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Call for Applications for AAR-Luce Fellowships in Religion and International Affairs

Washington DC LandmarksDeadline: 5:00 pm EDT, March 31, 2016

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) invites applications for AAR-Luce Fellowships in Religion and International Affairs. The program places scholars with PhDs or ThDs, grounded in the humanities or related social sciences, at the US Department of State, under the Department’s Franklin Fellows Program. Fellows will participate in substantive work of the Department involving religion and international affairs. Fellows will receive a stipend of up to $6,500 per month plus up to $1,500 as a relocation subsidy.

Funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Fellowship program seeks to bring scholarly knowledge and critical perspectives to the analysis of contemporary issues and the shaping of policy; and to offer scholars opportunities to contribute their expertise while learning about the functioning of a US government agency.

To be eligible, applicants must:
1) hold a PhD or ThD, grounded in the humanities or related social sciences
2) be a US citizen (a State Department requirement)
3) have at least five years’ full-time professional work experience
4) be available to work full-time on site in Washington, DC, for twelve months
5) possess substantial academic expertise on religion outside of North America
6) not currently be a US government employee

Applicants of any faculty status are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants could include, for example, newly minted PhDs, contingent faculty, faculty emeriti/ae, scholars working outside of academia, or tenured faculty with upcoming sabbatical leave—provided that the requirement of five years’ professional work experience has been met.

The fellowship program especially seeks candidates (1) who have substantial experience or interest in communicating their knowledge of religion to non-academic audiences and (2) whose expertise or experience suggests they could work effectively in a government agency.

Of particular interest currently are applicants who work on the following topics:

  • religion and conflict, especially the Sunni-Shia divide
  • religion in in East Asia, or regarding Hindu nationalism in India, or Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Burma
  • religion in the Western Balkans, especially interfaith relations, toleration, and Islam
  • refugee issues in Europe
  • religious freedom issues in Europe, such as anti-Semitism and anti-Islam sentiment/activity
  • religion issues in Latin America, including the role of Roman Catholicism
  • religious freedom in Central and South America
  • religious freedom in Africa and violent groups claiming religious motives (e.g., Boko Haram)
  • historical perspectives on the interaction of Christianity and Islam in Africa in the colonial era

However, by the time the Fellow selection process is completed, additional Department of State interests are likely to have arisen. Thus, candidates with other interests are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm EDT, March 31, 2016, and must include:

1) completed application form
2) cover statement (limited to 1 page) highlighting, elaborating, or adding info complementary to your résumé
3) résumé (limited to 2 pages)
4) writing sample (limited to 4 pages) evincing intellectual ability but aimed at a non-academic audience
5) two recommendation letters (one academic and one non-academic professional, OR two academic)

Recommenders should submit their letters to:
https://aar.wufoo.com/forms/aarluce-fellowships-letter-of-recommendation/.

All other application materials should be submitted by applicants to: 
https://aar.wufoo.com/forms/aarluce-fellowships-in-religion-and-intl-affairs/.

Submission Process: All eligible applications are peer-reviewed by a panel convened by the AAR. Leading candidates are then selected to be interviewed. These interviews are expected to occur in May. Finalists will then apply to the Department of State’s Franklin Fellows program and be reviewed by the Department of State. Fellows are expected to be identified by July 15, contingent on the awardee subsequently passing security and ethics clearances by the Department. Clearances can take on average from four to eight months and sometimes longer to complete. Fellows are expected to start work between January and June 2017, depending how long clearances take, an awardee’s availability, and Department of State needs. Be sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before applying.


Awarded Fellows

Evan Berry (2016)
Jerome E. Copulsky (2016)
Todd Green (2016)