The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University invites applications for the Fellows-in-Residence program under the direction of Professor Danielle Allen. The program brings together a small group of Fellows to work closely over the course of the year on pressing issues in ethics. The majority of Fellows will be selected in relation to an annual theme, but in each year some “open” slots will be reserved for applicants working on any issue in ethics. In each year, the goal will be to craft a cohort in which “thematic” fellows and “open” fellows will all find valuable intellectual partnerships to support and spur their work. For the 2016-17 academic year, the theme at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics will again be Diversity, Justice, and Democracy. The purpose of this theme is to explore how to achieve fair and just forms of democratic life in conditions of significant demographic diversity.
More than 200 years into the modern experiment with democratic forms of rule, democratic aspirations continue to founder on the rocks of racial and ethnic hierarchies, and other patterns of domination constructed on social categorizations of difference. In the case of the U.S., African American disadvantage continues to be entrenched, fifty years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 transformed the legal landscape; Latino disadvantage has also emerged as a pressing problem as has a low level of political engagement among Asian Americans. In Europe, we are witnessing the resurgence of the far-right, in response to dramatic demographic diversification, occurring simultaneously with economic instability. Civil war related to ethnic violence has devastated many African countries in recent years. India has the world’s largest affirmative action program and yet to cross caste and religious lines in marriage is to open oneself and one’s family to abuse and often murder by the locally dominant. These are just a small set of examples of the hard problems that currently define the political and ethical landscape of democracy in contexts of diversity.
The question of how to achieve fair and just forms of democratic life in conditions of significant demographic diversity must be tackled afresh, from the ground up. Importantly, pursuing answers to this question requires uniting normative and positive, or ethical and empirical, forms of expertise, through multi-disciplinary partnership. The ethics of diversity also intersect with important work in all of the professional schools. Conversations around this theme that unite faculty in the arts and sciences with faculty in the professional schools would be productive. And, of course, issues pertaining to the ethics of diversity constantly generate tensions for university campuses themselves. The theme should provide a context for advancing a research-based understanding of how college campuses too can do better at the ethics of diversity.
Residency and Requirements: The one-year fellowship term runs the course of the academic year, typically from the beginning of September through the end of May. All Fellows-in-Residence will be expected to devote the majority of their time to their individual projects and to participate in regular work-in-progress seminars. In addition, Fellows whose work intersects most directly with the annual theme will be invited to participate in the thematic components of the Center’s programming, which will consist of public lectures, conferences, and workshops.
Eligibility: A broad range of researchers is invited to submit proposals to become residential Fellows. Tenured and untenured faculty are invited to participate. Postdoctoral applications are encouraged, as well as proposals from researchers in industry, government, or NGOs seeking sabbatical time to pursue research directly relevant to ethical issues. Applicants from any discipline or professional field will be considered. Each applicant should propose an individual research and/or writing project. Applicants must have a PhD, professional degree, or equivalent professional experience. The Fellowships are open to all regardless of citizenship.
How to Apply
- Submit the following as a single PDF file via email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
– Letter describing the intersection of your work with the theme and/or with issues in ethics generally (approximately 500 words)
– Curriculum Vitae
– Research Proposal for the project you would undertake (approximately 1,000 words)
– Scholarly paper (in English), preferably written or published within the past two years
– The names of two references, which can be entered in the online form below.
In addition to the above materials, please complete and submit this online form.
Deadline: The deadline date for receipt of applications for projects beginning September 2016 is December 1, 2015.
Stipend: Post-doctoral fellows will be paid according to a salary structure that is based on number of years of postdoctoral experience ranging from $42,000 to $53,000. Faculty members who will spend their sabbatical year at the Center will be eligible to receive up to one-half of their academic year salary (not exceeding a maximum stipend set each fall) for the fellowship period. Their home institution is expected to provide at least half the salary, plus all benefits. The maximum for the 2016-17 year is $75,000. Overseas fellows and those not on an academic track are eligible for stipends depending on circumstance.