Graduate Student Cross-Training Fellowship

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2020-2021 GSCT Fellowship Announcement

The Society of Christian Philosophers invites applications for its fourth round of the Graduate Student Cross-Training (GSCT) Fellowship Program, with fellowships to begin fall 2020. The GSCT Fellowship program is intended to equip graduate student members of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, or the Evangelical Theological Society with an opportunity to take up to one academic year to develop competency in an empirical science connected with their research. The 2017-2018 fellows were: Allison Thornton (Baylor, biology), Isaac Wilhelm (Rutgers, physics), Vivek Mathew (Cornell, cognitive science and psychology), Eddy Keming Chen (Rutgers, physics), and Hayden Kee (Fordham, developmental psychology). The 2018-2019 fellows were: Nick Byrd (FloridaState, social psychology), Brittany Gentry (South Carolina, physics), Paul Rezkalla (Florida State, evolutionary anthropology), Brandon Rickabaugh (Baylor, neuroscience), and Wes Siscoe (Arizona, neuroscience/cognitive science). The 2019-2020 fellows currently are: Luke Kallberg (SLU, neuroscience), Sabrina Little (Baylor, developmental psychology), Derek McAllister (Baylor, psychology), Ashley Potts (South Florida, Psychology), and Alexandra Romanyshyn (SLU, psychology).

Program Directors

Dr. Kevin Timpe

Calvin College

Dr. Christian B. Miller

Wake Forest University

2017-2018 fellows Allison Thornton and Eddy Keming Chen reflect on their time as GSCT fellows here:


Up to five fellowships will be awarded, pending final approval. Each GSCT Fellowship will provide recipients with a stipend of $31,000 and an additional research fund for the applicant of $3,000. This fund can support the purchase of books, journal subscriptions, or travel to disciplinary conferences, subject to the following conditions: (a) any books or journal/articles subscriptions must be for the purposes of cross-training in an empirical discipline; and (b) any travel costs must be for the purposes of traveling to a professional meeting, conference, or workshop in the cross-training discipline. The Society of Christian Philosophers will contract with recipients’ home institutions for the award monies, and the fellows’ home institutions will administer the award on behalf of the Society of Christian Philosophers. The home institution will be expected to continue providing fringe benefits and tuition support. At the end of the fellowship period, each fellow will submit a 5-page narrative summary of their fellowship experience. Fellows will be expected to be part of a funded alumni workshop for past fellows in spring of 2022.

Course of Study

Eligible sciences for cross-training include psychology (with the exclusion of clinical psychology), physics, neuroscience, biology, zoology, paleontology, genetics, astronomy, and cognitive science. Acceptable courses of study might include a plan to audit or take for credit undergraduate and graduate-level courses, take up residence in a laboratory, or earn a degree in an empirical science. Fellows will be expected to undertake their study at their home institution, but study at another institution may be warranted in rare instances. All fellows must have a faculty mentor in their cross-training discipline.

Eligibility Requirements

The following requirements must be met for an application to be eligible for consideration:

  1. Applicant is a member in good standing of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, or the Evangelical Theological Society.
  2. Applicant is enrolled in a terminal philosophy PhD program at an accredited university.
  3. Applicant has reached ABD status, or will do so by June 1, 2020.
  4. Eligible scientific disciplines for cross-training are psychology (with the exclusion of clinical psychology), physics, neuroscience, biology, zoology, paleontology, genetics, astronomy, and cognitive science. Cross-training in mathematics, logic, environmental science, economics, medicine, and political science will not be supported (with the exception of behavioral economics). Proposals expressing an interest in cross-training for the purposes of research in political philosophy, in philosophy of law, or in applied ethics, where this includes bioethics, environmental ethics, sexual ethics, medical ethics, and business ethics, are not eligible.
  5. John Templeton Foundation employees, officers, and Trustees are not eligible.

Initial Letter of Intent Application Instructions

Application review will have two stages. At the first, Letter of Intent stage, applicants must submit the following by January 24, 2020:

  1. A current CV.
  2. A 1-2 sentence note from the dissertation advisor and from a faculty mentor in the cross-training discipline indicating their support of this application.
  3. A 400-word Project Statement describing (i) the empirical science proposed for cross-training; (ii) what topics or questions the applicant believes cross-training will help him or her investigate, (iii) how these topics or questions address one or more big questions about the nature and purposes of divinity, the nature of humanity or personal flourishing, or the fundamental laws, properties, or structures of reality; (iv) what the proposed course of cross-training might involve in terms of classes taken/audited, labs visited, and books/articles read.

Letter of Intent application materials should be sent electronically to [email protected]. Any questions should also be sent to this address.

Full Proposal Application Instructions

By February 3, 2020, roughly 10-12 applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. Full proposals must be submitted by March 13, 2020 and include:

  1. An updated CV (if it has changed from previous submission).
  2. A 10-15 page writing sample.
  3. A more detailed description, between 1000 and 1500 words, of the cross-training plans, and how the cross-training will shape the applicant’s future research. This description might include: (a) course descriptions for classes to be audited or taken for credit; (b) an annotated bibliography of books and articles to be read; or (c) laboratory training to be undertaken
  4. A letter from the applicant’s department chair committing the department to pay for the applicant’s tuition expenses and fringe benefits during the period of his or her fellowship.

Full proposal application materials should be sent electronically to [email protected]. Any questions should also be sent to this address.

The five fellowship winners will be decided by April 30, 2020. Fellowships will begin in the fall of 2020, and end in the spring of 2021.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated at each stage according to the following criteria, in ascending order of importance:

  1. Academic credentials of the applicant.
  2. Professional standing and professional accomplishment to date of the applicant.
  3. The appropriateness of the described course of cross-training for the goal of becoming competent in the chosen empirical science.
  4. The potential of the applicant to undertake substantive, high-quality interdisciplinary research on big questions.

The Society of Christian Philosophers gratefully acknowledges the funding of the John Templeton Foundation for this program.