New Templeton Fellowship Opportunity

The Templeton World Charity Foundation is currently seeking exceptional applicants for the Templeton Independent Research Fellowships in the Power of Information. 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. Fellows will enjoy the freedom to pursue independent research that contributes to the overall goal of our Power of Information Initiative, at an institution of the fellow’s choosing. Leading labs at top universities in nine countries—such as MIT and Oxford—have already expressed interest in hosting successful applicants.

Power of Information Initiative

Since 2013, TWCF has provided nearly $12 million in support to nearly twenty research projects around the world through its Power of Information initiative, which seeks to explore how  information may act as fundamental concept in nature. 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 framework.

The Fellowship

The purpose of the Templeton Independent Research Fellowship in the Power of Information is to facilitate further scientific research pertaining to the concept of information by supporting exceptional early-career scholars who are likely to establish themselves as prominent researchers in their field. The Fellowship will allow the most talented postdoctoral fellows to pursue independent research projects that contribute to the overall goal of the Initiative.

Following the success of the 2016 and 2017 rounds, TWCF will award up to three Fellowships in 2018. 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. Fellows must hold a PhD by the start of their Fellowship, although they need not have completed their degree when submitting their application, but they. Applicants must apply within five full-time-equivalent research years of completing their PhD program. Newly graduated PhDs are welcome to apply. Applications will be considered from researchers 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 researchers of any nationality.


How to Apply

Applications for the 2018 round of Fellowships close on Friday 27 April 2018. 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.

Although applicants are welcome to apply through any recognized university or research institution in the world, a number of investigators (listed in the program announcement) have already agreed to consider hosting a fellow in their research group. If an applicant thinks their Fellowship project might fit well with the general research interests of one or more of those persons, the applicant is welcome to make contact with the potential host to discuss how their proposed research would fit in that person’s laboratory or institution.

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.

Your complete application must be submitted no later than 27 April 2018.

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

We look forward to receiving your application.

Forms:

Announcement

Application Form

Budget Instructions

Project Description

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.

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 2013. 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 you completed your PhD 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 2018. Fellowships must begin no later than the last day of 2018.

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.