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APA provides grants to eight projects for 2014-2015

Monday, December 15, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Ferrer
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Following the recent meeting of its board of officers, the American Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the following grants for 2014-2015.

Small Grant Program

Each year, the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association provides $25,000 to the board of officers for the APA’s Small Grant Program. This program offers grants of up to $5,000 for programs benefiting the profession.

This year’s grant application process was quite competitive, with 35 proposals requesting a total of $143,015 from our $25,000 grant fund. The following six programs will receive funding:

Academic Placement Data and Analysis

Over the past three years, Carolyn Dicey Jennings (University of California Merced) has collected data and run analyses on 726 candidates placed in junior academic positions, such as tenure-track, visiting professor, visiting assistant professor, postdoctoral, and instructor positions, in order to give prospective graduate students a useful and publicly accessible database reporting on the current status of academic job placement, helping them gain a more realistic understanding of their chances in the current academic job market. The APA’s $4,000 grant will provide support for a research assistant to help gather additional data for the project.

Junior Metaphysics Workshop

There is no shortage of excellent conferences for metaphysicians, but with most of these conferences being exclusively for graduate students, or overwhelmingly attended by tenured or tenure-track faculty, junior scholars—those who hold the Ph.D. and are still seeking tenure-track jobs—are finding it increasingly harder to disseminate their research and form scholarly connections with other philosophers in the field. The Junior Metaphysics Workshop is working to hold a metaphysics conference hosted by Grand Valley State University that will provide a platform for these junior scholars to promote and support their work. The APA’s $4,000 grant will help offset the costs of the conference.

Online Bibliography of Environmental Thought (OBET)

The Online Bibliography of Environmental Thought (OBET), spearheaded by David Lahti (Queens College, City University of New York) is a new Internet gateway to information on the relationship between humans and nature, sponsored by the International Society for Environmental Ethics. It is the largest such resource in existence, and is free for public use. In the coming year, with the help of a $3,000 grant from the APA, OBET hopes to develop a new, user-friendly software platform that can support the database, pilot a program to teach trained data entry for undergraduate philosophy and environmental studies students, and to integrate the database with PhilPapers.

Philosophy Opportunities and Conversations for Underserved Students (PhOCUS)

Philosophy Opportunities and Conversations for Underserved Students (PhOCUS) seeks to promote philosophical and ethical engagement with underserved and low-income high school student populations, building on the work of the Parr Center for Ethics and the University of North Carolina Philosophy Outreach Program. PhOCUS is working to achieve these initiatives through a national initiative to expand opportunities for high school students from low-income schools to participate in the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB), and a local initiative to encourage low-income student communities within North Carolina’s Research Triangle to engage with each other in guided conversations about significant ethical and philosophical questions. The APA’s $4,000 grant will provide funding for both initiatives.

Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP)

The Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) is a grassroots organization of feminist philosophers. SWIP has been crucial to the development of the feminist thinking that has added breadth and richness to the discipline of philosophy and highly influenced other fields. The organization is now working with the Feminist Theory Archive at Brown University to found a SWIP archive that will make the history and ongoing concerns of SWIP available to scholars and students in philosophy and other disciplines as well as to the general public. The APA’s $5,000 grant will provide funding for an archivist to organize and describe the initial set of donated materials.

Wireless Philosophy (Wi-Phi)

Wireless Philosophy (Wi-Phi) aims to introduce people to the practice of philosophy by making videos that are freely available in a form that is entertaining, interesting, and accessible to people with no background in the subject, with the goal of increasing the general public’s critical thinking skills. Wi-Phi is partnering with the Khan Academy to distribute the videos, and the APA’s grant of $5,000 will fund fellowships to help Wi-Phi create new videos and critical thinking assessments.

Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants

In 2013, the board of officers committed $20,000 for 2014-2015 specifically to support one or more programs aiming to increase the presence and participation of women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, people with disabilities, people of low socioeconomic status, and other underrepresented groups in philosophy. Learn more.

A request for proposals was issued early in 2014, specifying that the board sought to fund one project at $20,000 or two projects at $10,000 each. Members submitted 26 grant applications. In the end, the board chose to fund the following two projects at $10,000 each for 2014-2015.

Mentoring Workshop for Early-Career Women in Philosophy

The Mentoring Workshop for Early-Career Women in Philosophy aims to help junior women achieve their professional goals, and improve the gender ratio in philosophy. The workshop matches cohorts of five early-career women with a senior woman mentor. At the workshop weekend, the cohorts meet for intensive discussions of each mentee’s work, and for plenary panel presentations and discussions of issues confronting women in the profession. Mentors continue to stay in touch with, and to provide guidance to their mentees after the workshop weekend. The APA’s grant will support the third in what is projected to be an ongoing series of biennial workshops. The workshop will be hosted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will receive additional support from the University of Kansas.

UCSD Summer Program for Women in Philosophy

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Summer Program for Women in Philosophy was established with the goal of encouraging undergraduate women with an interest in pursuing an academic career in philosophy not to give up on that goal, and to help those women succeed. The two-week program provides women with career interests in academic philosophy with intensive, graduate-level coursework and workshops to help them with graduate school applications. It is designed to instill confidence in their abilities in philosophy by helping them build a strong network and support system with the TAs, instructors, and other participants. The APA’s grant will fund the second annual summer program.

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