Fellowship Program

The Berggruen Fellowship Program is a cornerstone of the Institute’s mission to nurture ideas that shape the future. Since its inception in 2015, the program has established academic partnerships at premier research universities throughout the world: Harvard, New York University, Oxford, Peking University, Stanford, Tsinghua University, and University of Southern California. It offers scholars the opportunity of flexible periods to live and work in both the United States and China. The themes of the fellowship range from global and technological development to philosophical and cultural change, with the focus varying within each program area.

Berggruen Fellows produce books, scholarly workshops, deliver lectures, colloquia, and academic articles to disseminate the ideas cultivated throughout their fellowship. Although diverse in their areas of study, Berggruen Fellows also collaborate and dialogue with one another throughout their term, providing an opportunity to expand upon and refine their ideas.

The Berggruen USC Fellows Program

The Berggruen USC Fellows Program is a partnership between the Berggruen Institute and the USC Dornsife Center on Science, Technology and Public Life. The program hosts 6–8 fellows per year, from a range of disciplines, working on major shifts in the world’s fundamental systems. Programmatic areas for research include: the Future of Capitalism, Transformations of the Human, the Future of Democracy, and Geopolitics and Globalization. We welcome academics with an existing appointment (most likely for a sabbatical year), and intellectuals without an existing academic appointment, for whom the Berggruen Fellowship may serve as a retreat from work in industry, government, or the arts. USC Berggruen Fellows are resident in Los Angeles and pursue their own research projects while also participating in the Berggruen Institute’s public engagement initiatives. Fellows produce books and articles, participate in workshops, and deliver lectures to disseminate the ideas cultivated through their fellowship. In addition, fellows are able to leverage the intellectual resources of the University of Southern California and are encouraged to develop joint intellectual activities with USC faculty and graduate students.



The Berggruen Fellowships are available in all program areas of the Institute for academics, intellectuals, and teams of scholars of outstanding quality. We offer the opportunity for highly focused research and writing on the programmatic questions addressed by four programmatic areas under the great transformations: Future of Capitalism, Globalization and Geopolitics, Transformations of the Human, and the Future of Democracy.

The Future of Capitalism program has two primary areas that the Fellows will be focusing on, Universal Basic Assets and New Political Economy. Globalization and Geopolitics Fellows will research into Transactional International Order and US-China Dialogue on AI & Security to improve mutual understanding between the United States and China in relation to security risks, safety concerns, and potential cooperation opportunities involving AI in the security sphere. The Future of Democracy program brings together thoughtful leaders and leading thinkers to re-imagine democracy for the new era. Berggruen Fellows will be working primarily in three topics: Digital Governance Through Social Credit System, Social Cohesion and the Public Square, and Renovating Institutions. Transformations of The Human (ToftH) is designed as a philosophical study and artistic exploration of the multiple ways in which AI and biotech challenge established ways of thinking about how we see ourselves as Human. Researchers and Fellows are placed in AI and biotech labs to make visible that they are not only technical fields but also philosophical laboratories for reformulating what it means to be human. The program aims to help our partner sites build technology that can live up to their philosophical –– and human –– stakes.

We offer three categories of Fellowships: Junior Fellows, Fellows, and Senior Fellows. Junior Fellows are early-career scholars who have recently finished their PhDs and work on specific projects defined by the Institute. Fellows are typically mid-career to senior academics, authors, and journalists who work at Berggruen Institute headquarters in Los Angeles or at our China Center in Beijing. Senior Fellows are advanced in their careers and are typically invited to co-design a research program that explores key aspects of the great transformations. The term of the fellowship is flexible, from several months to several years depending on the project being worked on.

For more information on our current academic partnerships with University of Southern California and Peking University, as well as application timelines and requirements, please contact Dr. Jennifer Bourne, Associate Director, Berggruen Fellowships.