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Faculty Fellowships

Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellowships, awarded annually since 2015, provide a two-course release from teaching during a single academic year to support ethics-related research projects by the faculty of Penn State. For each fellowship, the Rock Ethics Institute provides up to $7,000 in course buyout funds to compensate for releases. Up to two fellowships are awarded annually.
by Rebecca Bennitt Oct 08, 2018

Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellowships, awarded annually since 2015, provide a two-course release from teaching during a single academic year to support ethics-related research projects by the faculty of Penn State. For each fellowship, the Rock Ethics Institute provides up to $10,000 in course buyout funds to compensate for releases. Up to two fellowships are awarded annually. 

The fellowship program aims to encourage innovative approaches to ethics-related research across disciplines, to support interdisciplinary engagement and collaborations among faculty, and to promote moral literacy and leadership across the University system. Fellows are invited to participate actively in the Rock Ethics Institute’s intellectual community, to attend and participate in Institute events, and to present and discuss their work at public colloquia.

Projects that engage with the research interests of the Rock’s Core Faculty and the Institute’s current research initiatives (as listed below) are especially encouraged. We also welcome proposals that engage with community partners, incorporate students as research collaborators, or are likely to lead to curricular innovations. 

The Rock Ethics Institute currently supports research initiatives on the themes of Agricultural and Food Ethics (the Fields Project); Health and Ethics; Climate and Sustainability Ethics; Critical Philosophy of Race; Democracy and Human Rights; Engineering, Technology, and Ethics; Gender and Sex Equity; Moral Agency and Moral Development; Religion, Spirituality, and Public Life; and Restorative Justice.

Eligibility:  

Penn State faculty members at all career levels and established research scientists are eligible to apply. Faculty may apply individually or as two-member teams. Each faculty member may submit only one proposal per year. While faculty from any Penn State campus are eligible, those not in residence at University Park should explain how they will meet the Institute’s expectations for active involvement in our intellectual community, collaborations with Institute faculty, and attendance at Institute events during the fellowship year. Faculty are eligible to apply for fellowships from multiple centers or institutes associated with the College of the Liberal Arts, but applicants awarded more than one fellowship for the same academic year can only accept one for that year.

Fellowship Proposals are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The centrality of ethical issues, broadly understood, to the project;
  • The significance and impact of the project, including its likelihood of resulting in high-quality research outcomes, such as peer-reviewed publications, creative works, or external funding proposals;
  • The interdisciplinary and collaborative potential of the project, including its likelihood of engaging with Rock faculty and the Institute’s research initiatives, and its promise for establishing collaborations that continue beyond the funding period;
  • The project’s potential for bringing added value through engagement with community partners, incorporation of student collaborators, the potential for curricular innovation, or other contributions to promoting moral literacy and leadership on or off campus. 

Those interested in applying should read through the application process


CURRENT FACULTY FELLOWS



Kathryn Sophia Belle (Kathryn T. Gines)

Kathryn Sophia Belle (Kathryn T. Gines)

Associate Professor, Philosophy

Project: "The Ethics of Buddhism at the Intersections of Race and Black Feminism"

InThe Ethics of Buddhism at the Intersections of Race and Black Feminism, I argue that Buddhism provides tools for ethical literacy and leadership to analyze and address oppressive systems (e.g. caste, racism, colonialism, sexism, heterosexism) on multiple levels. This project brings together my expertise in Critical Philosophy of Race and Black Feminist Intersectionality to Buddhist Studies, while also addressing the under-theorization of Buddhism in Critical Philosophy of Race and Black Feminist Intersectionality discourses. It aligns directly with several of The Rock Ethics Institute’s initiatives including Critical Philosophy of Race, Religious and Spiritual Ethics, Gender and Sex Equity, and Restorative Justice.

More about Kathryn Sophia Belle...



Forrest  Briscoe

Forrest Briscoe

Professor of Management and Organization

Project: "Ethical Privacy & Security Considerations Related to Human Genomics Databases"

This project researches ethical privacy and security considerations related to human genomics databases. These databases are new, growing quickly, and play an important role in advancing health care. Yet they also carry unique privacy risks because they reveal sensitive medical and behavioral information that can have significant consequences for individuals and their families. The databases also carry unique security risks because their contents cannot be effectively anonymized, making the data vulnerable to breaches and unintended uses as they are being shared and accessed by academic researchers, medical practitioners, technology and pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies.