Templeton Fellowships

Pursuing the Unity of Knowledge:
Integrating Religion, Science, and the Academic Disciplines

With grant support from the John Templeton Foundation, the NDIAS has worked to chart a new course for future scholarship by offering Templeton Fellowships that encourage scholars to return to reflection on the broad questions that link multiple areas of inquiry and to do so in a manner that embraces a value-oriented interpretation of the world. Especially important to a complex, highly technical world is the integration of the sciences focused as they are on the descriptive, with other disciplines, namely philosophy and theology, with their concern for normative questions. 

Templeton Fellowships provided an opportunity to integrate the exact sciences into a vision of the unity of knowledge based on the categories of the true, the good, and the beautiful; an opportunity to foster a vibrant and substantive interdisciplinary exchange in which ”secular” and spiritual knowledge are seen not in opposition to but as complementary elements of the human pursuit of truth.

Templeton Fellowships provided the opportunity and the environment for distinguished scholars to rethink basic assumptions underlying their academic disciplines and to pursue advanced and creative research on one of the following questions:

1. What is human creativity and how does it manifest itself?

2. What is the place of the human mind in nature?

3. How do the life sciences and the humanities contribute to an explanation of the unique features of humans?

4. How can the plurality of religious traditions be integrated with a philosophical monotheism?


These questions invited research projects of an advanced nature that link multiple disciplines, especially philosophy, theology, and the sciences. Successful research proposals hold the potential to act as a catalyst for new thinking and an advance of knowledge in several disciplines.

Details on the Four Templeton Fellowship Questions

About Templeton Fellowships at the NDIAS

With the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study has had seven residential Templeton Fellows between 2013 and 2016. These distinctive fellowships offered an extraordinary measure of scholarly support, including:

• a stipend of up to $100,000;
• fully furnished faculty housing (for those who reside outside of the Michiana area);
• up to $3,000 in research expenditures;
• a private office at the NDIAS, with a personal desktop computer and printer;
• access to two research assistants for up to 10 hours per week during each 15-week semester;
• participation in the NDIAS research workshops and events, including the two weekly seminars held at the Institute;
• access to University of Notre Dame libraries and other facilities;
• registration, meals, and materials for the NDIAS conference;
• hosted collegial dinners and scholarly events; and
• the opportunity to develop and to participate in major presentations of research, especially with Templeton Colloquia.



Distinguished senior scholars with extensive records of academic accomplishment and who have had a considerable impact on their discipline were encouraged to apply.

Outstanding junior scholars with academic records of exceptional promise and whose research agendas align with the purpose and parameters of the program were also invited to apply.

Fellowship Expectations

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study is a residential institute that values collegial interaction and a vibrant intellectual exchange on major issues and questions of value. The greatest advances do not occur in solitude, but in the company of others who share a passion for advancement and are open to dialogue and collaboration.

Templeton Fellows were expected:

• to remain in residence at the University during their fellowship;
• to contribute intellectually to each of the weekly seminars (held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Institute) and periodic presentations of the fellows’ research;
• to engage the University community through the presentation of seminars, workshops, papers, or other academic interactions [Templeton Fellows also present their research at the Templeton Colloquia. Templeton Colloquia provide Fellows with access to up to 20 premier scholars from multiple disciplines. The Colloquia promote interdisciplinary engagement on the topics and questions identified above; Fellows present their research to this group of scholars for the purpose of feedback and discussion on their ideas and findings.];
• to complete their research proposal during the fellowship period;
• to disseminate the results of their completed project in an manner appropriate for their project and discipline (book or journal publication(s), presentation(s) to major academic organizations or conferences, etc.) and within a reasonable period after the completion of their fellowship;
• six to twelve months following the end of the fellowship, to submit a report to the NDIAS explaining how the fellowship impacted the results, concepts, and/or methods employed in the research project; and
• to inform the NDIAS of the publication and presentation of research completed during the fellowship period and to provide the NDIAS with copies of papers, articles, and books resulting from their fellowship. 


While in residence, in addition to the expectations and responsibilities of their appointment, fellows were invited to actively participate in the intellectual and cultural community at Notre Dame. Additionally, there were many opportunities to engage with colleagues and scholars from the University of Notre Dame, from universities in Chicago and nearby, and with guest speakers through the Institute’s many events.

Thank you for your interest in the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study's fellowship program. As the grant period associated with this fellowship type concluded in 2016, there are no Templeton Fellowships at the NDIAS being offered at this time. Please direct any questions you may have on the fellowship program to Carolyn Sherman at csherman@nd.edu.

With grant support from the