Fellows and Fellowships

The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life is dedictated to two projects: cultivating philosophy amongst the general public and connecting popular philosophy with academic research. This includes not only providing resources also providing a venue for the presenation of their work. IPPL hopes to advance public philosophy by advocating the position that such work ought to count towards tenure and promotion. An IPPL Visiting Fellowship is therefore intensively on a specific project free from the intrusions of daily work and family responsibilities, and those who wish to translate that same project into language easily understood by general audiences. Visting fellows are in residence at the Institute for two weeks. They receive travel, meal, housing allowances, a $1,000 stipend, access to the University of North Dakota library and all relevant university resources, a $500 grant to purchase research materials to be housed within the UND Chester Fritz Library, and an office within which to work. In exchange, visiting fellows are expected to make at least two public presentations suitable to lay audiences and write a ten to fifteen page article for publication either online or in the IPPL issue of On Second Thought. Normally, IPPL grants three to four visiting fellowships per year. Regional applicants are encouraged to apply, but are not exempt from the two-week residence requirement. International applicants may only have a portion of their airfare paid, but are eligible to receive all other benefits. For more information, contact ippl@und.edu.

Apply for an IPPL Fellowship



The application dates for 2011-2012 Fellowships will be announced in the Spring of 2011.

Projects are not evaluated based on political position or philosophical school of thought. However, projects cannot explicitly advocate for any political, religious, or social cause. The projects must be philosophical in nature. IPPL Fellowships are both invited by the director and chosen via open competition. Any interested party is encouraged to apply, and prosepective applicants are welcome to contact the director informally to ask for advice or to "text the waters" for their suitability and competitiveness.

The current application process is as follows: All material should be submitted electronically to: ippl@und.edu.

(1) Write the director about your intent to apply and the proposed dates of the fellowship, priority will be given to those who can visit the IPPL during the normal school year (September - May) and to those who can be flexible about dates of travel. Include a brief discussion of your project (no more than three short paragraphs) and a short biographical description. The director will respond regarding the propriety of the application. No substantive judgement will be made at this time other than the suitability of the project.

(2) If the project is suitable for IPPL, you will be asked to submit:
  • A more substantive description of your project
  • A one-page account of your project suitable for lay audiences including why your work is relevant to day-to-day life. (Please note, IPPL holds the position that all philosophical research, no matter how obscure can be shown to be relevant to everyday life. The task here is to show that you, can articulate this relevance in compelling way.)
  • An updated CV.
  • A more detailed biographical sketch. If your previous work has included philosophical research for general audiences, this should be emphasized. Sample publications relevant to the project, including work for specialists and general audiences
  • A list of references including all contact information.


(3) If the application is competitive, the applicant may be asked for a phone interview to discuss any of the submitted material. (When convenient, regional fellows may sometimes be interviewed in person.) On occassion, a second interview by a member of the advisory board may be recommended.

(4) If the application continues to be competitive, the director will contact some of your references after which you will be notified of the decision regarding your application. If the application is rejected, time permitting, the director will offer suggestions on how to better your application in the future including areas that might be strengthened in future applications. Previous applicants are encouraged to reapply for future fellowships.

One final note: sometimes an application is rejected because of weaknesses in the project or its presentation. This cannot be avoided and the director will work hard to be forthright about these issues. However, sometimes an application is rejected because of the competitiveness of the field. There are times when a project is outstanding and an applicant is doing excellent work but there are others whose applications are stronger. The director will be honest about this as well, although competitiveness should not be confused with prestige. IPPL fully intends to supplement resources for those who have less access. Again, the director will be forthright regarding these issues. In short, it is worth keeping in mind that, as with any application of this sort, applications are evaluated both comparatively and on their own terms.