The Doctoral Fellows Program supports academic and field-based research about innovative non-profit and social impact initiatives.

The Center operates an annual summer doctoral fellows program open to a highly select group of Ph.D. students from around the world.

Under the direction of Peter Frumkin, top doctoral students will work on their own research in nonprofit management, volunteerism, international civil society, social entrepreneurship, and philanthropic studies. At the conclusion of the experience, the doctoral students will have produced papers ready for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Based on the success of  summer doctoral fellowship program that Frumkin has run for seven years with great success, the Center’s program will continue to be a key stepping stone for the best new scholarly talent.

The 2017 Penn Summer Doctoral Fellows Program will be hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) Program.

Applicants will be expected to submit a draft research paper that they would like to refine and prepare for publication during the course of the program. Housing near the Penn campus and stipends are provided to all Summer Fellows. The program will be held from June 5 – 28, 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania.


Download and read past research papers


Class of 2015

Maoz Brown
University of Chicago
Cooperation, Coordination, and Control in the Voluntary Human Services: A New Perspective on Market Developments in the American Nonprofit Sector
Anthony DeMattee
Indiana University
A Salary Bubble in the Republic of NGOs? Complicating Theories of Labor Donation with the Case of Haiti
Ekaterina Ivanova
Vienna University of Economics and Business
Associations in Transition: The Business of Russian Civil Society
Marcelo Marchesini
University at Albany
Spatial Analysis of Nonprofits in Brazil: Following Needs, Money, or the Crowd?
Sara Pilgreen
University of California, Los Angeles
How Nonprofit Human-Service Organizations in the Neighborhood of Concentrated Poverty: A Case Study from Los Angeles
Leah Reisman
Princeton University
Managing Amidst Mosaic_Jan17
Aleksandra Szymanska
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Bankruptcy in Belgian Social Purpose Companies: An Analysis of Financial, Environmental and Institutional Factors


Class of 2014

Class of 2013

Class of 2011

Fredrik Andersson
University of Missouri
Social Entrepreneurship as a Relational Concept: Testing an Interactive Model
Sarah Dury
Free University of Brussels
Social Ties, Volunteering and Civic Life
David Gastwirth
University of Southern California
Executive Change and Nonprofit Performance: An Empirical Test
Christina Giannopoulou
Athens University of Economics and Business
Leading for Impact: Learning, Innovation, and Effectiveness in Greek Nonprofit Organizations
Marlene Walk University of Pennsylvania Expectations and Experiences of Young Nonprofit Employees: Toward a Typology


Class of 2010

Class of 2009

Class of 2008


Graduate students currently enrolled in PhD programs in all fields.


Program Dates:

June 5 – 28, 2017


Submission Requirements:

A resume, a draft research paper (unpublished) on a topic related to the nonprofit sector, and an abstract. Send to


Submission Deadline:

March 15th, 2017



Please email Anna Dausman at

Submit your Application