Fellowship Details

The IHS Summer Graduate Research Fellowship celebrates more than 25 years of bringing together bright graduate students from various disciplines to share their work in a friendly, supportive, and informal environment and to enhance their understanding of the classical liberal tradition.


The fellowship begins in late May with a short conference at the Institute for Humane Studies in Arlington, Virginia, where fellows present the broad context of their work to about 10 other fellows and the program director.

Fellows then return to their home universities to continue to craft a publishable thesis chapter or scholarly article. The program director monitors each participant’s progress, reads drafts, offers advice, and, when possible, introduces fellows to scholars in the IHS network who can comment on their work.

Throughout the summer, fellows maintain regular contact with the program director, and with each other, through emails and in an online book discussion focused on a classical liberal book or collection of readings. During a past fellowship, participants read and discussed The Constitution of Liberty by Nobel Prize winner F. A. Hayek. Fellows are expected to post contributions weekly.

In August, fellows return to IHS for a closing conference at IHS to present the results of their work and discuss issues of importance to academics early in their career, particularly strategies for publishing research.

A Supportive, Diverse Community

Exchanging feedback and ideas during the conferences and online creates a supportive community. The fellowship includes advanced graduate and law students with a wide range of intellectual interests, and this interdisciplinary focus is one of the most appreciated features of our program. Past students have come from disciplines such as philosophy, history, economics, political science, public policy, social thought, literature, and law.

“The SuRF program was one of the best experiences I’ve had at IHS.  It gave me the financial and intellectual support necessary to complete a chapter of my dissertation and opened my eyes to a new theoretical angle on my dissertation.  The people I met at the conferences were wonderfully helpful with my project.” Matthew Glassman, Yale University

Read about the fellows and projects from past years.

Graduate Student Summer Seminar

Fellows are encouraged to enhance their understanding of classical liberal ideas by attending the IHS Summer Seminar, Scholarship and a Free Society, if they have never attended. The seminar is not related to the fellowship and requires a separate application.