Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows Program

Program Summary

The Columbia University Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies (LCBS) is pleased to announce the creation of the Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows program, a unique opportunity for scholars and practitioners interested in spending one or two semesters at Columbia engaging in public policy-related research, attending and contributing to public programming, interacting with faculty and students, and participating in courses.

The Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows program is open to those with diverse disciplinary backgrounds related to public policy and social impact in Brazil. Applications are welcome from practitioners with hands-on experiences in public policy through work in government institutions or non-governmental organizations, as well as PhD-holding academics at various career stages.   We especially welcome applicants who bring innovative approaches to studying and/or addressing major social challenges, such as education, public health, socioeconomic inclusion, urban development, and sustainable development.  Each academic year, the LCBS will select one or two Fellows.

Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows at ILAS have included Veveu Arruda (Former Mayor of Sobral, Ceara), Emanuel Ornelas (Professor of Economics at the Fundação Getulio Vargas), Ilona Szabó (Co-FOunder & Executive Director of the Igarapé Institute), and Alexandre Schneider (Former Secretary of Education of the Municipality of São Paulo).

The Lemann Public Policy Visiting Fellows program provides professionals with public policy-relevant research and/or applied experiences the opportunity to join a one-of-a-kind research and learning community at one of the world’s most prestigious universities and within a dynamic city. Columbia’s distinguished academic and research institutions create a perfect learning environment for Fellows to incubate and develop new ideas, exchange perspectives and acquire new skills and contacts. This experience is further enriched by the diverse organizations and events in New York City, which provide unique opportunities for research, networking, and professional advancement. Selected Fellows interact with Columbia’s faculty and if relevant, develop their teaching portfolio, while strengthening our Brazil-related research activities at Columbia and enriching our ability to teach and mentor students with an interest in Brazil.

To apply to the fellowship please see the online application form

Program Benefits & Fellow Support

Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows are appointed as Associate Research Scholars and receive the following benefits:

  • Opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of Columbia faculty
  • Potential opportunity to teach a course (this is optional and contingent on approval from the relevant academic department and school)
  • Access to various University libraries and other facilities
  • Option to audit courses throughout the University with the permission of the course instructor
  • Opportunity to publicize the results of their research through on campus events
  • Receipt of a monthly salary from the LCBS, made possible through a generous gift from the Lemann Foundation. The Fellows receive a salary for 5 months or 10 months, contingent on the length of appointment. The salary is paid in bi-monthly installments. The Visiting Scholar will receive $6,500 a month gross salary.
  • Purchase of roundtrip ticket from the Fellow´s city of residence to New York.
  • Office space or a cubicle at the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS)

Application Procedures:

Applications consist of an online application form, a CV, and a Statement of Interest. Two letters of recommendation will also be requested from applicants selected as finalists. Applications will be reviewed via a university committee competitive process.

The application deadline for the current call is February 1st, 2020, for consideration for a Fellowship position for the 2020-2021 academic year. For the current call, applications are accepted for the following options:

  • 2020-2021 Academic year (September 2020 until June 2021)
  • Fall 2020 (August-December)
  • Spring 2021 Semester (January-May)

Applicants will be notified by April 1, 2020.

Application Eligibility & Fellow Selection Criteria:

Academic applicants should have completed their PhD. For applicants with relevant applied experience, a PhD or Master´s degree is desirable, but those without postgraduate degrees are eligible if they possess a minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience (e.g., in public administration and/or at a nongovernmental organization).

The overarching objectives guiding the selection of Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows  is the potential of the applicant to have a positive social impact and exert a positive influence on public policy challenges in Brazil (through their proposed research interests, through sharing their knowledge and expertise with the Columbia community, and through the longer term impacts of being a Fellow on their professional development).  Considering these objectives, selection is based on the evaluation of various criteria including:

  • the professional merits of the applicant, including academic and/or professional background and accomplishments
  • the quality, creativity, and institutional fit of the proposed research project (as evidenced by statement of interest and CV)
  • strength of the letters of recommendation

Visa to the United States

In order to come to the US, foreign applicants will need a J-1 visa. Columbia University is able to provide Practitioner-in-Residence with a DS2019 form, a document that is to be presented to US Consulate authorities when submitting an application for a J-1 visa.


Please note that the LCBS is unable to assist Visiting Fellows in obtaining housing in the Columbia/New York area and Columbia housing is not provided for the Visiting Fellows. On-campus housing options may be available (to be paid for by the Fellow) but the LCBS, ILAS, and Columbia do not guarantee availability.

About the Lemann Foundation & the Lemann Fellowship Program

For more information about the Lemann Foundation’s broader Lemann Fellowship Programs please visit: https://fundacaolemann.org.br/projetos/lemann-fellowship