Humane Studies Fellowship

Secure financial support to off-set the cost of graduate school as you develop research and work toward a career in academia.

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

IHS will award a limited amount of Fellowships during the summer of 2019 to those interested in securing funds before the fall. All other awards will be issued in the fall of 2019.

Application Opens: October 10, 2018
Applications Close: February 10, 2019
Awards Announced: May 1, 2019

Once you become a Fellow, IHS becomes a partner and a champion for your academic career. The Humane Studies Fellowship connects you with a community of other scholars dedicated to advancing the classical liberal tradition through civil discourse and research. Fellowship recipients may also receive opportunities for individual academic advising, mentoring, networking programs, and other career-advancing resources.

Research interests from previous Humane Studies Fellowship recipients have included but are not limited to:

  • 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

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

  • Be enrolled full-time in a PhD program for the upcoming academic year.
  • Have a research interest that contributes to the advancement of classical liberal scholarship.

Previous Humane Studies Fellowship applicants and winners who will be enrolled as full-time PhD students in the 2019-2020 academic year are welcome to apply. Prior participation in IHS programming is not required to apply. International students are eligible, however, preference is given to applicants who live or study in the United States, Canada, and/or the United Kingdom. Qualifying fields of study include economics, political science, philosophy, law, history, sociology, and similar disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. We typically do not fund students studying the natural sciences, medicine, or engineering.


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 that presentation at a graduate student conference or an IHS Research Colloquium is acceptable.

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 a deeper understanding of classical liberal ideas.

Required Uploads

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

  1. CV
  2. A recent writing sample of 3,000 words or fewer. Partial samples of longer works are acceptable.
  3. An official or unofficial electronic transcript from your current or most recent institution.
  4. If applicable, please upload your dissertation proposal.

Supporting documents must be uploaded to the application as electronic files (.doc, pdf, etc.). We do not accept applications submitted by mail. It is recommended that you begin collecting supporting materials early, as certain items may take time to compile. Instructions on how to submit supporting materials are listed at the end of the online application.


We require letters of recommendation from two references who can speak to your qualifications for the fellowship.

We are no longer asking for letters of recommendation to be sent via email. Under the Career Information & Essays portion of the application, you will be asked to submit the names and email addresses of your two references. Upon submission of your application, they will be emailed a link to submit a letter on your behalf. 

Please ask your references to submit their recommendation letters via the link prior to the application deadline of February 10th, 2019. 

If you experience problems with completing this step in the application process, please reach to us at

Application Form