Institute for Humane Studies PhD Scholarship Awards, USA

Publish Date: Dec 08, 2015

Deadline: Mar 01, 2016

The IHS PhD Scholarship awards $1,500 to entering and currently enrolled graduate students in doctoral programs.

Each year IHS awards 50 PhD Scholarships to applicants intending careers in higher education or other academic pursuits whose work advances the principles of individual liberty and economic freedom.

Additional benefits for IHS PhD Scholarship recipients:
  • Eligibility to apply for the IHS Humane Studies Fellowship that grants up to $15,000 a year toward academic expenses
  • Access to a vast network of over 1,400 liberty-advancing scholars to help you with every step of your academic career
  • A mentoring program that connects you with a scholar who can offer experience and guidance
  • Invitations to attend exclusive events like IHS Research Colloquia that provide opportunities to get feedback on current research from top scholars and to hone conference presentation skills
  • Access to Career Development Seminars - and Online Workshops - to help you with everything from overcoming procrastination, to finishing your dissertation, to exploring the online teaching space
  • Invitations to Advanced Topics Weekend Seminars co-sponsored with Liberty Fund that explores classical liberal ideas in greater detail
  • Invitations to academic receptions with leading scholars in your region

The application for the 2016-2017 IHS Ph.D. Scholarship is now open. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2016.

Eligibility for the IHS Ph.D. Scholarship:

The IHS PhD Scholarship is open to full-time graduate students who will be enrolled in a PhD program in the 2016-2017 academic year.  Preference is given to applicants doing work in the humanities and social sciences, particularly economics, history, philosophy, and political science.

Applicants for the IHS PhD Scholarship must demonstrate research interest in the area of individual and economic freedom and its impact on societies and culture as well as a strong overall academic record.

Please note: Alumni of IHS funding and in-person educational programs should apply for the Humane Studies Fellowship.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When will Ph.D. Scholarship applicants be notified of their status?

Applicants for the IHS Ph.D. Scholarships will be notified on or around May 1, 2016.

I’m an undergraduate currently in the process of applying to grad school. Am I eligible for a PhD Scholarship?

Yes. Entering graduate students are eligible for the IHS PhD scholarship, even if they have not selected a school yet. Winners will be required to show proof of enrollment before receiving their award.

I have participated in other IHS programs, can I apply?

If you are an alum of IHS programs you can actually apply for our Humane Studies Fellowship program which awards up to $15,000 a year toward academic expenses. The IHS PhD Scholarship is intended for students who have not previously received funding from IHS or participated in an in-person educational program with us.

I am working on my doctorate in the hard sciences. Should I apply for a PhD Scholarship?

PhD Scholarships are awarded to candidates whose research will contribute to ideas of a free society. If you can demonstrate how your work is applicable then you should apply for an IHS PhD Scholarship.

I’m in my second year of my doctoral program in Economics. Could I use the PhD Scholarship to cover travel costs for research?

The IHS PhD Scholarship can be used toward tuition, fees, books, and class supplies. For students seeking funding for travel or research, we encourage you to apply for the IHS Conference & Research Grant - that awards up to $750 to cover those costs.

How to Apply

To begin your application for the IHS PhD Scholarship, you must first create an IHS account - Once you’ve registered, complete your profile and proceed to the online PhD Scholarship application.

The application requires the following information:

  1. Which of the following best describes your plans for the 2016-17 academic year:
    A. Entering a new graduate program (perhaps one that you are applying to this year)
    B. Continuing your current graduate program
  2. If A., a list of the programs to which you have applied or plan to apply in order of preference.
  3. Your discipline and specialty.
  4. Citizenship status.
  5. GRE, GMAT, or LSAT test scores and percentile. Unofficial scores are acceptable.
  6. Not including tuition assistance, what other funding you are receiving (stipend, fellowship, etc.)
  7. A one-sentence description of your research project for someone who is a well-educated non-expert.
  8. A one-paragraph description of your research project to a peer in your discipline.
  9. Whether you have taken your comprehensive/qualifying exams.
  10. Whether you passed all of your comprehensive/qualifying exams.
  11. A titular list of your publication record, including any articles, papers, or books that have been published, contracted, or are in the revise and resubmit stage.
  12. How many courses you have taught.
  13. Your primary career goal.
  14. An explanation, 500 words or fewer, of how you hope to advance liberty after graduation.
  15. List five intellectual figures or books that have most influenced you and provide a single sentence for each stating how it has influenced your thinking on public affairs.
  16. An explanation, in 750 words or fewer, of what highly regarded book, article, or general theory do you take to be misguided in a way that is inimical to liberty, why, and what implications would a correction of this work or view have for understanding liberty.


  1. Your CV.
  2. A recent writing sample of 3,000 words or less. If your preferred writing sample is longer than 3,000 words, a partial sample of that work is acceptable.
  3. An electronic transcript from your current (or most recent) institution. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  4. If you have defended your dissertation proposal, submit your proposal defense.

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