SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship


Through a 3-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship provides in depth training for anthropologists in the craft of science communication and public scholarship—to transform their research into stories that engage in the public and spur them to rethink themselves and their world.

This competitive fellowship program will be held each autumn to select 10 fellows for the following year. Aspirants will submit a full application, with a particular focus on identifying researchers that fit with each year’s theme: The Wisdom of World Cultures (2022); The Impacts of Technology (2023); and Global Challenges, Cultural Opportunities (2024). Each fellow will be selected for the calendar year and expected to: (1) enthusiastically participate in regular Zoom meetings and trainings with their cohort; (2) pitch, develop, and publish at least one article for SAPIENS; (3) pitch, develop, and publish at least one article for another popular magazine; and (4) contribute to one SAPIENS Podcast episode, in collaboration with our production partner, House of Pod.

The SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship will bring numerous benefits to those selected. These include gaining the skills in popular writing and podcasting, individual mentoring with SAPIENS staff and partners, an expanded professional network, public recognition for one’s research, and a $2,500 award.

The intended applicant pool is diverse, as we seek anthropologists living and working around the globe from a broad spectrum of backgrounds. We hope to find anthropologists who are grand thinkers and embrace interdisciplinary inquiry—researchers asking different questions and working in different regions of the world who draw from an array of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The fellowship is open to advanced graduate students, professors at all levels, and researchers working in applied settings—with the goal of building a yearly cohort that brings diverse perspectives to the task of public scholarship, including age, experience, ethnicity, nationality, background, and research foci.


Eligibility requirements begin with the completion of the application. In addition, applicants must be pursuing a research area that addresses the year’s theme and cannot defer an offer of fellowship to a subsequent year. Successful applicants can only receive the fellowship one time; however, unsuccessful applicants may apply for the next cycle. Finally, applicants must be either an ABD Ph.D. student currently enrolled in an anthropology degree program, have a Ph.D. in anthropology, and/or have an appointment in an anthropology department.

Selection will be based on four criteria: (1) Quality of the applicant’s research and its potential contribution to anthropological knowledge, theory, and debate, (2) Convergence of the applicant’s research with the year’s theme, (3) Applicant’s potential as an engaged public scholar, and (4) Degree to which the applicant’s background, perspective, and experience will enrich the diversity of the magazine and selected cohort

The selection panel for all three years will consist of the Wenner-Gren President, the Principal Investigator, and the Project Director. Additionally, each year, we will recruit a SAPIENS editor, a senior researcher, and a junior researcher with expertise in that year’s theme to serve as a rotating member of the panel.