Call for Application on VIP Lab Fellowship 2024 in USA (funded). APPLY NOW!

Call for Application on VIP Lab Fellowship 2024 in USA (funded)

THE About the Power Lab Fellowship

The Violence, Inequality and Power Lab (VIP Lab) is a space for cutting-edge research and idea generation on how to shift the power inequalities that reinforce cycles of violence. Inequality is correlated with nearly all forms of violence, yet there remains a dearth of focused analysis or reflection on the ways in which unequal power relationships shape responses to violence. In 2023, we launched the VIP Lab Fellows Program with funding from the U.S. Department of Education with the goal of helping fill this analytic and conversational void. The goal of the Power Lab fellowship is to support rigorous research and advance thought leadership on how power inequalities impact violence, both in driving violence dynamics and influencing responses to it. The VIP Lab cohort will be made up of eight fellows with two residential to be based in San Diego, CA, and six nonresidential to be based anywhere in the world.



  • Complete a research product (formats could include journal article, a policy brief, think piece, white paper, literature review);
  • Contribute to a final report to be drafted by the VIP Lab;
    Expand and reinforce their existing network;
  • Learn from one another through monthly Zoom meetings as well as two in-person convenings in San Diego;
  • Have opportunities to share their research with a wider audience of practitioners, policy makers and academics;
  • Receive intellectual feedback through thought partnership from VIP Lab and Kroc IPJ;
  • Agree to have their research shared publicly through a variety of means (written, in person, video, etc) and to engage in dialogue with counterparts on their work;
  • Engage with Kroc School students and faculty as feasible through guest lecturing classes, individual meetings and other gatherings while on campus.
  • Contribute to expanding the field of study and practice of inequality and violence.

August 2023: Applications open

September 7, 2023: Applications close, 17:00 Pacific Time

October 2023: Interviews for selected applicants

November 2023: Selection and offers sent out

January 2024: Fellowship begins 

May 2024: Midpoint workshop in San Diego, California

October 2024: Final conference in San Diego, California, including completion of individual Fellow reports and final report

  • Six fellows will be selected. 
  • Can be based anywhere in the world.
  • Must be willing and able to travel to San Diego in May and October 2024 for midpoint and final gatherings.
  • Fellows will receive a stipend of USD $15,000, which will cover their time spent in the fellowship as well as any costs for conducting fellowship-related research. 
  • The Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice will cover all travel-related costs for two trips to the University of San Diego.
  • Two fellows will be selected.
  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S. 
  • Must live in San Diego for the duration of the fellowship. 
  • Expected to dedicate up to 37.5 hours a week to their work.
  • Expected to engage with the Kroc School, such as guest speaking in graduate school classes.
  • Residential Fellows will be hired as temporary staff. As taxable employees, residential fellows will receive all typical USD benefits
  • Applicants with a past criminal conviction (violent felony or otherwise) will be reviewed on an individual basis prior to a final decision.
  • Compensation package between USD $70,000 – $90,000.

Selection Criteria of VIP Lab

To ensure our thinking is grounded and diverse, we highly encourage individuals with the following backgrounds to apply. Note, a background in one of these categories is not a requirement for the Fellowship: 

  • Justice involved individuals*
  • Individuals with a law enforcement background.
  • Military veterans.

Eligibility for VIP Lab

  • Research Experience
    • Proven experience conducting either independent research or as a research lead within a broader team.
    • Research does not need to be experimental in nature, but must be rigorous nevertheless. 
    • We encourage applicants who are interested in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.   
  • Education Requirement:
    • No minimum degree requirement. 
    • Demonstrated educational or professional attainment is required to make clear that the candidate will be able to undertake research independently and with quality. This can be demonstrated through published work, certificates of achievement, non-published material with explanation of use, etc. 
  • Communication:
    • Applicants must have a proven track record of strong communication, whether through public speaking, written material, video or otherwise. As an applied research office, we place value not only on the quality of the research, but the ability of research to influence discussion. 
  • English fluency:
    • At this time, all applicants must be fluent in both written and spoken English. 

*People who have spent time in jails, youth correctional facilities, prisons, or gone through court-mandated diversion programs or been on probation.


Although the VIP Lab is interested in exploring a range of different forms of inequality and violence, this first cohort of Fellows will be asked to narrow their purview of focus to one or multiple of the following types of violence: 

  • Violence Against Women 
  • We are using here the United Nations definition of Violence Against Women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” For the purposes of our work, we include in this definition any person who self-identifies as a woman. 
  • Research proposals should explore ways in which power inequalities either reinforce patterns of Violence Against Women, or impede progress on addressing VAW. Examples could include: gender norms, militarized masculinities, control of financial or other assets, behavioral biases, judicial or law enforcement biases, etc. The strongest ideas here will explore ways in which power inequalities impact violence dynamics in a range of different directions. 
  • Community Violence
  • Here we borrow from the definition used by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Community violence happens between unrelated individuals, who may or may not know each other, generally outside the home. Examples include assaults or fights among groups and shootings in public places, such as schools and on the streets.” 
  • Research proposals should explore how power inequalities at different levels may impact community violence. This could include power inequality among different conflicting groups as well as between groups in conflict and others within or outside the community. Examples could include: how trauma influences ideas of agency and respect vis-a-vis others, legacies of disenfranchisement, political power to influence justice system practice and policy, etc. The strongest ideas here will focus on quality research that makes clear how one or more lines of inequality relates to patterns of violence. 
  • Political Violence 
  • We define political violence as individuals or groups using violence as a tool to influence political actors, political decisions or political processes. Political violence includes the following, as provided by Bridging Divides Initiative, “…partisan violence, or violence targeted at groups because of race, religion, or other group factors, perpetrated by the state or non-state actors.”
  • Research proposals should explore how power inequalities, or perceptions thereof, may be a driver, mobilizing or purported justification for political violence. Examples could include: demographic shifts in political influence, use of narrative by powerful actors to mobilize grievances towards political violence, the influence of historical legacies, etc. The strongest ideas here will take a multi-actor, rather than singular, perspective on how power inequalities influence the motivations of political violence.

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ALSO CHECK: Smithsonian Environmental Justice Fellowship: APPLY NOW!

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