SAPIENS Public Fellowship

  • Doctorates in Anthropology
  • Doctorates in Related Fields
  • Independent Scholars


This program places a recent PhD, in anthropology or a closely aligned discipline, in a 2-year fellowship at SAPIENS, the Foundation’s online magazine. The Fellow gains experience in the work of the magazine, expands their professional network, and receives professional mentoring.

Acknowledging the precarity that many anthropologists face early in their careers, the Foundation designed this fellowship to meet the needs of scholars for whom relocation may be a hardship. Fellows choose between telecommuting or working at the Foundation’s headquarters in New York City. The Foundation cannot sponsor U.S. visas, but successful applicants can be non-U.S. citizens and carry out their fellowship duties from outside the U.S.

This initiative also aims to expand opportunities in our field by demonstrating how skills developed in the advanced study of anthropology have wide application, both within and beyond academia. The SAPIENS Public Fellowship helps recent PhDs build careers in public media and science communication.

Fellows participate in a wide range of the magazine’s operations. Their responsibilities might include:

  • Managing the online submission system
  • Identifying articles by anthropologists for republication
  • Uploading new pieces and proofreading with the team
  • Contributing to the title decision process and social media plans
  • Assisting in selecting and commissioning art and photographs for articles
  • Collaborating with technical contractors to maintain website functionality
  • Organizing workshops
  • Writing articles for publication
  • Honing their developmental editing skills.

The best candidates for this fellowship are recent PhDs who, by choice rather than circumstance, aspire to careers beyond academia. They have a sincere interest in public anthropology and a record of success in both academic and extra-academic endeavors.

Award Money

The SAPIENS Public Fellowship comes with a stipend of $50,000 per year. New fellowships are awarded roughly every 2 years.

Application Deadline

Application announcements for the next available 2-year SAPIENS Public Fellowship will be posted through the University of Chicago Press.

Who Can Apply

Doctorates in Anthropology, Doctorates in Related Fields, Independent Scholars

Applicants should hold a PhD in anthropology or a closely related field. Qualified scholars of any nationality or institutional affiliation may apply. The Foundation gives preference to applicants who are untenured or do not yet have a permanent academic position.

Most grantees must complete all requirements of their existing award, including submission of the final report, before applying for a new award. But if you have a Conference and Workshop Grant, a Global Initiatives Grant, or a Historical Archives Program grant, you are welcome to apply; if so, please contact us for more information. Prior recipients of a SAPIENS Public Fellowship are not eligible to apply.

Reviewers look for:

  • Academic and extra-academic accomplishments
  • A demonstrated relationship between the applicant’s experience and the fellowship’s goals, as well as overall fit for the position
  • A demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in public anthropology.

To present yourself in the best possible light, please follow all application instructions when posted. All eligible applications undergo the Foundation’s peer-review process. Applicants who advance to the final round sometimes participate in interviews with Foundation and SAPIENS staff. If you have questions, contact us at editor•

We accept applications approximately every 2 years; notices will be posted by the University of Chicago Press.