Hayek Fund for Scholars

Advance your academic career through funding support!

The Hayek Fund for Scholars supports students and faculty who are researching and teaching ideas within the classical liberal tradition inside the bounds of the social sciences and humanities by funding a wide range of research and career-advancing activities. From paying for PhD application fees to conference presentation travel* to the purchase of crucial data sets, this unique fund helps cover an extensive array of expenses.

All scholars presently engaged in research or teaching within the social sciences or humanities at an accredited college or university can apply for funding. The ideal candidate is eager to pursue or continue a career in academia and contribute to the classical liberal intellectual tradition through their scholarship.

Hayek Fund for Scholars
Hayek Fund for Scholars
Group discussion, Hayek Fund for Scholars
Hayek Fund for Scholars

Awarded on a rolling basis, the Hayek Fund for Scholars helps pay for activities including (but not limited to):

  • Travel for paper presentations or job interviews at academic conferences*
  • Submission fees for unpublished manuscripts and academic journal articles
  • Travel for archival research*
  • Purchase of data sets or survey data
  • Participation in seminars or peer reviews*
  • Collaborative research projects or the hiring of a research assistant
  • Reimbursement of application fees for PhD programs
  • Expenses related to participation and/or organization of academic panels

Scholars are welcome to submit applications for other expenses not mentioned here.

We cannot subsidize research stipends, tuition, time buy-outs, or living expenses. For research stipends, graduate students may apply to the IHS  Humane Studies Fellowship and faculty may apply to the IHS Sabbatical Research Fellowship, Discourse Initiative Research Grants, or Free Speech and Open Inquiry Grants.

If you are interested in book clubs, undergraduate discussion colloquia, or other academic event support, please see our Academic Event Support program.


As part of its Discourse Initiative, IHS is particularly interested in research and programs in the following general categories: Liberalism and Its Critics, Key Challenges within a Free Society, Cultural Challenges within Liberal Society, Contentious Topics within the Liberal Tradition, and Liberalism in Times of Crisis. Learn more about the Discourse Initiative here.

IHS welcomes applications and proposals on these or other related topics from scholars in all disciplines.

*Implications for IHS-sponsored travel due to Covid-19

Given the significant uncertainty around travel due to COVID, IHS will continue to offer travel support via Hayek Fund for Scholars with the following stipulations:

  • For travel-related expenses, we will only issue awards after the activity takes place. (e.g., If you are receiving funding for travel to a conference, IHS will transfer funds only after the conference has occurred).

Awardees own and assume the risk of any travel-related expenses from cancelled activities (e.g. if your conference has been canceled, we will not pay for any costs or fees associated with modified or canceled flights, room reservations, conference fees, and the like.

Hayek Fund Application Process

The application process is open to any student or faculty member at any accredited college or university, regardless of nationality. However, applicants from the social sciences and humanities will be given preference, and applicants working within the hard sciences are generally not accepted. You must submit your application online at least four weeks prior to the start of your activity to allow the review committee ample time to consider your application. We do not award funding retroactively.

Your completed application must include the following:

  • Completed online application form (see below)
  • CV or resume
  • Proposed budget
  • Essay of 300 words or less describing your proposed project or activity and how it will advance your career
  • Essay of 300 words or less explaining how the proposed project or activity will advance the discussion or study of classical liberal ideas
  • Brief statement of how your project aligns with the mission of IHS
  • Additional documentation, such as a relevant paper or dissertation to supplement the application, are not required but can be included in the application

Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision within 3 to 4 weeks of submission. Awards will be distributed after the recipient presents appropriate documentation for their project.

If you have multiple projects, we encourage separate applications for each opportunity. A competitive application typically does not include more than one separate or unrelated project.

The maximum amount per single award from the Hayek Fund for Scholars is $5,000. Re-applicants cannot receive more than $10,000 in funding during an academic year.

For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Apply today for consideration

The IHS Impact

The Hayek Fund for Scholars has supported a wide range of scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Recent recipients and projects include:

Application Form

As a non-profit organization, the Institute for Humane Studies has a policy against supporting institutional overhead or indirect costs when making grants to faculty or graduate students.