RGCS student fellows

Student fellows (BA, MA, LLB/BCL)

Please note that while we are hopeful about being allowed to meet on campus in the fall of 2020, we do not yet have confirmed permission from the University to do so. If the University does not allow us to hold in-person meetings, various aspects of the below information will have to change. We didn't want to wait any longer for the already-delayed call to be issued; we'll share further information as we get it.

The McGill Research Group on Constitutional Studies ( http://www.mcgill.ca/rgcs/ 

https://www.facebook.com/RGCSMcGill ) is accepting applications for its 2020-21 Student Fellowship.

RGCS brings together the study of political theory, political and legal philosophy, constitutional and public law, and empirical political science about constitutional institutions (the judiciary, federalism, separation of powers, etc.)  It aims to unify these within an overarching research agenda on the foundations, institutions, and principles of political societies.  "Constitutional" is construed broadly. It encompasses both the modern sense of the word (the fundamental institutions of a society's formal political and legal order, including institutional and legal norms limiting and directing political decisions) and the ancient (concerned with the match between political regimes and the societies they govern, and so concerned with the norms and rules governing family life, economic relations, and social orders).  It includes some fifteen faculty researchers in Political Science, Philosophy, and Law; postdoctoral fellows; a group of Ph.D. students; and this Student Fellowship of undergraduates and Master's students. RGCS is a unit of the Yan P. Lin Centre for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in the Ancient and Modern Worlds.


Eligibility: Most of the Fellowship's membership will be Arts undergraduates (U2 or later) studying political theory and related fields (including political science, philosophy, intellectual history, and the other social sciences, but background preparation in political theory and philosophy is a primary consideration).  Pursuing an Honours course of study is an advantage but not a requirement.  A limited number of Fellows will be admitted from the MA programs in political science and philosophy and/ from the BCL/ JD program in Law. 

18-20 Fellows will be selected for the year, on the expectation that around 12 will be in Montreal in the fall and able to take part for the full year, with the other 6-8 returning to campus in the winter. The size of the fall group will almost certainly be capped at 12 if we are allowed to meet in person.


Award: $500, plus free copies of the books. Students graduating in December are eligible if they will be in Montreal and available for in-person meetings. Books read in the fall will be shipped to students who are elsewhere in Canada or in the United States, or held for pickup in January for students elsewhere in the world.


Activities: The RGCS Student Fellowship meets 3-4 Thursdays per month 4:30-6 pm (and so Fellows should protect that block of time every week), for two kinds of activities.


1) The first, and primary, activity is a reading group with members of the RGCS faculty. The reading group is not a for-credit reading course and cannot be taken as one.

Fellows are expected to attend the reading group regularly, to do the reading in a timely fashion, and to take an active, thoughtful part in discussion. The group works as a sustained conversation over months, and can't succeed without continuity from week to week.

We hope to be able to meet in person for the full academic year; those who will 

2) The second activity is linked to the RGCS Lecture Series, which will feature speakers on the values, institutions, and principles of a free society a few times over the course of the winter semester. (There won't be any events in the series in the fall.) They take place in the same time slot, Thursdays 4:30-6 pm.

Fellows are expected to attend all of the lectures, and will be invited to take part in small group meetings with the speakers as well (normally a dedicated dinner). The first question at the lectures is reserved for a member of the Fellowship. (And this is worth thinking about during the lecture!) The 2019-20 lecture series will include Teresa Bejan (Oxford) and Melissa Schwartzberg (NYU), plus 2-3 more speakers to be announced.  

Other activities

Fellows will also be occasionally invited to other talks, seminars, and conferences in political theory, political philosophy, constitutional law, and the history of political thought; unlike attendance at the lectures, participation in these is optional. There are sometimes small group meetings with visiting speakers outside the RGCS Lecture Series, in recent years including Saskia Sassen, Timur Kuran, Charles Taylor, and Philip Pettit.

 April 28- May 1 2021 RGCS will host a major international conference on constitutionalism. Fellows who haven't yet left campus for the summer at that point are encouraged to attend, and there will be dedicated opportunities for participation.

Sometimes RGCS is able to secure space in the audience for Fellows at other kinds of events; in recent years these have included lectures by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, essayist Roxane Gay, novelist Margaret Atwood, Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and Templeton Prize winner Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. 

When possible, RGCS supports other academic opportunities for Student Fellows, including ARIA research assistanceships with members of the RGCS faculty, and support for travel to academic conferences, seminars, and workshops. In the summer of 2020 it also supported online reading groups for four different groups of fellows and alumni/ae.



To apply, please e-mail rgcs.mcgill [at] gmail.com by 5 pm on August 28.  The e-mail should contain:

1) Your year and program (e.g. "U3, Joint Honours Political Science and Philosophy," "MA1, Political Science")

2) Whether you will be in Montreal in the fall and available to meet in person

3)  the courses you have taken in political theory, political philosophy, the history of political thought, constitutional law, jurisprudence, or related fields (e.g. the history of economic thought), including instructor's name and term/year, and the grades you received in them;

4) a brief (1-2 sentence) description of your educational/ career goals after graduating from your current program; 


5) copied-and-pasted at the bottom of the e-mail (not as an attachment), your "unofficial transcript" from Minerva.  (Not applicable to MA1 students.)

You may also include 6) mention of any exposure you have had to political theory, constitutional law, and related fields outside of formal coursework, such as conferences and workshops you've attended.

Please put all of this in the body of the e-mail, not an attachment.



Ph.D. Fellows

  • Philip-Emmanuel Aubry
  • Aberdeen Berry
  • Alec Crisman
  • Megan Cudmore
  • Michael Denigris
  • Emily Douglas 
  • Nicholas Dunn         
  • Lucas Jerusalimiec 
  • Kieran Jimenez
  • Kyuree Kim
  • Jimmy Lim
  • Tereza Monkova       
  • Derval Ryan
  • Benjamin Woodfinden
  • Vertika
  • Yang Yi
  • Jun-Han Yon    

Doctoral fellows in residence receive office space in Ferrier, and are expected to take an active part in the intellectual life of RGCS.


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