russia, the changing character of NATO, relations with the European Union, and questions of sovereignty, immigration, and nationality. Middle East topics involve tensions between security and democracy promotion, the future of fossil fuel economies, competition among allies (e.g., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel), repercussions of the Afghanistan withdrawal, the challenge of Iran, and cultural questions. Students with relevant language skills (French, German, Central European languages, Russian, or a Middle Eastern language) are especially welcome.

Analysis of US and California Economic Policies

This project will allow the Hoover student fellow to study various economic policies at the federal and state levels, including those relating to housing and homelessness, taxation, energy, education, and competition, among others. This research will develop important inputs into several research studies that will inform state and national policymakers.

Battlegrounds: International Perspectives

Student fellow will support the production and promotion of the Battlegrounds podcast. Project tasks will include cataloguing topics covered and themes addressed in previous episodes; supporting the Battlegrounds team on a range of promotion tasks, including timestamping previous episodes by topic; and conducting background research for future episodes. They will collaborate with the production team to implement ideas to grow the podcast’s reach.

Book Project: Who is Winning the Cold War?

Student fellow will assist with research for upcoming book, tentatively titled Who is Winning the Cold War?. Great-power competition has returned, and just as during the Cold War, this competition is anchored around two global powers, there is an ideological dimension, and it operates on a global scale. The authors seek to understand the impact of great-power competition on other countries across the globe. Using careful comparative case-study methods, they will seek to identify causal patterns among four categories of influence: security, economic, diplomatic, and ideational tools.

Building Strategic Competence

Operational and research support is sought for projects focused on integrating elements of national power and the efforts of like-minded partners to advance and protect America’s vital interests. The student fellow will assist in the planning and execution of events, including book talks, research presentations, and congressional briefings; and support the research agenda of one project chosen in consultation with the program mentor. Potential topics include: US diplomacy and China’s influence in Latin America; ethical business competition in China; and critical pathway analysis of acquisition successes in defense modernization.

China’s Battery Innovation Chain

Battery technology is critical to national security and economic competitiveness. This project will empirically analyze fundamental science, commercial data, patent filings, trade barriers, regulatory controls, state subsidies, and industrial policies to assess the development of China’s world-leading battery industry. A published report will result. Students with any of the following qualifications are preferred: experience analyzing patent, trade, or market data; background or familiarity with the start-up and venture capital industry in China or the United States; background in the relevant science; advanced reading ability in Chinese.

Developing Proposal for Places of Refuge for Displaced Persons

The refugee system has collapsed. A new set of principles and services is needed. This project is to assist in the preparation of a funding proposal toward developing a plan to establish places of refuge for displaced persons, which will provide essential services to refugees including training for an indefinite period in the territory of states prepared to concede specific authorities to enable service providers to make such a program successful (including, for example, tax benefits to employers).

Estimating the Impact of School Reforms using International Student Data

Different countries have pursued various reforms designed to improve student achievement, but it is often difficult at the national level to evaluate whether these approaches have worked and what would have happened without the reform. However, it is possible to combine information country by country with international achievement data to look at the impact of different reforms on student performance at different times across nations. There is also now a database that extracts text information from various country analyses; the challenge is using these text descriptions as the basis for coding the introduction of different reforms across countries. This project would involve the student fellow in creating an international reform database that can be used in an econometric analysis of student achievement. The student fellow will develop the best approach for transforming text-based reform information into a panel data set of reforms. This will then be merged with the international student achievement data to produce a database that can be used to estimate the impact of various reforms.

Future of International Science Collaborations

The goal of this project is to assess the effectiveness of international collaborations in science and technology; to assess the benefits delivered in the past in terms of accelerating progress; and to deliver results of this study and provide a basis for diplomatic channels. What can international science collaboration look like in the future? How can the risk of unintended transfer of critical IP be managed? Can such collaboration still be a bridge between countries where politics fail? Research will examine the history through a collection of examples and data. Preferred skills include an understanding of scientific theory and methods, typically gained through completion of an undergraduate degree in a related field, general computer skills, and ability to quickly learn. Applicants should have an interest in the risks and benefits of international science collaborations, history, and the collection of examples and data.

Global Corruption in a Historical Perspective

This project traces how “corruption” arose as a concept and a problem over the course of the last few centuries and how corrupt practices, such as nepotism, selling offices and favors, bribery, and clientelism arose in various countries, as well as whether and how they were overcome. Students with knowledge or experience in foreign languages, Stata, R, or database management are especially welcome.

Governing Taiwan: Making Democracy Work

The student fellow will provide research assistance on a book-length project to examine the evolution of Taiwan’s political institutions after its transition to democracy. The project seeks applicants with an interest in Taiwanese politics, East Asian Studies, political institutions, or the Taiwanese legal system. The successful candidate will have near-native reading proficiency in Chinese and some prior familiarity with Taiwan’s political history and institutions. A background in legal or political studies is a plus.

Hoover History Lab

The Hoover History Lab conducts policy-relevant historical research on how our world came into being, the way it works, and where it might be headed, including the main drivers of change. Student fellow who are knowledgable in the following areas are especially desired: Arabic language and the United Arab Emirates; Chinese language and geopolitical rivalry with China; technology (biotech and AI); Africa; demography and immigration; the Korean Peninsula; war and peace.

How Good of an Investment is Public Education?

This project studies the return on spending for state and local public education in the United States; considers policies that decide who receives spending, when, and where; and follows the effects on students to ask whether and how they benefit. Student fellow will work closely with economists to analyze administrative and survey data, obtain data and records, or evaluate published research. Applicants with any of the following experience are preferred: coding in Stata, SAS, or R; record searching in legal databases or government archives; document processing and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) pipelines; proposals for data access. Seeking fellows with an interest in public or labor economics.

Liberty Game and Democratic Transitions

Student fellow desired for novel initiative on liberty games and democratic transitions. Student fellow will survey the literature on transitions to democracy from authoritarian systems and compose literature reviews on specific cases of success and failure among opposition groups over the last century. Additionally, student fellow will provide research support for the development of case studies. Experience in the application of AI to qualitative research is preferred but not required.

Local Government Corruption in the United States

Although local government officials control substantial public resources, often with little oversight, there is a lack of systematic, granular data on how often they use their office for personal gain. This project seeks to describe the amount, kind, and distribution of corruption among local government officials in the United States. Students will use legal and media sources to gather data on what kinds of corruption occur, how it is uncovered, and whether it garners public attention.

Making Government More Effective and Affordable

A student fellow is sought to assist on one or more projects in the areas of public economics and applied macroeconomics. Current projects include the political economy of tax and transfer programs, evaluation of government tax and spending programs and policies, and solutions to long-run entitlement cost problems. Most of the empirical work is done in Stata and MATLAB, using a variety of econometric methods ranging from fairly standard to quite sophisticated. Student fellow have the opportunity to grow into a working partnership and coauthorship.

Online Information, Disinformation, and Censorship during Russia's War against Ukraine

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine led to dramatic changes in the information environment of both countries and beyond. For example, in Ukraine there has been a massive shift from the Russian to the Ukrainian language and a deep transformation of many news and content producers. In Russia, this meant a forced shift of propaganda from Western platforms and increased dependence of independent voices on these same platforms. These changes have a nonlinear dynamic and have both immediate effects—sometimes directly connected with warfighting—and long-term consequences that will profoundly affect the political development of both countries even after the hot war is over. These processes are already reported on and even studied, but the quality of scholarship varies. Student fellow will review the literature to identify the most valuable research and may investigate adjacent topics, such as who is in charge of the Russian disinformation machine and how Western platforms respond. Knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian is a plus but not required.

Public Opinion in China and US-China Relations

The student fellow will provide support for two projects related to Chinese domestic politics and US-China relations. First, they will assist with online surveys in China that aim to assess opinions about domestic politics and foreign policy. Second, they will conduct literature reviews, gather case materials, and read primary-source documents on US-China relations. Fluency in Mandarin is required.

Regulating Software Risks: Challenges and Opportunities

The Biden administration’s recently published National Cybersecurity Strategy calls for IT vendors to do much more to reduce the security risks of their products. One of its proposals is to develop a new legal liability framework for software. The project mentor hosted a recent workshop at Stanford on this topic with the White House national cyber director and leading experts, and a multi-university effort is underway to investigate the feasibility, pros, and cons of increasing the liability exposure of software vendors for flaws in their products. Student fellow will provide research support for this initiative. Legal research and writing skills are a major plus but not required.

Reinventing First-Responder Practices for Behavioral Health Crises

Multiple communities throughout the United States have begun complementing (or replacing) police responses to behavioral health crises with interventions by mental health staff. Students will assist in building a national database on the design details of these innovations, which will seed studies of program impact.

Russian Influence Operations in America

Foreign influence in American politics long predates the 2016 election, when questions of Russian interference came into prominence. This project aims to document Russian influence operations and understand their effects, with a focus on two questions: Do campaign contributions from lobbyists under contract to the Russian government shape voting patterns in the US Congress? Do Russian-financed radio stations shape the political opinions of American voters? An enormous amount of data will be marshaled to answer this question: records of all Russian lobbying activities since Vladimir Putin ascended to power in 2000; all Russia-related legislation before Congress; and more. Student fellow will help finalize the set of bills to include in the analysis, conduct case studies of key votes, and find public opinion data for relevant electoral districts. Students who are interested in American foreign policy and Russian politics are encouraged to apply. Proficiency with basic statistics is a plus but not required.

Safeguarding Transnational Science: Data Analytics and Tools

American science thrives on academic freedom, openness, and collaboration. But not all of the nation’s global partners share its conventions and values, and authoritarian nations in particular may have goals adverse to American national interests. To help analysts manage this dilemma, this project will develop portable methodologies, models, and code, using large datasets to identify, assess, and mitigate transnational risks to research security and integrity. Students with any of the following qualifications are preferred: advanced Python competence; experience with data engineering and ETL tools; proficiency in data science and statistical methods; interest in geostrategic and human rights dimensions of technological competition.

Setting Boundaries: State Courts, Common Law, and Separation of Powers

Many courts act as if there were few limits on the judicial discretion to fashion common law, even adopting sweeping doctrines that impact economic policy. Other justices believe, given constitutional separation of powers, that their powers are rightfully limited to adapting traditional common law to new circumstances, with the legislature making major policy decisions. But there is little to no scholarship on the subject. Working with a justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, the student fellow will help develop a joint law review article examining the issues and proposing principles to resolve them.

Stacking the Deck to Prevail in Great-Power Competition

There is bipartisan consensus that the United States will be engaged in strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China for decades to come. This project aims to identify discrete opportunities to more effectively exploit the United States’ comparative advantages in this competition—e.g., its dense network of allies and partners, and its edge in emerging technologies and innovation. The project aims to publish a series of articles with concrete policy recommendations for ensuring the United States prevails in this high-stakes competition with China, which will determine the nature of the world order for generations to come.

Stalin's Terror, 1930–39

This project focuses on what Russians call the “repressions” of the Stalin period of rule in the Soviet Union, 1930–39. The great Hoover scholar Robert Conquest was the first major academic to tackle this subject as a whole. Student fellow will be tasked with reconstructing the major episodes of the period, when possible using primary documents in the Hoover Archives or from published sources. Students with a reading knowledge of Russian or Ukrainian will be given preference. But there is much English-language material to be examined as well. The final product will be a comprehensive book on the subject.

State and Local Governance Initiative

This is an opportunity to participate in policy research on a wide variety of economic policy topics, including fiscal policy and economic development. Research skills, quantitative and qualitative, are required.

Strengthening US-India Relations

Student fellow will provide research support for scholarly and policy-oriented work focusing on the relationship between the United States and India. Work will include support in preparing background material and reports for key meetings of Hoover’s Program on Strengthening US-India Relations. Applicants should have a strong interest in India, economics, or security. Data visualization skills are a plus; no language skills are required.

Technology, Economics, and Governance (TEG) Working Group

TEG focuses on three areas of study: US technology policy and the opportunities and challenges associated with emerging technologies (AI, cybersecurity, quantum techology, biotechnology, etc.); the dynamics of innovation ecosystems and policies that incentivize economic competitiveness; and disinformation and misinformation and the tension between security and civil liberties online. Student fellow will have administrative and research responsibilities: authoring the weekly news roundup, supporting events and meetings with senior government officials, and conducting background research for TEG projects. Substantial time in the fall quarter will also be spent supporting the Stanford Emerging Technology Review, a universitywide effort detailing the policy implications of ten emerging technology areas. Ideal candidates will have strong organizational, research, and writing skills and will be interested in issues at the intersection of technology, economics, and international security.

The Democratic Opposition to Putin

This project consists of interviews and literature review plus filmed interviews. Given that most Russian opposition figures have been forced abroad, we do not focus on the internal opposition. Instead, the interviews will be done in the US and the Baltic States. The project has been underway for some half year, and it focuses on members of the Navalny team, in particular Lyubov Sobol. It is essential that the student be fluent in Russian and have a basic understanding of filming and transcribing interviews. Knowledge of computer science is valuable as well. The student fellow will work directly with the project mentor and a Russian documentary filmmaker.

The Impact of Online Training Certificates in Texas

This project aims to measure the impact of nontraditional online certificates (e.g., Google Career Certificates) on individual education and labor market outcomes. These certificates require far less time and financial outlays than do traditional degrees, and there is variation across certificates and institutions in the extent to which students can receive college credit. Using administrative education and labor market data from Texas, the project will produce important new evidence on the labor market returns to alternative credentials and the interaction between these credential programs and the traditional education system.

The Politics of Education Reform

This project will examine the politics of education reform in the United States. Equal access to a good education remains the cornerstone of the American dream. However, as student achievement dropped to historic lows amid the recent pandemic, the bipartisan coalition that sustained the nation’s commitment to education reform came fully undone, fractured by polarization and social conflict. What, if anything, can be done to restore that commitment? Applicants are sought who have a strong interest in US politics, education, or domestic policy. Those with prior editorial or newswriting experience (e.g., student newspaper) or strong quantitative skills (Stata, R) are highly desired.

The Rise and Fall of Cold War Washington

This book project examines the history of Washington, DC, during the Cold War, tracing its growth into the nerve center of a global empire. The book will focus in particular on the tension between the city’s roles as a national capital waging a global battle for freedom and as a minority-majority city struggling to obtain home rule and often excluded from the wealth of an ever-expanding federal government. Student fellow will help identify and use materials in digital archives relating to twentieth-century American urban, social, intellectual, and diplomatic history, in addition to working with important secondary sources.

US Troop Deployments

Two Hoover Fellows are conducting research on the impact of US troop deployments. Assistance is needed in updating and maintaining a spreadsheet with the most recent data and conducting research on deterrence.

Wargaming and Foreign Policy

This project works with the Wargaming and Crisis Simulation Initiative and the Hoover Library & Archives to explore how wargames have influenced foreign policy. Student fellow will explore archives and memoirs, and conduct interviews and surveys to trace the impact of wargames on US foreign affairs. Desired skills include experience with archival research, interview methods, and historical or social science research disciplines.

Working Group on “Good American Citizenship”

This project seeks to address the country’s dual crises of civics education and irresponsible citizenship via research, communication, and advocacy, engaging participants within Hoover and beyond across a wide spectrum—wide enough to encourage deliberation and debate but also to yield workable consensus. Student fellow will work across the full array of group activities.

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