2022 Worldwide Postdoc/Student Competition

We invite applications for one or more fellowships on the philosophy and neuroscience of free will and moral responsibility, including how the brain enables conscious, causal control of decisions and actions. Support can be requested for part-time or full-time for 6-12 months and could potentially be extended to a second year. Pre-doctoral students can request up to $25,000 per year in funding, and postdocs can request up to $50,000 per year. The winner(s) of the competition will also have the opportunity to travel to one of the annual meetings of the consortium to present their project results. These positions are funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Fetzer Institute. For more information on the project, see https://neurophil-freewill.org

Applicants can be postdocs, graduate students, or postbacs and should have a strong background in neuroscience, psychology, philosophy or related fields. We have a preference for the mobility of ideas or persons, so applicants can propose to engage in interdisciplinary training (e.g., neuroscientist wishing to get training in philosophy or vice versa) and would ideally come to work during at least part of the fellowship with one of the grant PIs: Uri Maoz (Project Leader), Tim Bayne, Ned Block, Patrick Haggard, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes, Pamela Hieronymi, Gabriel Kreiman, Hans Liljenström, Alfred Mele, Liad Mudrik, Tim O’Connor, Adina Roskies, Aaron Schurger, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Tillmann Vierkant, and Gideon Yaffe. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with grant PIs before applying. Pre-application requests to work with any PI should be directed to that PI.

A complete application should include:

(1) Curriculum Vitae (up to 4 pages);

(2) a cover letter explaining why the applicant is interested in the position and the amount of funding the applicant requests (limit 500 words);

(3) an original project proposal (limit 1000 words), including information about when and where the applicant will use the fellowship;

(4) an approval letter from the applicant’s current advisor (where appropriate) and from the proposed host advisor (where applicable);

(5) contact info of 2-4 referees who have agreed to provide recommendations. (The recommendation letter itself is not required at initial submission)

The deadline for submission is January 20th, 2022 at 11:59 pm (anywhere on earth). The winners will be chosen by a prize committee and be informed by email in mid-February, 2022. The fellowship could start as early as May 1st, 2022 and must end by April 30th, 2023.

Please email all materials to freewill@brain.chapman.edu, where questions can also be directed.

Frequently Asked Questions

The experimental or theoretical ideas proposed by the applicants should be new on top of those already implemented in the proposal by the different PIs. Though they should be within the framework and the general research questions proposed in the grant.

If you graduate and get your Ph.D. degree within 6 months (minimum duration of the fellowship) after the fellowship starts (as early as May 1st, 2021), you will be able to transfer the rest of the fellowship money to your next postdoc position, but ONLY IF you have accepted the postdoc position prior to your Ph.D. graduation date. Also, your research focus in that postdoc position has to be consistent with your fellowship proposal.

The funds should mainly cover a stipend or salary for the student or postdoc. Some of the funds may nevertheless be used for other specific research needs – such as travel to a conference, subject participation, inexpensive experimental materials, and so on.

Yes, please make sure to adhere to the word limits.

The references do not count towards the word limits.

The approval letter is a simple, couple-sentence letter stating that your current PI or potential hosting PI is willing to support the project you propose.

The recommendation letter, as its name suggests, should be a longer letter with more details about why the recommender thinks you are a good fit for this fellowship.