New Templeton Fellowship Opportunities

The Templeton World Charity Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Templeton Independent Research Fellowships in the Power of Information.

Paving New Pathways

Since 2013, TWCF has funded more than a dozen research projects around the world which have used the concept of information to understand the world more fully. The concept of information offers a promising pathway for comprehending both micro- and macro-level phenomena—that is, phenomena from the quantum to the cosmological scales—within a single scientific concept. The purpose of the Templeton Independent Research Fellowship is to facilitate ongoing scientific research pertaining to the concept of information by exceptional early-career scholars who are likely to establish themselves as prominent researchers in their field.

After the success of the 2016 round, TWCF will award up to three Fellowships in 2017. Each Fellowship will provide financial support of up to $110,000 per year for up to three years, tenable at any recognized university or research institution in the world, and will be subject to successful completion of TWCF’s compliance monitoring procedures. Fellows must hold a PhD by the beginning of their Fellowship, although they need not have completed their degree when submitting their application. Applicants must apply within five full-time-equivalent research years of completing their PhD program. Newly graduated PhDs are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications will be considered from scholars who work in any of the following areas: mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, biology, biophysics, computer science, electrical engineering, or the philosophy of science. Applications are welcome from scholars of any nationality.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2017 round of Fellowships close on Friday 31 March 2017. Full details about the Fellowship, including detailed eligibility criteria and instructions about how to apply, can be found in the program announcement below.

Applicants will need to download and complete an application form, providing a detailed description of their proposed research project in the project description form. Instructions about how to fill out the budget section of the application form may be found in the budget instructions.

Applications consisting of a completed application form, a project description, and a letter of support should be sent by the applicant to fellowship@templetonworldcharity.org. Referees should also send their letters of reference to this email address with your name in the subject line.

Please direct any inquiries about the Fellowship to fellowship@templetonworldcharity.org.

We look forward to receiving your application.


Fellowship Announcement

Application Form

Project Description

Budget Instructions

2016 Nominees


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I am interested in applying for a Fellowship, but my PhD is in a discipline, or from a department, not included in those listed in the Fellowship Announcement. Am I able to apply?

A: You are welcome to apply for a Fellowship provided your work lies within one or more of the disciplines listed in the Fellowship Announcement. Most importantly, your proposal must show how the concept of information will be integral to the science which you would pursue. Fellowships will not be awarded for projects in which the concept of information is not fundamental to the science.

Q: I am not sure whether my research proposal is appropriate for the stated theme of the Fellowship. Can TWCF read a short summary and provide an opinion about whether my research fits into the theme?

A: Unfortunately, TWCF cannot provide individual feedback about proposed research topics. Provided the concept of information is integral to the science which you would pursue, your application will be given full consideration. To see the breadth of topics TWCF has previously funded within this theme, follow this link.

Q: Some online advertisements for the Fellowship seem to allow one to apply for jobs and fellowships directly through those websites. Will TWCF consider Fellowship applications submitted through such websites?

A: Unfortunately not. As the Fellowship Announcement indicates, we can only accept applications for the fellowships that are complete and sent to fellowship@templetonworldcharity.org.

Q: I was awarded my PhD in 2012. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: As the Program Announcement states, applicants must apply within five full-time-equivalent research years of completing their PhD program. If, for example, six calendar years have passed since your PhD was awarded but you were engaged in full-time research activity for only four years and eleven months of that period, you remain eligible to apply.

Q: Can I apply if I have held a PhD for longer than five years, but have engaged in a substantial amount of teaching alongside my research?

A: This eligibility rule is primarily aimed at those who have had a complete or significant break from academic work for some reason - military service, maternity/paternity leave, etc. - but who remain relatively early in their research career. We consider part-time teaching alongside research as substantive academic work, and will thus treat such applications the same as full-time research applications.

Q: Can Fellowship funds be used to cover any moving expenses involved in relocating to a different institution?

A: Unfortunately, no.

Q: When can I start a Fellowship?

A: Fellowships may begin after awardees have successfully completed Templeton World Charity Foundation’s compliance monitoring processes, and a contract between Templeton World Charity Foundation and the host institution has been draw up. Given that these tasks will likely take 2-3 months to complete, the earliest that a Fellowship will likely begin is September 2017. Fellowships may begin no later than the last day of 2017.

Q: I am currently in a permanent or tenure-track position. Am I eligible to apply for a fellowship?

A: As long as you satisfy the stated eligibility criteria, you may apply for a fellowship. However, please note the following statement in the announcement: “The track record of each applicant will be judged according to the stage of the applicant’s research career at which they submit their application.” Given that someone in a permanent or tenure-track position is more advanced in their career than someone who has only recently completed their PhD or who is in the early stage of a postdoctoral fellowship, their accomplishments will need to be greater than someone at an earlier stage in their career in order to be competitive.

Q: I hold 2 PhDs. Which one should I use to determine my eligibility?

A: Please use the PhD that the committee will judge to be the one most relevant to the proposed project. If that is your first PhD, please include the total number of full-time-equivalent years you took to complete your second PhD in your calculation of the total number of full-time-equivalent research years since your first PhD.