The Ian Ramsey Centre will award ten scholarships which will support promising graduate students and early career scholars who wish to spend time as Visiting Scholars at leading universities in the United States and Europe, typically for up to six months duration.

Successful applicants will be expected to offer at least one presentation at their host institutions, their home institutions, and to attend the final conference of the project to enhance experience, networking, educational opportunities, and broader impact.

All successful applicants have now been notified. You can see the Oxford Templeton Latin America Scholars here.

You can download the call for applications here.

Summary

The Oxford Templeton Latin America Scholarships is a scholarship scheme which aims to support promising graduate students and early career scholars from Latin America, who wish to spend time as visiting scholars at leading universities in the United States, Europe or other places in the world (not in Latin America), for up to six months duration. The scheme, developed by the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford, and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, is intended to help foster the education of exceptional Latin American early career researchers in interdisciplinary academic work, by offering grants of U$S14,780.

Up to ten successful applicants will be expected to spend no more than six months in their proposed host University in the United States or Europe, with active participation in seminars, research group discussions, and conferences where appropriate. The second round will award four scholarships. It is expected that Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholars will become involved with existing research or academic groups in the host institutions for the duration of their scholarships. Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholars will also be expected to offer at least one presentation at their host institution, one at their home institution, and to attend the final conference of the IRC project in 2017. Finally, Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholars will be expected to submit a final report stating the research and activities carried out during the scholarship, and future plans arising from their activities.

The first round of applications has awarded six Oxford Templeton Latin America Scholars. The second round of applications, offering four scholarships, has as deadline for submission of all documents 15 April 2016.

Key topics and themes

Applicants are free to select research topics for their scholarships across a broad range of possibilities, and the IRC encourages creative applications. The topics and themes should fall within the broad scope of the project as a whole and also involve some interdisciplinary component. So for example, applicants may want to work on topics surrounding the origin of life, issues concerning neuroscience and its implications to the philosophical or theological notion of the person, or cosmological developments which might relate to theological themes of creation. The detailed program of study and research will be determined by the candidate in dialogue with the host institution. Favourable consideration will be given to clear, focused research topics and questions, with the potential for broader implications.

Monetary amount

The monetary amount of each scholarship has been set at U$S14,780. Scholarship funds may be used to cover the following kind of expenses: accommodation; books and supplies; personal expenses; health insurance; tuition; travel to and from the home country and host institution; visa; and travel to and from the final IRC project conference.

The IRC has up to $5,000 additional funds to cover up to four scholars with special needs, such as additional family commitments. A request for additional funds should be explicitly mentioned in the application.

Eligibility (“Who can apply?”)

Latin American graduate students or early career scholars based at Latin American HEIs at the time of application, who have demonstrable institutional support from their home institutions, can apply for these scholarships.

The IRC expects to receive applications from Latin American graduate students, post-docs, and early career scholars, based in Latin American institutions at the time of application and for the duration of the scholarship. Applicants will be expected to work on research topics at the intersection of science, philosophy and/or theology, although the specific focus of their research could be drawn from a wide range of fields, including for example, but without being limited to, biology, cosmology, epistemology, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and theology.

Applicants must secure their conditional place at their proposed host institution in the United States or Europe before their application to this scholarship scheme. Applicants should contact the professors or research group leaders in the host institutions for a statement of support that also describes briefly how the applicant will spend their time.

The IRC expects the proposed host research groups to be at universities in the United States or Europe that provide the opportunity to interact with leading scholars in the research field of the candidate and, ideally, the potential for a longer-term research relationship.

Timing (“When can the scholarship be held?”)

Deadlines for application submissions are:

  • 15 February, 2016 for Letter of Intent (a simple note explaining your willingness to apply)
  • 15 April, 2016 for Full Application

Successful applicants can hold the Scholarship for up to six months, beginning any time from 1 July 2016 and finishing at the latest by 31 March 2017.

Requirements (“What is needed to make an application?”)

Details of requirements can be found on the request for applications. In summary, the requirements are:

  • A complete application form, including a summary of not more than 300 words and a statement of not more than 1,000 words, specifying their chosen host institution,describing the proposed research (including either a hypotheses if it is a science project, or a summary of the main idea or argument if the project is more philosophical or theological in nature), activities to be carried out during the scholarship duration and plans for publication, and stating how the scholarship will enhance their future academic career plans (if your application is either in Spanish or Portuguese, the 300 word summary should be submitted in English)
  • A CV
  • One relevant published or unpublished paper, of no more than 8,000 words
  • One letter from the home institution stating support for the application
  • One letter from their host institution stating support for the application
  • Two reference letters: Applicants should request two referees to send their references not later than the deadline. Referees should include in their recommendation letters comments on the applicant’s academic achievements so far, their prospective academic career, and the importance of the scholarship to the applicant’s work

Please note that the IRC is involved only the award of the scholarship, and will not be involved in the admission process of the host institution. Applicants will need to secure the support of a host institution prior to requesting the scholarship.

Selection criteria (“What does a successful application look like?”)

Scholars will be chosen from applicants in an open competition across Latin America administered by the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford. The applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • High academic promise, as evidenced by CVs, personal statements, and references
  • Quality, reputation, and endorsement of the host institution
  • Engagement with up to date developments
  • Quality of planning of research and study
  • Prospects for dialogue across disciplines, institutions, and confessions (treating also ‘atheism’ in this context as a confession)
  • Prospects for effective academic outcomes leading to changes.

The assessment will also look favourably on applicants that demonstrate potential for longer-term success that will maximise the benefit of investment. This potential will be assessed principally by the integration of the scholarships within longer-term plans for the personal development of applicants, and broader prospects for their home HEIs.

Scholars’ obligations

The Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholars will be required to:

  • Prepare a brief autobiographical statement in English and Spanish/Portuguese for the project website;
  • Offer at least one presentation at their host institution to the relevant research group;
  • Offer at least one presentation at their home institutions to their research group and the broader academic university community;
  • Attend the 2017 final conference of the IRC’s project;
  • Submit a half-term report by the third month of the scholarship;
  • Submit a final report by the second month after the completion of the scholarship;
  • Doctoral students, post-docs and early career scholars are expected to complete a draft of a paper to be submitted for publication soon after the grant.

Stages of the application and approval process (“What is done and when?”)

  1. Download the call for applications and application form and check carefully the detailed criteria
  2. Send a letter of inquiry indicating the intent of applying for the scholarship before 15 February 2016
  3. Secure a conditional place at the proposed host institution outside Latin America
  4. Request and collect supporting documents for the application
  5. Submit documents before the deadline: 15 April 2016

The IRC will inform all applicants of the outcome of the assessment process by 15 May 2016.

All correspondence and submission of application documents should be sent to Dr Ignacio Silva at latin.america@theology.ox.ac.uk.

Should you require further information about the application process, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Request for applications

For more detailed information download call for applications and the application form.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can apply?
Latin American graduate students, post-docs and early career scholars, based in Latin American institutions at the time of application and for the duration of the Scholarship.

2. Can I apply if I am a Latin American not based in Latin America?
The Scheme is intended to foster and promote collaboration between Latin American scholars based in Latin America and institutions outside of this region. Hence, only those based in Latin America can apply to this scheme.

3. What is a ‘host institution’?
A ‘host institution’ is the University that will receive you as an Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholar, i.e. any university in the United States or Europe which is willing to offer a place as a visiting scholar for the duration of the scholarship.

4. Which institutions could receive me as an Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholar?
The IRC expects that applicants will contact and apply to leading, world renowned universities in the United States or Europe. Some examples of these could be, but are not limited to, Notre Dame University, Princeton University, Harvard, Stanford, Yale University, Duke University, Cambridge University, University of Oxford, London School of Economics, University College London, Universidad de Navarra, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Universidad de Salamanca, Università Gregoriana, KU Leuven, VU University Amsterdam, among many others.

5. Can my host institution be elsewhere than in the United States and Europe?
Applications with host institutions not in the United States or in Europe will be considered on an individual basis. The main criterion is that the host institution should not be in Latin America.

6. Can I apply to the Ian Ramsey Centre to be my host institution?
The Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford, could act as host institution, and we expect that some applications will be considered for this. However, it is expected that the majority of Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholars will be based in other institutions.

7. Can I have a ‘visiting student’ status at my host institution?
Yes. The official status at the host institutions can be ‘visiting scholar’, ‘visiting student’ or some other title, according to the academic stage of the applicant, and the policies of the particular host. The kind of work envisaged, however, must be suitable for advanced students or early career researchers and involve engagement with current research issues.

8. Can I be an Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholar for longer than six months?
The Oxford Templeton Latin America Scholarships are for up to six months only. You may wish to extend your stay at your host institution at your own expense, but you will no longer be an Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholar for the additional period.

9. What is a ‘home institution’?
A ‘home institution’ is the University where the Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholar comes from, i.e. the institution where the applicant is normally based as a graduate student or early-career scholar.

10. When is the deadline?
The deadline for the current round of submissions is 15 April, 2016.

11. Who can write my reference letters?
Reference letters should be requested from former professors, or anyone who has had an academic relation to the applicant. Letters from relatives, friends, or professional, non-academic referees will not be accepted.

12. Can I submit two applications in the same round?
Each applicant can submit one application only per round to the scheme.

13. Can I apply in the second round to continue my Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholarship?
Since the scheme is intended to foster and promote as many Latin American scholars as possible, successful applicants in the first round will not be eligible for the second round.

14. If I am not successful in the first round, can I submit a new application in the second round?
Yes. First-round, unsuccessful applicants are welcome to re-apply in the second round.

15. Can I apply if I have participated in other activities of the IRC project?
Yes. There are no restrictions for participation in as many activities of the IRC project.

16. Which topics are acceptable?
Oxford Templeton Latin American Scholars are expected to work on topics related to the IRC project’s themes, involving interdisciplinary engagement between the sciences, philosophy and theology. So for example, you may want to work on topics surrounding the origin of life, issues concerning neuroscience and its implications to the notion of the person, or cosmological developments which might relate to theological themes of creation. These are broad, guiding, topics, and you should prepare a much more concise research plan. Projects focusing on fine-tuning, theistic evolution and the like are welcome, although the IRC will not consider projects on creationism and/or intelligent design.

17. When do I get paid?
Oxford Templeton Latin America Scholarships will be disbursed in two stages, at the beginning of the duration of the visit and half-way to the end, upon reception of a short report of research and activities.

18. Can I hold this Scholarship with other scholarship scheme?
Yes, you may hold the Oxford Templeton Latin America Scholarships with another scholarship scheme as long as you can demonstrate the necessity for doing so.

19. Where can I download the application form?
The scholarship application form can be found at the project’s website www.cyral.org/en/scholarships/.

See also: Project Grants – Workshops – Visiting Fellowships