Graduate Student Cross-Training Fellowship

Apply Today

2021-2022 GSCT Fellowship Announcement

The Society of Christian Philosophers invites applications for its fifth round of its Graduate Student Cross-Training (GSCT) Fellowship Program, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with fellowships to begin fall 2021. 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 were: Luke Kallberg (SLU, neuroscience), Sabrina Little (Baylor, developmental psychology), Derek McAllister (Baylor, psychology), Ashley Potts (South Florida, Psychology), and Alexandra Romanyshyn (SLU, psychology). The current 2020-2021 fellows are: Christopher Arledge (Johns Hopkins, physics), Dennis Bray (St. Andrews, psychology), Jennifer McDonald (CUNY, psychology), John Rosenbaum (Baylor, empirical linguistics), Ysabel Vandenberg (SLU, psychology).

Program Directors

Dr. Kevin Timpe

Calvin University

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. 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 also be required to participate in two virtual events. The first of these will be reserved only for fifth-round fellows and take place in early to mid February 2022. The second, to be held in late spring 2022, will be open to all previous fellows as well. The second workshop will be a forum for past fellows to talk about their current scientifically engaged philosophy of religion or philosophical theology and network with previous fellows; there will also be a time for each participant to engage in some speculative brainstorming for future research ideas.

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, 2021.
  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.

John Templeton Foundation employees, officers, and Trustees are not eligible.

Previous rounds of the GSCT fellowships had a two-stage application process. This round will begin directly with the Full Proposal Stage.

Full Proposal Application Instructions

The deadline for full proposals is 1 March 2021, and awards will be announced by the end of April. Fellowships are to begin fall 2021. Applicants must submit to the following to [email protected]:

  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. indication that they are a member of either the Society of Christian Philosophers, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, or the American Catholic Philosophical Association
  4. a 10-15 page writing sample
  5. a detailed description, between 1000 and 1500 words, of their cross-training plans, indicating (i) the empirical science in which the applicant is interested in cross training; (ii) what topics or questions in philosophy or theology the applicant believes cross-training will help them investigate; and (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) and how the cross-training will shape their 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.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated 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, and
  4. potential of the applicant to undertake substantive, high-quality interdisciplinary research within the domain of JTF’s mission to fund “Science and the Big Questions.”

Applicants will be notified of selection decision by the end of April 2021.

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