Fellowship Overview

The deadline to apply for the 2014 Humane Studies Fellowship has passed. Applicants will be notified of their status by May 1.

Find out when the 2015 application is available, subscribe to program updates!

Due to the support I’ve received from the Institute for Humane Studies over the years, I am now finishing my dissertation, publishing academic journal articles, and interviewing for jobs.”  

-David B. Skarbek, King’s College London: Humane Studies Fellow (2005), Summer Seminar attendee (2007), Advanced Topics for Liberty participant (2008), and Hayek Fund for Scholars grant recipient (2009)


Welcome to a fellowship that’s as much about fellowship as it is about money.

Humane Studies Fellowships (HSF) are awarded to full-time graduate students embarking on liberty-advancing careers in ideas. Moreover, the fellowships support study in a variety of fields, including economics, philosophy, law, political science, history, and sociology. Awards are up $15,000 and fellowship winners may re-apply for each year of their studies. Since its inception, the Institute for Humane Studies awarded more than $6.5 million to nearly 1800 promising grad students!

But the program provides more than just monetary awards. The fellowships connect winners to a support network to guide them through a successful career in academia. Fellowship winners become preferred candidates for IHS invitation-only programs such as our Career Development Seminars, which help students think strategically about how to succeed in academia, our Colloquia that discuss and refine the fellows’ research, and our Summer Graduate Research Fellowship, which is a non-residential research and writing program that provides participants with the opportunity to complete a publishable scholarly article. 

HSF is open to full-time and prospective graduate students, including law students. Exceptional candidates with an evident intention of advancing liberty through other intellectual activities, such as teaching, policy analysis, and law, will also be considered.

Examples of research interests:

Past fellows have researched historical and contemporary ideas on freedom of action and association and the rule of law. Some notable research interests include:

  • Market-based approaches to environmental policy
  • The legal development of privacy and property rights in 18th-century England
  • The role of patient autonomy in bioethics
  • Impediments to economic growth in developing countries
  • The relationship between U.S. presidential politics, fiscal policies, and economic performance

What is this “Network of Intellectuals”?

Fellows join a dynamic network of more than 1,400 scholars and students, including David Schmidtz at the University of Arizona, Tyler Cowen at George Mason University, Jayme Lemke at Brown, and Randall Kroszner at the University of Chicago. Past Fellows have consistently credited the program with providing support and inspiration beyond the financial award:

“The Humane Studies Fellowship put me in touch with a community of people who have, throughout the years, given me good advice and encouragement.” -Tom Bell, Professor of Law, Chapman University School of Law (listen to interview)

Fellowship Details