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The Institute for Humane Studies strives to create a lasting impact by supporting the careers of young and upcoming academics. One of our more impactful avenues for support is our graduate sabbatical grants. Graduate Sabbatical Grants are a funding opportunity we offer to talented up-and-coming scholars, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, with the support and resources needed to develop their best research, and explore new ideas within the classical liberal tradition.

Timothy Tyler Tennyson, a political science Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a recent IHS Graduate Sabbatical recipient. Tim has quickly established himself as a rising scholar in his field. He has published in several peer-reviewed journals including the History of Political Thought and European Journal of Political Theory, and has presented his work at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference (MPSA), the American Political Science Association (APSA), and the International Adam Smith Society (IASS).

His research centers on civic education and citizenship in the history of political thought and contemporary political theory. In particular, he is interested in studying the beliefs and ideas related to how civic education is taught and understood, with a focus on educational methods, moral values, and political influences. Tim wants to explore how these ideas have shaped the concept of civic education in both historical and contemporary contexts within liberal-democratic states. While trained in political theory and the history of political thought, Tim’s research is interdisciplinary and engages with questions relevant to a broad audience concerned with the foundational ideas and theoretical principles that serve as the basis for understanding what it means to be a citizen in a liberal-democratic society. 

Headed into the academic year, Tim continued to work on his dissertation: Fostering Freedom: Judgment in Early-Modern Liberal Educational and Political Thought, which he plans to defend in May 2024 and will use toward his long-term goal of publishing his dissertation as a book. Alongside his dissertation, he has several ongoing article-length projects that are connected to his interest in civic education and citizenship in the history of political thought.

These next steps will further cement Tim’s work in his field and will help advance classical liberal ideas by driving progress in the critical conversations shaping the 21st century in the field of political science.

“This work can contribute to the study of liberty by locating a practical standard for individual self-government in liberal education theory. The concept of judgment developed in this project is applicable to everyday moral, economic, and political decision-making that is context-based, socially embedded, and accessible to every stratum of society.”

-Tim Tennyson

The research Tim is working on will contribute to our understanding of liberty by proposing a practical standard for self-governance that is rooted in liberal education theory. This kind of research is vital for everyday decision-making across a variety of domains and would be accessible to people from diverse social backgrounds, bridging the gap between theory and practical decision-making in a liberal society.

IHS support for rising star graduates, like Tim Tennyson, is a crucial component for addressing challenges facing freedom-based ideas in the academy and beyond.

Find out how you can help IHS continue to support scholars like Tim to advance academic freedom here. For more information on our scholars, programs, and academic funding opportunities, visit

Here is the timeline for our application process:

  1. Apply for a position 
  2. An HR team member will review your application submission  
  3. If selected for consideration, you will speak with a recruiter 
  4. If your experience and skills match the role, you will interview with the hiring manager
  5. If you are a potential fit for the position, you will interview with additional staff members
  6. If you are the candidate chosen, we will extend a job offer


All candidates will be notified regarding the status of their application within two to three weeks of submission. As new positions often become available, we encourage you to visit our site frequently for additional opportunities that align with your interests and skills.