Neuro Philosophy of Freewill - team

Worldwide Postdoc/Student Competition - Deadline Feb 29th, 2020

The 2020 worldwide competition is  complete.  Read more about the 2020 winners.

We plan to hold another competition in early 2021.

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 or full time for 6-12 months and could potentially be extended to a second year. Predoctoral students can request up to $25,000 per year in funding, and postdocs can request up to $50,000 per year. These positions are funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Fetzer Institute. For more information on the project, see

Applicants can be postdocs, graduate students, or postbacs and should have a strong background in neuroscience, psychology, or philosophy. We have a preference for 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. Pre-application requests to work with any PI should be directed to that PI.

An application should include:

(1) a cover letter explaining why the applicant is interested in the position (limit 500 words);

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

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

(4) email addresses of 2-4 referees who have agreed to provide recommendations.

The deadline for submission is February 29, 2020 at 11:59pm (anywhere on earth). The winners will be chosen by a prize committee and be informed by email in mid to late April, 2020. The fellowship could start as early as July 1, 2020 and must end by July 31, 2021. Please email all materials to, where questions can also be directed.


As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the review of the applications has been delayed. The current plan is to announce the results only in mid to late April. We apologize for this delay and will provide updates as they become available.

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 July 1st, 2020), 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 fellowship will NOT be transferrable if you don’t have a postdoc position lined up right be before your graduation.

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.