HISTORY The Institute for Humane Studies was founded in 1961 by Dr. F. A. "Baldy" Harper, a former economics professor at Cornell University. Part of a generation that had lived through two devastating world wars and seen the rise of numerous totalitarian dictatorships, Harper set up an institute devoted to research and education in the conviction that greater understanding of human affairs and freedom would foster peace, prosperity, and social harmony. History demonstrated the great capacity of humans to solve their problems through "the practice and potentials of freedom," and Harper envisioned this as the primary focus of the Institute for Humane Studies. "Not in government or force, not in slavery or war, but in the creative, and thereby spiritual, power of freedom, shall our inspiration be found," he wrote in an early proposal for the Institute. Based for many years in Menlo Park, California, IHS moved in 1985 to Fairfax, Virginia, and associated with George Mason University. At George Mason, IHS has been able to pursue its mission more effectively in cooperation with other organizations affiliated with the university. Today, with a primary focus on students, the Institute continues the work begun by Baldy Harper. MISSION The mission of IHS is to support the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and in advancing the principles and practice of freedom. Each year IHS awards over $1 million in scholarships to students from universities around the world. IHS also sponsors the attendance of hundreds of students at its summer seminars and provides various forms of career assistance, including mentoring, a job board, and online career development seminars. Through its programs, the Institute promotes the study of liberty across a broad range of disciplines, encouraging understanding, open inquiry, rigorous scholarship, and creative problem-solving.

Current Opportunities for Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University

Hayek Fund for Future Scholars

Opportunity Type: Scholarship
Application Deadline: Rolling
Description: Increase your chances of being accepted and funded in a graduate program through the Hayek Fund for Future Scholars (HFFS). HFFS funding is dedicated to offsetting application costs so that you can afford to increase the number of applications you submit.

Humane Studies Fellowships

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Description: The Humane Studies Fellowship is a non-residency fellowship program that awards up to $15,000 per year to pursue a liberty advancing career in academia. The prestigious fellowship also comes with individual advising and access to an extensive support network of over 5,000 scholars to help ensure academic success, both before and long after you receive your degree. Awards are renewable, winners may re-apply for each year of their studies. Since its inception, the Institute for Humane Studies has awarded more than $6.5 million to nearly 1800 promising graduate students. FELLOWSHIP RESEARCH AREAS The Humane Studies Fellowship program supports study in a variety of fields including economics, philosophy, law, political science, history, and sociology. As you might expect, the kinds of research undertaken generally focuses on that which advances the ideas of a free society. Research interests from previous Humane Studies Fellowship recipients included: Market-based approaches to environmental policy The legal development of privacy and property rights in 18th-century England The role of patient autonomy in bioethics Impediments to economic growth in developing countries The relationship between U.S. presidential politics, fiscal policies, and economic performance FELLOWSHIP BENEFITS As a recipient of a Humane Studies Fellowship you will be joining an impressive network of over 5,000 liberty-advancing scholars and students, including David Schmidtz at the University of Arizona, Tyler Cowen at George Mason University, and Randall Kroszner at the University of Chicago. Humane Studies Fellowship winners will also receive invitations to exclusive programs such as the Career Development Seminar, Research Colloquium, and Advanced Topics weekend seminars. FELLOWSHIP ELIGIBILITY The Humane Studies Fellowship is open to current or prospective full-time graduate students (including law students) from accredited universities anywhere in the world who have previously received IHS funding at any level or participated in an IHS program (like a summer seminar, research colloquium, policy seminar, or a summer graduate research fellowship). The candidates we seek are, ideally, dedicated to advancing the ideas of liberty through their research and teaching. FELLOWSHIP DETAILS The Humane Studies Fellowship awards up to $15,000 annually. As part of the Fellowship requirements, recipients must a) present their research project at a conference or b) have their research project ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal by September 2016. Fellows will have a faculty advisor to assist them with this project. Fellowships are only open to IHS alumni. Fellowships are awarded for one year, and award winners may reapply for each year of their full-time studies. Fellowships take into account the tuition at the recipient’s institution and any other funds received by the recipient. Award decisions by IHS are final and not subject to appeal.

Contact Information

Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University
3434 Washington Blvd. MS 1C5
Arlington, VA 22201