Secure financial support to offset the cost of graduate school as you develop research and work toward a career in academia.
Applications Close: December 1, 2019
The Humane Studies Fellowship is a non-residency, renewable award of up to $15,000 per year to assist students enrolled or planning to enroll in full-time PhD programs. The Institute for Humane Studies will also offer one $30,000 fellowship this year, but this award is contingent on the needs and caliber of the applicant pool.
Most awards will be given for the 2020-2021 academic year and disbursed in the fall, but a limited number of funding packages will be available for early disbursement in the summer.
Summer Awards Announced: January 15, 2020
Fall Awards Announced: March 2, 2020
Humane Studies Fellows not only gain financial aid, but also connect with IHS and our network of scholars working to advance classical liberal ideas in the academy. This includes access to academic advising and invitations to our career development seminars, research workshops, discussion colloquia, and other networking events.
Accepted Fellows research a broad range of topics from migration and 18th-century property rights to bioethics and environmental policy. IHS welcomes scholars working in unique and diverse research areas. We are looking for anyone doing exciting classical liberal research in the humanities and social sciences. Apply today!
A few examples of the research interests of previous Humane Studies Fellowship include (but are not limited to):
- The displacement of civil society by the welfare state
- 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
To be eligible to apply for the Humane Studies Fellowship, you must:
- Be enrolled full time in a PhD program at any institution for the 2020-2021 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 2020-2021 academic year are welcome to apply. Prior participation in IHS programs is not required. The fellowship is open to PhD students at any university – applicants do not need to be enrolled at George Mason University to be eligible. 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 generally do not fund students studying the natural sciences, medicine, or engineering.
IHS supports a diverse collection of graduate students across a wide range of academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. Larger awards of $6,000 – $15,000 are highly competitive and generally reserved for late-stage graduate students who have demonstrated academic excellence and publication success with highly relevant research that advances the classical liberal tradition.
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.
Each essay should be 500 words or fewer.
- Explain your research agenda as if speaking to a colleague in your field and why it is important
- How do you plan to use your Humane Studies Fellowship award?
- Explain a current or prospective paper or research project you will complete as part of this fellowship, and how it advances an understanding of classical liberal ideas
To complete the application for the Humane Studies Fellowship, you must upload the following documents:
- A recent writing sample of 3,000 words or fewer. Partial samples of longer works are acceptable.
- An official or unofficial electronic transcript from your current or most recent institution.
- 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 might take time to compile. Instructions on how to submit supporting materials are listed at the end of the online application.
Letters of Recommendation
We require letters of recommendation from two references who can speak to your qualifications for the fellowship.
As of December 15th, 2018, 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 December 1, 2019.
If you experience problems with completing this step in the application process, please reach out to us at HSF@TheIHS.org.