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Non-Residential Fellowship Program – Apply

The aim of the H&C Non-Residential Fellowship Program is to allow journalists, publically-minded academics and artists the opportunity to write books, longform articles or theatrical pieces engaging with the main research questions of the project and aimed at a popular audience.Non-Residential Fellows are expected to propose projects that engage with one or more of the below questions or sub-questions. No project treating topics in bioethics, environmental ethics or sexual ethics can be accepted, as these are outside the boundaries of the donor funding category associated with this grant.

 

 

The aim of the HCPL Residential (Visiting) Fellowship Program is to allow Project Fellows the opportunity to develop and apply research that will promote the practice of intellectual humility in public discourse, in line with the main research questions of the project:

 

QUESTION 1. What are the barriers that prevent people from engaging in open-minded, intellectually humble dialogue over socially and culturally divisive issues? How can these barriers be overcome? And what are the benefits for public discourse of overcoming them? Specific sub-questions guiding projects eligible for funding include the following:

How might our implicit biases prevent us from engaging in constructive dialogue with those of differing scientific, moral, religious or theological perspectives? What models might be employed to overcome such biases, and what benefits might result from doing so?

What specific sociological, educational and religious challenges and structures undermine intellectually humble discourse on relevant subject matters, and how might such challenges be effectively overcome? Is it possible to be intellectually humble and yet remain deeply committed to some position on which there is persistent disagreement? Or does firm commitment on moral, meta-ethical, religious, theological, or even (in some cases) scientific matters in the face of disagreement render one intellectually arrogant (closed-minded, dogmatic, etc.)? If the former, why are people often inclined to think that humility is inconsistent with such commitments, and how can this inclination be overcome?

While a great many religious adherents take scientific advances to be in harmony with their beliefs, it is nevertheless still common to see religiously motivated resistance to certain well-supported scientific theories, with evolutionary biology as a key example. How might the resistance to this theory by religious communities be mitigated? Relatedly, how might dialogue between these communities and other religious communities who are not so resistant be improved—in tone as well as in substantive practice?

Discussions of the relation between science and religion are often strident and dismissive in tone. What obstacles stand in the way of more constructive, intellectually humble dialogue in this domain?

How might public, religious and/or media institutions be structured to promote more constructive, and less strident, dialogue over issues of ultimate concern?

 

QUESTION 2. What new or existing methods and/or measures for investigating and promoting intellectual humility (or related concepts) could be applied fruitfully to the context of public discourse over divisive issues? A strong preference will be given to proposals for projects that concern intellectually humble dialogue or discourse and that relate to the sub-questions for RFP/Fellowships Question #1.

What scalable models, networks or other interventions are or would be effective or ineffective in promoting more reason-based, intellectually humble dialogue?

What metrics can be developed or used to determine when and why there is a lack (or abundance) of intellectual humility and meaningful public discourse over particular divisive issues?

Funding will vary depending on the project proposed, but is not normally expected to exceed $20,000.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Under normal circumstances, and whenever possible, applicants will be notified within six weeks of application. They should be submitted in either pdf or Word format to pdp@uconn.edu with “Non-Residential Fellowship Application” in the subject line of the email. The application will consist of three parts:

 

A proposal narrative (1500 words maximum). The narrative should include the following information:

  • The goals of the project;
  • How these goals address those of the IHPD project;
  • How the goals will be pursued;
  • The plan for publication or production, including the expected venues for either;
  • The expected outputs or deliverables;
  • The project timeline.
  • A CV

Two letters of recommendation that speak to the quality and feasibility of the proposed project and its potential public impact. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact these references; letters should be sent directly to pdp@uconn.edu.