Fellowships for PhD Students

FPO annually provides 12-month-long fellowships of $30,000 for dissertation projects that expand research concerning orientation.

We began our fellowship program in the academic year 2021-22 with our first fellow, Olga Faccani, from UC Santa Barbara. Our second fellow (2022-23) was James Sirigotis from UC Santa Cruz; our third and current fellow (2023-24) is Nicolás Wiggenhauser from Stony Brook University.

If you are interested in sharing your research project with us before applying for our fellowship, we are now offering our FPO Research Colloquium, where you can present and discuss your ideas with other researchers and receive feedback from us. You can apply any time. You can learn more about the philosophy of orientation in our free virtual seminars, including our “Introduction to the Philosophy of Orientation.”



The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage and support original and significant studies exploring the complexities of human orientation. Orientation precedes everything else, all perceiving, thinking, and acting, and its conditions and structures may thus be explored from various disciplinary viewpoints and methodological approaches. The Foundation for Philosophical Orientation (FPO) primarily supports innovative dissertations in the wider field of philosophical scholarship, but also outstanding projects in any academic field (in the humanities, the social sciences, as well as the natural sciences, including biology, psychology, sociology, or astrophysics) if they make significant contributions to the philosophy of orientation. Projects may involve, but are not limited to, philosophical reorientations in history and today; the structures of human orientation in space and time; memory studies and brain research; the economic, political, communicative, religious, or ethical dimensions of decision-making; global reorientations connected with the Anthropocene and the digital transformations of the world. The FPO is especially committed to supporting courageous reorientations in philosophy and beyond.


The Fellowships are provided to doctoral candidates at academic institutions located in the USA or worldwide who will work on their dissertations during the academic year 2024-2025. Dissertations must be written in English and connect with the philosophy of orientation. In the current competition, fellowships of $30,000 will be awarded for 12 months of full-time dissertation writing. The deadline to submit the applicants’ material (abstract, proposal, CV) is March 15, 2024 (midnight, US Central Time). After the first selection round, we will invite four finalists to a virtual discussion of their dissertation project.


  • No citizenship restrictions.
  • Candidates must be in the writing stage of their dissertation by the time the fellowship begins; this means all pre-dissertation requirements must be complete by the start date. If the candidate has not yet defended his or her dissertation proposal when submitting the application, the letters of recommendation must testify that the candidate will do so before the time of the award.
  • Candidates must submit an abstract (300 words), a project proposal (2,500 words), a CV, and two letters of recommendation (we will contact your references when you submit your application; please notify your references to write letters ahead of time; however, the letters may be submitted until March 25, 2024).

For more information or questions, please contact: 

Dr. Reinhard Mueller, Executive Director of the Foundation for Philosophical Orientation at reinhard.mueller@hfpo.com

Dissertation Fellowship Application