Sunday, April 15, 2007

Center for Advanced Study, Stanford, changes selection process, inviting applications

This is good news. In the past, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, CA, has not accepted applications. Instead, fellows were selected through a nominations process. This had several drawbacks. The Center would not hear of promising new work that their recommenders did not happen to know about. In addition, those recommended were not in a position to provide information directly about their most current work. In contrast, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton has long (always?) selected fellows through an international competitive application process.

This is changing for CASBS. The announcement follows. Note the upcoming deadline: June 30. Princeton applications are not due until the fall (more on that later). CASBS's timing presumably means that those with an interest in both Centers and accepted at CASBS will have to commit to CASBS long before they hear about their IAS application results. Still, this is a welcome development.

Effective with the class of 2008-09, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) will implement a new fellow selection process, inviting scholars to apply for fellowships instead of requesting nominations. “The new process will bring us closer to the vision of the Center’s founders by refocusing on advancing fields and benefiting society while continuing the longstanding emphasis on interdisciplinarity,” says Claude Steele, CASBS director. “It will also help to ensure diversity in age, institutional affiliation, gender, race, and nationality in each class.”

“This new selection system considers applicants’ ideas and aspirations as well as their experiences,” says Anne Petersen, CASBS deputy director. “It will allow us to ‘craft’ each class in a way that increases the diversity in perspectives which fosters innovation and helps advance fields of research. One thing that won’t change is the peaceful yet stimulating atmosphere of the Center.”

The new application form and guidelines are available on the CASBS Web site. Applications for the 2008-09 fellowship year are due by June 30th, 2007.

Class size will be approximately 45; the Center invites applications from groups who engage in collaborative work as well as individual scholars from the entire range of disciplines and interdisciplinary areas in the social and behavioral sciences, and humanities. In addition, research themes will be introduced for those who prefer to come in a year with others who share similar interests. For the fellowship year 2008-2009, these themes are “Improving Health and Health Care” and “Achieving Equality.” Applicants need not affiliate with a theme.

For the full announcement, click here.
Photo credit: click here.