About the Polonsky Fellowship

Polonsky fellows become part of a vibrant research community in the humanities and social sciences, with the possibility of connecting and collaborating with ongoing projects at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Polonsky fellows have a formal status of Visiting Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including access to university data bases. There is no teaching requirement, although limited teaching arrangements can be made with the Hebrew University if desired. Fellows are expected to do their own research; there is no obligation to find a tutor.

The Polonsky Academy offers every fellow a spacious personal office with a computer, printing/fax/scanning facilities, seminar rooms for meetings, conferences, workshops, etc., an auditorium for public talks, a very effective support system for organizing conferences, reading groups and meetings, the possibility of inviting a limited number of established international academics, a beautiful garden surrounding the building, a kitchenette for coffee and refreshments as well as a lunch cafeteria.

Fellows are expected to be present at the Institute at least nine months per year, three days a week. This leaves ample time for attending international conferences, workshops, etc. Polonsky fellows are required to participate in a joint weekly research seminar where they are expected to present their work-in-progress regularly. Subject to the availability of funds, travel costs of up to $1,000 per year may be reimbursed if the fellow intends to participate actively in a conference or workshop.

Applicants are expected to submit an original research project in the humanities or social sciences. They may do so even before completing their PhD, so long as by the beginning of the fellowship, in October, they have completed all requirements for their degree. Fellowships typically last five years, subject to yearly renewal conditional upon handing in a progress report presenting continued progress in research. Applicants need not have any special connection to Israel, and no knowledge of the Hebrew language is required. Research can be conducted entirely in English.

Admission to the Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is highly competitive. In 2016, 6 out of 337 applicants were accepted (acceptance rate of 1.78%; in 2015 1.6% of applications were successful, and in 2014 1.28%). We anticipate that Polonsky fellows will move on to tenure-track positions at international universities or research institutions after, or in some cases during, their fellowship.


The call for applications is advertised every year in November on our home page, in the press, and on relevant websites. Last day for applications is usually 7 January, but varies somewhat from one year to the other.


Call for applications