Humane Studies Fellowship

Develop ideas. Work toward a career in academia. Impact higher education.

We are happy to announce summer funding packages; on a limited basis, IHS will award fellowships during summer 2018 to those interested in securing funds before the fall. With this addition, the application deadline has been extended to April 1, 2018. 

The Humane Studies Fellowship is a renewable, non-residency award of up to $15,000 per year to support current or future students in PhD programs. Intended for graduate students with an interest in developing, teaching, and applying classical liberal ideas and the principles of a free society, this program supports research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences.

The Humane Studies Fellowship is more than just a check to help you pay for your doctorate. Once you become a Fellow, IHS is a partner and champion for your academic career.

As a Fellowship recipient, you will receive individual academic advising as well as guidance, resources, and access to a passionate and supportive community of scholars dedicated to the advancement of classical liberal ideas.

Application Deadline: March 18, 2018 April 1, 2018

Research interests from previous Humane Studies Fellowship recipients have included:

  •      Market-based approaches to environmental policy
  •      The legal development of privacy and property rights in 18th-century England
  •      The role of patient autonomy in bioethics
  •      Impediments to economic growth in developing countries
  •      The relationship between U.S. presidential politics, fiscal policies, and economic performance

Additional Information:

Eligibility for the Humane Studies Fellowship and Other Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Humane Studies Fellowship, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a PhD program for the upcoming academic year.
  • Have a research interest that contributes to liberty-advancing scholarship.

The Application Process

As part of the application process, you will be required to answer two essay questions and upload several supporting documents, listed below.

Essay Questions
In 500 words or fewer:

  1. Describe the research project you will complete as part of the fellowship.
  2. Tell us how your research project advances liberty.

Required Uploads
To complete the application for the Humane Studies Fellowship, you will need to upload the following:

  1. Your CV.
  2. A recent writing sample of 3,000 words or fewer. If your preferred writing sample is longer than 3,000 words, a partial sample of that work is acceptable.
  3. An electronic transcript from your current (or most recent) institution. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

If you have defended your dissertation proposal, please submit your proposal.

Supporting documents must be uploaded to the application as electronic files (.doc, pdf, etc.) as we no longer accept supporting materials by mail. Please begin collecting supporting materials early, as certain items may take time to compile. Instructions for how to submit supporting materials are listed at the end of the online application.

You must provide two recommendations for your application.

Within the application form, you will  need to provide the names of your recommendation references. You will NOT attach the recommendation documents to the application.

It is your responsibility to make sure your references submit the the recommendation letters directly to Tommy Creegan at This must be done before the application deadline of April 1, 2018.

If you are experiencing problems with completing this step in the application process, please reach out to Tommy Creegan at

About IHS

The Institute for Humane Studies is the leading institute in higher education dedicated to championing classical liberal ideas and the scholars who advance them.

At IHS, we believe the principles of the classical liberal tradition – including individual liberty and responsibility, limited government, economic freedom, the rule of law, free speech, and open inquiry – are the foundation of a just and prosperous world. And we believe that for those ideas to take root, they must be taught, explored, and challenged in higher education.

Join the network of scholars across the country who are leading the advancement of classical liberal principles.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will decisions be announced for next year’s Humane Studies Fellowship?
Notifications will be sent by May 1, 2018 May 15, 2018. With the addition of summer funding packages, the application submission deadline was extended. This resulted in changing the notification date to allow for the needed review time.

What is the amount of the Humane Studies Fellowship award?
The Humane Studies Fellowship program awards up to $15,000 that can be used toward research and advising expenses associated with a PhD program.

What is required if I win a Humane Studies Fellowship?
Recipients are required to show proof of full-time enrollment at the beginning of the fall semester and during the academic year and must either present a paper at an academic conference or have a paper ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. (Please note: a conference presentation includes graduate student conferences or an IHS Research Colloquium.)

Is previous participation in an IHS program required to be considered for a Humane Studies Fellowship?
No. To be eligible you must be enrolled in a PhD program for the upcoming year and have an interest in developing, teaching, and applying the principles of a free society.

If I did not receive an award last year, may I reapply for the Humane Studies Fellowship this year?
Absolutely! The Humane Studies Fellowship is an annual award that previous applicants may reapply for each year of their full-time studies.

I am a previous Humane Studies Fellowship winner. May I apply again?
Yes. Award winners may reapply for each year of their graduate studies.

I am studying at a university outside the United States. Am I eligible to apply for a Humane Studies Fellowship?
Yes. IHS will consider alumni studying at international institutions, though preference is given to applicants who live or study in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Will doctoral candidates in the hard sciences like chemistry and biology be considered?
Generally, no. Humane Studies Fellowships are granted to PhD students in the social sciences with a demonstrated research focus in the ideas of a free society. Qualifying fields of study include economics, philosophy, law, political science, history, and sociology.