Host a Debate or Panel

Interested in reaching a large student audience through an on-campus speaking event featuring multiple perspectives?

Support offered: financial, speaker research and recommendations, and marketing.

Funding guidance: past support for debates and panel discussions has fallen primarily in the $3,000 – $4,500 range, with events drawing larger audiences or “big name” speakers being considered for additional funding. Our support has completely funded some debates and panels and provided supplementary funds for others.

Content: accepted content spans the spectrum from theoretical to applied, encompassing many disciplines and perspectives, with the goal of allowing students to consider multiple perspectives on a given issue while encouraging critical thinking and open discourse. We consider how closely proposed content aligns with IHS’s mission when making award decisions. Participation by academics or scholars at non-university research institutions are given priority over “popular” speakers. IHS does not fund partisan political debates or panel discussions.

Examples of past debates and panels include:

  • Same-Sex Marriage and the State
  • The American Dream vs. The American Dilemma: Immigration
  • How Does It Affect Me? Perspectives on the Affordable Care Act
  • Understanding the Privacy-Security Tradeoff
  • The Economics and Culture of Local Food
  • The Minimum Wage: A Debate

Planning checklist:

  • Request support from IHS and send us your proposed budget and preferred speakers
  • Confirm speakers, date, and lecture title
  • Reserve a venue
  • Send event information to IHS
  • Promote event to students (IHS can provide a flyer and other marketing support)
  • Deliver opening remarks at the event, mentioning IHS and the Templeton Foundation
  • Administer IHS surveys at the event and mail completed surveys back to us
  • Submit post-event report with attendance numbers to IHS

You can also host multiple debates and panels with IHS and receive support for a debate series!

Express interest in a debate or panel or speak to a program representative at

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