The Rock Ethics Institute

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Faculty Fellowships

by Rob Peeler Aug 23, 2017

Learn more about our current Faculty Fellows by visiting their listing on our “People” webpage. Also visit the following links to learn about past Faculty Fellows and their research projects: Sarah Clark Miller (2015-2016), Jeffrey Catchmark (2016-2017), Rosemary Jolly (2016-2017), and Amit Sharma (2016-2017).


Program Description

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 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 three fellowships are awarded annually.

The fellowship program aims to encourage innovative approaches to ethics-related research across the 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; 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 and Spirituality Ethics; 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, faculty who are 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.

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, 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

Please direct any questions you have about the faculty fellowships to by filling out our online contact form