Humane Studies Fellowship

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

The Humane Studies Fellowship will help you achieve these goals.

A renewable, non-residency fellowship program for IHS alumni, the Humane Studies Fellowship awards up to $15,000 per year to support graduate students in PhD programs.

(If you haven’t attended an IHS event or program, check out our PhD Scholarship.)

Intended for graduate students with an interest in developing, teaching, and applying the principles of a free society, this program supports research in the humanities and social sciences.

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

The Humane Studies Fellowship is a renewable award of up to $15,000, and you may re-apply each year of your graduate school studies.

For more information, please see the Humane Studies Fellowship FAQs below.

We are currently not accepting applications for the Humane Studies Fellowship. Please contact us with any questions


Additional Benefits for Recipients

Fund your PhD

The Humane Studies Fellowship is more than just a check to help you pay for graduate school; it also comes with individual graduate student advising to help you plan your academic career.

As a recipient, you will have access to an extensive support network of liberty-advancing scholars to further help ensure your academic success—both before and long after you receive your degree.

This community includes academic luminaries such as David Schmidtz of the University of Arizona, Tyler Cowen at George Mason University, and Randall Kroszner of the University of Chicago.

Eligibility for the Humane Studies Fellowship and Other Requirements

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

Over the course of the academic year, you will also be required to accomplish either of the following:

  1. Present your research project at a conference.
  2. Have your research project ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal by September 2018.

The Application Process

We are currently not accepting applications. Please contact us with any questions. The information below is available for when applications do become available again.

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 submit two recommendations for your application, and you will need to provide the names of your references at the time of your application submission.

It is your responsibility to have your references submit their recommendation letters for you to Jerrod Laber at by February 12.

Checking the status of your Humane Studies Fellowship application
You will be able to check the status of your application, upload additional documents, provide updates, and change your recommenders in your IHS account.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of the Humane Studies Fellowship award?
The Humane Studies Fellowship program awards up to $15,000 that can be used toward tuition, fees, living costs, and other expenses associated with a PhD program.

Is previous participation in an IHS program required to be considered for a Humane Studies Fellowship?
Yes, to be eligible you must have previously participated in an IHS program (like a summer seminar, summer research fellowship, or research colloquium) or received funding (like a PhD Scholarship, Hayek Fund for Scholars, PhD Application Fee Waiver, Conference & Research Grant, or the Hayek Fund for Future Scholars).

When will decisions be announced for next year’s Humane Studies Fellowship?
Notifications will be sent on May 1, 2018.

Would doctoral candidates in the hard sciences like chemistry and biology be considered?
Generally no. Humane Studies Fellowships are granted to graduate 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.

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.)

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. Candidates new to IHS, however, must apply for a PhD Scholarship.

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. If you are not an IHS alum, you should apply for the IHS PhD Scholarship.

New to IHS? Please apply to the IHS PhD Scholarship.