Research Fellowships

Hesburgh Half View

Award Amount: up to $75,000 (Stipend may be used for salary replacement, research, and relocation.)

Our Research Fellowships are for philosophers, theologians, or religious studies scholars working on topics that bear some connection to philosophy of religion. In recent years, we've funded work in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and history.


For AY2020-2021 we will award up to 2 fellowships. Special preference will be given to applications that prioritize projects addressing one or more of the following research questions (or related questions):

Narrative Conceptions of the Self

  1. Is there a viable non-eliminativist, non-substance view of persons, construed as subjects of thought or experience, according to which narrative (either in the ordinary sense, or on some plausible revisionary understanding) is partly constitutive of a person? 

  2. If a person is a substance and not (even partly) constituted by narrative, might there still be something else—a self, or an identity—that is narratively constituted and is, in some theoretically identifiable way, metaphysically, psychologically, and theologically important? 

  3. What is the relationship between a narrative conception of the human person and other apparently rival conceptions—e.g., substance dualism, property dualism, hylomorphic and non-hylomorphic versions of animalism, “brainism” (the view that persons are brains, or parts thereof), Lynne Baker’s constitutionalism, and the various forms of emergentism defended by philosophers?

  4. What role do narrative construction and the appropriation or ownership of a narrative play in explaining or bringing about changes in a person’s psychological traits, self-understanding, or identity?

  5. What role do narrative construction and the appropriation or ownership of a narrative play in other kinds of positive self-transformation?

  6. What are the constraints on—i.e., the conditions for and obstacles to—narrative appropriation? 

  7. What are the implications of such narrative theories for the thesis that God, or Jesus of Nazareth (understood as God incarnate) is a self and an agent? (Or, conversely, what do the key tenets of Christian theology pertaining to these issues imply about the viability of such narrative theories?)

  8. What possibilities are opened or closed by such narrative theories for understanding the ways in which human persons can be transformed by grace, or indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

Read more about this funding cycle's theme: Narrative Conceptions of the Self Background
(See also our FAQs page for answers to common questions.)
Application Instructions