Call for Applications: Religious Freedom Research Project Graduate Summer Research Fellowship

April 16, 2018

The Religious Freedom Research Project (RFRP) at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs—made possible through the support of its strategic partner, Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion—is offering summer Ph.D. dissertation fellowships for students exploring the sources, development, and impact of religious freedom in history and the present day. The fellowships are funded through generous support from the William E. Simon Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

We seek proposals for dissertations that explore the relationship between religious liberty and the global common good; the importance of religious freedom for democracy, social and economic development, or countering violent religious extremism; the religious freedom of groups and institutions; and/or the relationship between institutional religious freedom and the common good of Western and non-Western societies in history and today. Successful proposals will root the study of religious freedom in particular academic disciplines in order to generate new knowledge about the importance of religious liberty (or its absence) to the global common good; the promotion of economic development, political freedom, and a robust and dynamic civil society; and/or the elimination, prevention, moderation, or mitigation of religiously-driven extremism and violence. 

The Nature of the Awards

Four (4) dissertation research/completion fellowships will be awarded for the summer of 2018 (June 1-August 31). Awards will amount up to $5,000. Awarded funds may be used for travel, research, and living expenses. Fellowship winners will be required to submit a paper detailing research findings, which the RFRP may publish online and in project publications. Additionally, winners may be asked to share their work at an RFRP-sponsored event after the award period.

Eligibility, Terms, and Conditions

This fellowship is offered to Ph.D. candidates from any college or university. The fellowship is not limited to any single academic discipline or department. Accordingly, candidates from departments across the humanities and social sciences may apply. Guidelines for the research and completion fellowships are below.

Guidelines

  • Completion of all departmental requirements and an approved dissertation prospectus before the start of the award period. A fellowship designee will forfeit the award if the prospectus has not been approved by June 1, 2018.
  • Research fellowship winners may do a small amount of teaching or outside work to supplement summer fellowship funding, but such supplementary work must be specified in the cover letter, must not conflict with the Ph.D. research plan, and must be approved by the student’s home institution.
  • Preference will be given to students who do not have other summer grants or fellowships. 

Application Procedures and Schedule

Applications must be submitted by May 4, 2018, to Timothy Samuel Shah, director for international research at the Religious Freedom Research Project (send to: timothy.shah@georgetown.edu). A complete application consists of one digital copy including the items listed below. Please submit materials in the following order:

  • A signed cover letter with the following information: a one-paragraph synopsis of your dissertation research; the names of your recommender(s) (at least one of which must be your dissertation advisor and/or a member of your dissertation committee); your planned teaching responsibilities during the fellowship period, if any; any additional or potential sources of research funding for the grant period; and any other information you consider pertinent
  • Current resume, not to exceed two pages
  • Current transcript (may be unofficial)
  • Statement of purpose (two to four pages, double spaced) clearly describing how the dissertation topic will generate new knowledge about the relationship between religious liberty and the global common good; the importance of religious freedom for democracy, social and economic development, or countering violent religious extremism; the religious freedom of groups and institutions; and/or the relationship between institutional religious freedom and the common good of Western and non-Western societies in history and today. There should be a brief indication of your progress to date and timetable for completion. Your statement should also describe the relevance of your summer research plans to the dissertation as a whole and your proposed use of the award.
  • A budget outlining how you propose to use the fellowship funds (living, travel, and general research expenses are all allowable) and, if traveling, an itinerary
  • A bibliography identifying major primary and secondary sources
  • At least one letter of recommendation, one of which must be from your dissertation advisor or a member of your dissertation committee. You may direct recommenders to send their letter via email by the deadline to Timothy Shah (send to: timothy.shah@georgetown.edu).
  • Written confirmation from your graduate program coordinator stating that your prospectus was approved or, if your prospectus has not been approved, the anticipated date of approval. This can be submitted via email.

An interdisciplinary committee will review all applications early in the month of May 2018. Successful candidates will be notified via email by Timothy Shah on or before May 15, 2018.

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