Anthropology Magazine

With the support of a three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship program guides anthropologists on accessible writing and podcasting for broad nonacademic audiences. The purpose of this fellowship program is to provide in-depth training for anthropologists in the craft of science communication and public scholarship—to transform their research into stories that engage the public and spur readers and listeners to rethink themselves and their world.

Applications for the fellowship program will be accepted each summer to select a yearly cohort of 10 fellows. Each year will present a particular theme, drawing primarily from the research areas around cultural evolution: the Wisdom of World Cultures (2022–2023), the Impacts of Technology (2023–2024), and Global Challenges, Cultural Opportunities (2024–2025).

Each fellow will be selected for the academic year (September 1–May 31). Sessions will be held in two-hour periods on Wednesdays (timing subject to change depending on cohort time zones) during this period. They will be expected to: (1) enthusiastically participate in regular Zoom meetings and trainings with their cohort; (2) pitch, develop, and publish at least one article for SAPIENS; (3) pitch, develop, and publish at least one article for another popular magazine; and (4) contribute to one SAPIENS podcast episode in collaboration with our production partner, House of Pod. Missing more than two meetings will result in an evaluation to determine whether the fellow can continue in the program.

As part of this program, fellows will attend an exclusive quarterly keynote lecture by four renowned science writers and editors: Carl Zimmer, The New York Times; Kate Wong, Scientific American; Samir Patel, Atlas Obscura; and Amanda Mascarelli, The Conversation.

We are especially interested in bringing historically marginalized voices—such as by race, ethnicity, gender identity, class, geography, or ability—to the center of public conversations.

Fellowship Benefits

Benefits of the fellowship include deepening skills in popular writing and podcasting, individual mentoring with SAPIENS staff and partners, an expanded professional network, public recognition for one’s research, and a US$2,500 award upon the fellowship’s completion.

Annual Theme Descriptions

The Wisdom of World Cultures (2022–2023)

Every human society around the world has developed cultural mechanisms to navigate their world and create meaning. Many cultural beliefs and practices have the potential not only to explain the past, but to guide the present and future. For this theme, we are most interested in anthropological projects that seek to understand how culture can guide knowledge of human truths and help people make just judgments. Such projects might consider the origins of language, the emergence of religion, the birth and death of traditions, redressing the harms of historic violence, or multispecies relationships. These projects will search for lessons from human cultures that can inspire reflection about our collective condition of being human—past, present, and future.

The Impacts of Technology (2023–2024)

For millions of years, the construction of technologies has impacted nonhuman animals and the human lineage. Today being human is entwined with making, using, and valuing material objects. Being human also means applying knowledge to change and manipulate the environments we live in. Objects enable and shape evolutionary forces, are the spark and expression of imagination, guide and structure social relations, transform and destroy the environment, and much more. For this theme, we are looking for anthropological projects that, for example, address the impacts of technology on human evolution, social organization, language and communication, historical trajectories, or the natural world. These projects will tackle big questions about technology’s ultimate purpose, limits, and possibilities.

Global Challenges, Cultural Opportunities (2024–2025)

Culture is a force that drives social interactions, beliefs, imagination, relationships, politics, communication, emotions, ethics, identities, memories, wars, the creation of art, and so much more in human and animal life. Culture makes us who we are and is the source of so much human value: beauty, faith, morality. Yet springing from the same source are adaptations that cause much harm: pride, greed, violence. In the layered crises facing our world—increasing inequalities, enduring bigotries, ecological collapse—we must work harder than ever before to recognize the reasons for our faults and apply the possibilities of human creativity. For this theme, we are most interested in projects that highlight how anthropology is uniquely positioned to share stories of cultural adaptation and transformation. As practitioners in a field that is inherently interdisciplinary—one that bridges culture and biology, and takes both a long-term and contemporary view of humanity—anthropologists can tackle topics from migration to climate change, from political sovereignties to religious traditions. These projects will provide key disciplinary frameworks for where humans have come from and use that knowledge to anticipate our collective destinations.

2022-2023 Fellows

Damián Blasi investigates global linguistic diversity by combining linguistics, cognitive science, and anthropology. His main research is twofold: understanding how linguistic diversity is shaped by other (non-linguistic) aspects of human nature and the evolution of our species, and the real-world consequences of linguistic diversity for health, education, science, and beyond. Damián will be writing and podcasting about these topics as a SAPIENS fellow. He is currently based at Harvard’s human evolutionary biology department in the Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution group; a Branco Weiss fellow; and a Harvard data science fellow. Follow him on Twitter @blasi_lang.

Katherine L. Chiou is an anthropological archaeologist and paleoethnobotanist whose research interests include foodways in the past and present, Andean archaeology, household archaeology, plant domestication, food sovereignty, agrobiodiversity, sustainability, GIS and data visualization, and responsible conduct of research. Katherine received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently an assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Alabama, where she oversees the Ancient People and Plants Laboratory. She is currently working on a project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to study and promote ethical cultures in the field of archaeology. Her writing and podcasting as a SAPIENS fellow will revolve around the subject of food, particularly the enigmatic relationship between people and chiles, past and present.

Anya Gruber is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin, specializing in paleoethnobotany. She previously worked in New Mexico and currently works in coastal Massachusetts. Anya writes about a range of topics including ancient diets, medicinal plants, mourning practices, and infectious diseases. She is currently working on a podcast episode and article for SAPIENS about a Victorian-era memorial cache discovered in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Follow her on Instagram @anyagruber.

Smiti Nathan is an archaeologist who studies resource decision-making (for example, in relation to plants, minerals, metals) in ancient Oman and ancient Ethiopia. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and is currently the owner and founder of Anthico. She is also the founder of the blog Habits of a Travelling Archaeologist. For her fellowship, she is exploring gardening in Oman and the future of work for archaeologists. Follow her on Twitter @travellingarch and on Instagram @travellingarchaeologist.

Koffi Nomedji is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at Duke University. He is currently working on questions related to climate change, policymaking, and development in Africa. His dissertation explores communities’ adaptation to coastal erosion in Togo, which is what he will be podcasting and writing about during his time in the SAPIENS fellowship program. Koffi has a rich professional background in international development. Prior to his doctoral journey, he served for eight years as a community organizer committed to local development and climate response in Togo.

Esteban Salmón is an anthropologist who studies the ethical lives of criminal prosecutors in Mexico. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Stanford University. His research has been funded by the Fulbright Program, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Esteban’s dissertation draws on legal studies, moral anthropology, and political philosophy to understand the prosecutorial power to create, allocate, and avoid criminal blame. As a SAPIENS fellow, he will draw upon his 18 months of fieldwork in Mexico City’s criminal investigation units to describe some complex ethical dilemmas confronted by criminal prosecutors. Follow him on Twitter @EsteSalmon.

Brendane A. Tynes (she/her) is a queer Black feminist scholar, cultural anthropologist, and storyteller from Columbia, South Carolina. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Columbia University. Her research interests include Black feminist anthropology, Black feminist critical theory, gendered violence, Black political movements, and memory and affect studies. Brendane’s work for SAPIENS highlights the importance of prison and police abolition through the stories of Black interpersonal violence survivors’ fight for justice in Baltimore, Maryland, and the broader United States. Follow her on Twitter @brendanetynes.

Sebastián Vacas-Oleas is a social anthropologist who works with the Shuar people of Western Amazonia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and is currently a lecturer and a visiting researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO). He is editing a Shuar-authored book of collected life histories and leads a project with the Bomboiza Shuar Association Research Group, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, to study Shuar ancestral locations, migratory movements, women’s gardening practices, and long-term changes in Indigenous relations with the land. As a SAPIENS fellow, Sebastian will be focusing on Shuar shamanism and settler land appropriation in Amazonia.

Karminn C.D. Daytec Yañgot, a Kankana-ey, is an anthropologist by passion and a development worker by profession. She teaches anthropology at the University of the Philippines, Baguio, where she concurrently works on her Ph.D. in Indigenous studies. Her research and development work focus on human rights and structural violence, Indigenous peoples and Indigeneity, collective flourishing, political representation, and policy development. Karminn is presently engaged in a community initiative on Indigenous reclamation in the Northern Philippines, which is also what she is working on as a SAPIENS fellow. Follow her on Instagram @indigena.ph.

Adam Netzer Zimmer (they/he/hán) is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Their research focuses on the rise of race-based anatomical science in 19th- and early 20th-century Iceland and the U.S.  He also focuses on queer and feminist theories in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. Their work has been supported by a Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Grant, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Armelagos-Swedlund Biocultural Anthropology Dissertation Award, and a Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Fellowship. He is currently the co-primary director of the Rivulus Dominarum Transylvanian Bioarchaeology project in Baia Mare, Romania. As part of the SAPIENS program, Adam is working on stories related to the ethics of “bone libraries” and cataloged skeletal collections.

Application

The application portal will open May 15 and the deadline for applicants will be July 15 annually, 2022–2024, with the fellowship beginning the September immediately following. So you can plan your schedule, know that it takes us two weeks to complete the review process and arrive at a final decision on the cohort of fellows.

Applicants must be pursuing a research area that addresses the year’s theme and cannot defer an offer of a fellowship to a subsequent year. Successful applicants can only receive the fellowship one time; however, unsuccessful applicants may apply for the next cycle.

Eligibility

Applicants must be ABD Ph.D. students who have completed dissertation research and are currently enrolled in an anthropology degree program, have a Ph.D. in anthropology, and/or have an appointment in an anthropology department. Preference will be given to early career scholars. Qualified applicants of any nationality or institutional affiliation may apply. We also welcome applicants who hold or in the process of applying for Wenner Gren Foundation grants.

Criteria of Evaluation

Selection will be based on four criteria:

  1. Quality of the applicant’s research and its potential contribution to anthropological knowledge, theory, and debate
  2. Convergence of the applicant’s research with the year’s theme
  3. Applicant’s potential as an engaged public scholar
  4. Degree to which the applicant’s background, perspective, and experience will enrich the diversity of SAPIENS Magazine and the selected cohort

Application Procedures

To present your proposal in the best possible light, closely follow all the procedures for completing your application. If you have any questions, contact us at editor•sapiens.org or (212) 683-5000.

The application asks the following:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Short bio (up to 100 words)
  • Academic credentials (anthropology student/degree completed/appointments)
  • Upload a two-page CV (Word or PDF)
  • Describe your research and its potential contribution to anthropological knowledge, theory, and debate (up to 300 words)
  • Describe your interest in the year’s theme: the Wisdom of World Cultures (2022–2023); the Impacts of Technology (2023–2024); and Global Challenges, Cultural Opportunities (2024–2025) (up to 200 words)
  • Describe your interest in and/or contributions to engaged public scholarship (up to 200 words)
  • SAPIENS is committed to bringing historically marginalized voices—such as by race, ethnicity, gender identity, class, geography, or ability—to the center of public conversations. If applicable, please describe how your background, perspective, or research contribute to this goal (up to 100 words)

By submitting your application, if selected, you are agreeing to SAPIENS’ Terms of Use and to collaboratively working together with your colleagues, SAPIENS’ editorial team, and project partners in a timely, responsive, and respectful manner.

Please do not send any other materials beyond what the application requests. Do not send transcripts, letters of recommendation, manuscripts, publications, photographs, or recordings. We will not use this material in the review process, and we cannot return it to you.

Applicants must create a Submittable account and submit through the portal here.

Q&A Information Session

CART Captioning

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Hello, welcome.  We will let people filter in here and then get started.  Thank you for joining us.  A few more people are filtering in.  Great.  Well, maybe we should go ahead and get started then.  So welcome to the SAPIENS public scholars training program Q&A.

We are going to have about 20 or so minutes of kind of an introduction and overview of the program and the application process and what we are looking for.  And then we are opening it up to questions.  But if you do have any questions along the way, please do put them in the Q&A function through the Zoom tool bar and we will do our best to answer as we go.

But really the end is kind of the main time for dialogue and questions.  All right.  So we will do some introductions.  Eshe, do you want to start there?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Sure.  Hi, everyone.  Thanks so much for coming.  My name is Eshe Lewis.  I am the project director for the Templeton grant that will be funding the program.  I am really excited to be part of this project.  I’m a cultural anthropologist.  I’m a Latin Americanist and prior to this position I worked at SAPIENS for a few years as the public anthropology fellow.

So I’m excited to be making this transition and working with the next three cohorts.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Great.  Thanks, Eshe.  And so I’m Chip Colwell and I’m the editor in chief of SAPIENS.  I’m also an anthropologist.  I work predominantly in the U.S. Southwest with Native American peoples.

But I’ve also worked in Hong Kong and other points around the world.  And my role at the magazine is to help the different parts of the work that we do come along hopefully and we, Eshe and I have developed this grant with the Templeton Foundation that we’re really, really excited to get off the ground.  So that’s something, those are the kinds of things I do as well.

But really it’s going to be Eshe who will be leading the effort for this special program.  So to get started, we wanted to give you an overview of what this is all about.  And then we will get into some of the details on the application.

So we’ve received a three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation and through this grant we are creating the fellowship program workshops and then the plan is a permanent online module to provide training for academics and anthropologists to communicate their research.

So each year we are going to be selecting ten scholars to be part of this program and each year each of those individuals will hopefully produce one SAPIENS article, be a part of one podcast episode, and then additionally pitch another media outlet and hopefully we’re really hoping to get people’s work out broadly around the worlds whether it’s the Guardian or the Times or other major outlets like that.

We are also going to have some workshops and we are going to have some lecture, keynote lectures which really are more of kind of a Q&A with some really eminent journalists this grant is through SAPIENS is a magazine of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and it’s funded through the tempton foundation.  And we do all this in partnership with the University of Chicago Press.

So the theme of the overall grant program is aligned with the tempton Foundation’s new initiative, cultural evolution for the future of humanity.  So each year we will have a different focus for each cohort.  So the first one is the wisdom of world cultures. The second is the impacts of technology.  The third is global challenges cultural opportunities.

And so when we have three key outcomes that we are anticipating from this work, the first is really to deepen the public’s understanding of how cultures are transforming in the face of global challenges.  So really putting anthropology to work and helping research mat in the world.  We’re also hoping to cultivate a new and diverse generation of anthropologists and scholars and craft of public scholarship.

I hope many of are you here because you are already a part of this movement to I think in some ways reclaim the roots of the discipline to have a much more kind of public-facing orientation.  And then finally we are hoping to elevate SAPIENS itself as a platform for anthropologists to share their research on the nature of humanity for global public audience.

And so I would encourage all of you, too, even if maybe you are interested and you are not selected but you can still submit to a pitch to SAPIENS you can still be a part of our community.  So even though we are providing some really neat special opportunities for the fellowship program, we really are the magazine for the discipline as a whole.  So we invite you to be a part of this work.

So the framing of the grant is around cultural evolution.  And we’re through this work conceiving of cultural evolution very broadly.  We are thinking about how we are looking for scholarship that explores cultures emergence and capacity for change, when, why and under what conditions do cultures arise, shift, wane or transform, how precisely are the mechanisms of culture, whether acquired habits or through website of meaning, are formed, transmitted and changed.  So we, you know, many of our partners, many of the advisors we have are kind of firmly within this subarea of anthropology, of cultural evolution.  But for the fellowship program, it can be anthropologists working really across a whole range of the four fields of linguistics, sociocultural archeology and biological anthropology.

So one doesn’t have to be, you know, an expert in cultural evolution per se as long as one’s research falls under the bigger umbrella of the year’s themes.  And we do acknowledge that cultural evolution may have a 19th century notions of social evolution which are highly problematic, and, you know, that are kind of legacy that we have to confront and we have to ensure that we challenge and do better and differently as a discipline.

And so really we are looking again very broadly such questions as the origins of language, altruism and the welfare of others, the emergence of religion, health, disease, health and disease, war and cooperation, birth and death of tradition, relationship between mind and art, really just a whole range a whole host of topics would definitely be welcome under this program.

And a big motivation for this work is really to advocate for public anthropology.  There’s a ton of research out there showing how much of the public doesn’t understand what anthropology issor science and humanities more broadly.  So we need to do a lot of work to raise the profile of the discipline and to make the research we do matter.

There’s a 2015 survey of four thousand scientists that found 87 percent of scientists agreed their work or the work of science should have an active role in public policy debates and yet only 24 percent of those same respondents engage in popular writing or producing work in other venues that would actually make a difference in public policy.

So we see this really big gap between the shifting norms and values among scientists and anthropologists of the need for public work and yet many of us don’t have the tools.  Those tools aren’t provided to us in our programs and whatnot.  And at the same time there’s been this fluorescence of public scholarship of public research, everything from TED Talks to the three-minute science contest to written venues and podcasts venues like SAPIENS.

And so speaking of SAPIENS for those of you who may not be familiar with the magazine, SAPIENS went live in 2016, and since then our articles have been read more than 20 million times from essentially every point around the globe.

And we publish about 150 articles a year.  Some of those we invites, but most of those are volunteer.  So again if you are interested in just writing for us, we do everything from long form essays to op-eds to photo essays, videos, a whole range of multimedia as well.  So if you are interested in that, please do look at the website and at the bottom of SAPIENS.org you see write for us.

And you see our writer guidelines there.  So we are currently about a staff of six/seven.  And we have a lot of work that we do is to actually produce the articles and content so that they are successful.  So we work really closely with our authors and contributors really to help them not just have a great finished product, but also have a great process so that they learn about the writing and the work that they are doing and translating the research for the public.

So this grant is really take what is we have learned over the last six years or so through this work of this collaborative development work with written pieces as well as podcasting, and trying to formalize it more through this fellowship program and also then through the permanent online module.

We are as a part of this work especially trying to bring forward historically underrepresented voices from the discipline.  And so we especially want to bring forward anthropologists and other scholars who haven’t necessarily had historically the same kind of platform as other kinds of anthropologists.

So we really are looking to bring historically marginalized perspectives, voices from really around the world to the fore through this grant as well.

With that I am going to pass the baton here to Eshe who is going to get into the details on the application process.

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Thanks, Chip.  Yeah, I am going to go over a bit more of the nitty-gritty details of what the fellowship entails, what the process to get here looks like and what we are anticipating for the next three years.

So the fellowship program will run from 2022 until 2025 and will have one cohort of ten participants from September 1st to May 30th of each year.  The program will be providing in depth training for anthropologists in science, communication, and public scholarship.  The goal here is to help our participants translate their research into stories that, you know, broad public can engage with.

And we’re also really excited to give participants the opportunity to expand their professional network and to gain public recognition for their research.  So as Chip mentioned, not just publishing with SAPIENS, but also opening that up to other publications and also podcasting will help with that, just given the reach that podcasting has.  We’re really excited to offer that as well.

Finally, upon completion participants will each receive 25 hundred U.S. dollars as compensation for all the wonderful work that’s going to take place over the nine months of work in the fellowship program.

So there are some solid components to the program.  Participants will be publishing at least one article in SAPIENS magazine, and then at least one article in another popular magazine.  So spaces like the Conversation, The Guardian, Atlas Obscura will be getting participants familiar with other outlets where they might be able to publish their work.

And then you will also be contributing to one SAPIENS podcast episode produced by House of Pod.  So you will be working with the staff at House of Pod to learn about podcasting as well.

In terms of public writing, the SAPIENS magazine editors who are really fabulous group of people will be offering workshops and mentoring participants ferrying them through the process of learning how to pitch and develop articles based on research.

And then gearing that writing towards a public that is, you know, outside of the academic sphere.  With regards to podcasting, participants will have the opportunity to learn podcasting skills from staff at House of Pod and they will also be mentoring people through the process of preparing their work as well for a different open platform.

We also will have really great group of quarterly keynote speakers.  So fellows who are in the program will get to attend these exclusive lectures that will be given by four renowned science writers and editors.  We are also going to really emphasize having an open time for participants to engage with them outside of the lecture or beyond the lecture, rather to, ask questions and get some advice that can help guide them through the process.

So we will be hearing from Carl Zimmer who is at the New York Times, Kate Wong who is at Scientific American, Samir Patel at Atlas Obscura and Amanda Mascarelli who is currently at The Conversation.

In terms of applicant eligibility, all applicants must be all but dissertation Ph.D. students enrolled in anthropology program in one of the four subfields, linguistic, cultural, biological or okay I can’t go and/or have an appointment in an anthropology department.

You must be also  conducting research that fits within the yearly themes. I know there are some questions. I think I saw a question about that already.  So we will talk a bit more about what those entail once we get to the end of this.  But we will be looking for people whose work fits into the three broad categories that will correspond to each year.

There are no restrictions based on nationality or institutional affiliation.  So it doesn’t matter where you are in the world.  You are welcome to apply to the program. A few words about selection criteria. So we will be looking at the quality of the applicant’s research and potential to contribute to anthropological knowledge, theory and debates.

We will also again be looking for convergence between that proposed research and the yearly theme.  The applicant’s potential as a public scholar, and then finally the degree to which the applicant’s background and perspective and experience will contribute to the diversity of SAPIENS magazine when we are thinking about output in articles, but also how that can contribute to the dynamic of the cohort for that year.

In order to offer some transparency, we’ve decided the selection committee will consist of a Wenner-Gren representative, Chip who is the SAPIENS editor in chief, myself, the project director, and then we will also have a junior and senior anthropology researcher who will participate in narrowing down the fierce competition.

With regard to deadlines, our end date for applications is July 15th. That will be July 15th every year for the next three years, so you still got time to get them in for this year. But we will be holding that date firm.

Successful applicants will receive acceptance e-mails two weeks after July 15th and you do need to begin the program by September. We’re not allowing for deferrals, unfortunately.  You can only receive the fellowship once, but if you are unsuccessful, you are welcome to reapply for the next cycle.

So with that, we are going to open up the rest of the session for questions. Anyone who has any questions after the session is over who would like to learn a bit more or, you know, perhaps something wasn’t clear, you are welcome to e-mail me. I’m the point person for the program.

And then you can also find more details about the program itself on the SAPIENS website.  If you can’t write this down, you can just go to SAPIENS org, and then search for the Public Scholars training fellowship and the page will pop up.

So I will stop talking and we can have a look at some of your questions.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  We didn’t plan on who would take the lead on questions.  Do you want to maybe just take the lead and then I can jump in?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Sure.  I’m trying to see if there’s an order here.  We have a question about the annual themes.  What will they encompass and how will they impact the work that each cohort produces?

So we are working on, we realize that perhaps students weren’t — or we weren’t offering a clear understanding of what the themes were on the sites so we are working on the definitions right now.  But as they stand, wisdom of world cultures, we are thinking about how — I lost my document.  I was going to read those out.

So we’re thinking about how cultural beliefs and practices have helped to explain the past, but can also guide the present and the future.  So overall we are trying to give thought to a project that would consider perhaps the origin of language, the emergence of religion, birth and death traditions, projects that will consider lessons from human cultures that can help us to reflect on our condition as human beings in the past, present, and future.

All of these three topics are quite broad, and so they are probably a number of different ways that you are able to work your project into three of these.  But that’s just a bit of context.  Should I also go over the other two or is leaving the one enough?

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah, maybe mention the other two.  I think the plan is, too, to be clear, probably within a few days we will add this to the link that’s up right now.  So everyone can see it.  But yeah, we’re just finalizing it so a few days away, but close.  But Eshe, maybe just give a little hint of what we’re thinking about.

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Sure.  So that’s, so the definition we are working with for the wisdom of world cultures.  The second year will be about the impacts of technology.  And again, we’re looking for projects that will tackle big questions about the purpose of technology, the limits, and the possibilities, extending across time.

We are happy to hear about anything from the construction and creation of technology.  It can include material objects, but basically the application of knowledge to the world around us and how humans are manipulating the environment, how we are creating technology in order to create meaning and interact with ourselves and other nonhuman animals.

And then finally we have global challenges and cultural opportunities.  And we’re looking for projects that would give or create or interrogate, perhaps, key disciplinary frameworks where humans — that address where humans have come from and use that knowledge to sort of anticipate where we might move in the future.

So we are leaving this really open in terms of across time and place.  But again, we will be adding our sort of firmed-up definitions to the website shortly.  So you will be able to refer back to that should you have any other questions.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Eshe, would it be helpful, maybe I could read the question?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yeah, would you?

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah.  Let’s do that. So we have a question here. This is an outstandingly exciting program with understandably limited cohort space. What is the response so far? How oversubscribed are you anticipating the application to be?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Well, this is a brave new world. This is the first year of three. As of now we do have, we have had I would say a small but consistent stream of applications coming in. I’m not sure what will happen by the 15th.  Hopefully after this there will be another, you know, avalanche of new applications coming in.  But we would love to have, I don’t know, a good pool to choose from.

I don’t want to put a number on it because I’m really just, we are all so interested to see what will happen.  But we are hoping to have a good pool to choose from.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  So if I’m interested in the 2023/24 cohort, would I have to apply next year by July 15, 2023?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yes.  So you are applying for, you will be applying really for the year that you are already in if you are trig about the next cohort if that makes sense.  It’s set up to mirror more or less the academic year, so starting in September and then ending in May.

So if you are interested in 2023, you would apply in 2023 for ’23 and ’24.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Great. For those beyond the roster of 30, will there be opportunities to engage with workshops or reading lists?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yes.  We are also as part this program working to create some permanent workshops that will be available to the public online.  So you wouldn’t perhaps be able to participate in the program, but you will have access to the resources that will be put together as this program goes on.

And that way hopefully those are resources that will be used and accessible to a number of people whoever is interested in learning more about public scholarship.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Can Ph.D. candidates who are enrolled to archeology programs rather than anthropology yet conduct anthropological research also apply to this program?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yes, archeologists are welcome.  This is a pro-archeology space.  As I mentioned, if you are in any of the four subfields of anthropology, you can apply.  Though we did realize that that might be a bit confusing for people who are not in the U.S. I think perhaps some places in some countries or in some systems archeology is considered to be a separate discipline. But for this program,we are considering archeologists as part of the — or as being under the archeology or anthropology umbrella.  Sorry.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  In terms of eligibility, can you have a Ph.D. in anthropology, but no academic affiliation?  I think maybe I could jump in on that one.

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yeah, Chip, do you want to take that?

>> CHIP COLWELL:  The answer is yes.  So typically we want someone either in the Ph.D. program, Ph.D. in anthropology or you might have a Ph.D. in geography.  But if you are in an anthropology program or have an affiliation with anthropology department, then you would qualify.

So it really is kind of those three areas that we would welcome submissions of applications.  Next one here, thank you so much.  I’m thrilled by the prospect of this fellowship and the work that will be done.  Can you speak a bit more to the time commitment expected for fellows?

For example, do you anticipate a month by month needs for fellows?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  That’s a great question.  Currently what I’m preparing for is to go into discussions with House of Pod and with our editors to make sure that we are creating a balanced program whereby the participants who, you know, will have other commitments, both for work and personal life will feel like they can participate in the program without it, you know, sort of throwing their other responsibilities off kilter.

So we will definitely be working to make sure that it will be an intensive program just because it does require writing and podcasting.  And so there will certainly be a lot of time and space for learning and interacting with the editors and staff.  But the plan is to give you enough breathing room to be able to adjust your schedule and meet the goals of the program in a way that is going to fit each individual person.

So that’s certainly the goal and it’s what we are working towards.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  I think I might just add Eshe, if I could, that I think there will be kind of an ebb and flow as well over the nine months.  So the work will be equally distributed across nine months.  So for the podcasting, for example, there might be some initial one or two-hour trainings just a handful of them.

And then your work on the pod captain would just be one episode and that would happen in one month at some point over those nine months.  So depending on the cohort, ideally we could arrange if you are busy in January, then ideally you wouldn’t be podcasting that month.  But maybe doing it in March or whatever the case might be.

So similarly with the writing, there’s some kind of collective workshopping, but then you go off and do writing on your own and that can be very flexible depending on your schedule.

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yeah, thank you, Chip.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah.  Next one is can you speak a bit more to the time — sorry.  That was the one.  I’m not a grad student yet, but my topic is relevant to the 2022 theme compared to the next two.  Should I try to apply this year regardless of the status?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  We are limiting it to people who are ABD when they enter the program.  So unfortunately at least at this point in time you would not be eligible; however, the benefit of it being a three-year program is that perhaps you can’t do it now, but in the upcoming years, you would be able to apply, yeah.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Okay. Typical academic CVs tend to be protracted documents.  What are you looking in a two-page CV submitted with the application?  I could jump in on that one.  There we are modeling if you looked at any NIH grants or grants in the U.S., similarly you are asked for a two-page CV.  So it’s really condensed.

And the trick there really is just looking for selected highlights.  So if you are given a hundred conference presentations, you know, try to pick the three to five that are the most important, and then on your CV you would say selected conference presentations, three to five.  If you have a dozen publications, it would be selected publications and maybe six to eight publications.

So if you could, just give us kind of a sampling of the highlights of your work and that should be enough for us to go on.  The second question here is, would you mind speaking to the application process a bit more?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  It might be helpful if I knew, if there was a specific part of the application process that this person would like to know more about.  I know, we can add this into the public chat, the link to Submittable where you can find the application.  The application itself is quite short and straightforward.  We’re basically asking you exactly what we went over in the presentation.

So trying to figure out who you are, what kind of work you are doing, how your work relates to the theme.  There’s a diversity question in there to give us a sense of both again what you work on, the kind of perspective that you are bringing on your work, and your experience as well, both professional and perhaps personal if that’s relevant to you.

And we’re not asking for a lot of other documents aside from that sort of condensed CV.  We don’t need a whole lot of extra add ones and we prefer you didn’t send them because they won’t be considered as part of the application.

So it really just is the information that is asked for in the Submittable application file.  So I can shortly after if someone else can grab it, I will pop that into the chat so that you can get a direct link to that and take a look at it.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Great, yes.  And the chat should be open to everyone.  Maybe, too, worth adding, so the deadline is the 15th.  And then we expect the selection to happen pretty quickly, within a few weeks.  So we would be notifying people by early August is our goal.

So you can hopefully start making plans for September and onward from there.  Can scholars who will be formally on parental leave in 2022/23 apply for that year’s program?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  By scholar, I am going to assume that that means that you have a position as an anthropologist, perhaps at an institution.  I think, and Chip, you can correct me if I am wrong, but you would be able to participate.  Really it’s more so ABD to, you know, that range of, you know, you’ve cleared ABD and/or you have an affiliation.

And my take on that is really we’re just looking for people who have more of a solid idea of their work, right.  And that way you are in a better position to talk about or to are the the work that you are doing or you have been doing.

So if you are on parental leave that is not something that would, you know, go for or against you in the process of, you know, in our selection process.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  So the next question is, out of the ten fellows, will there be a specific amount of fellows that will be selected for each subfield?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  We haven’t discussed that, but I don’t think — Chip?  I don’t think so.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah.  No, we’re not thinking about it really in those terms.  So I think we’re thinking about, we want a really rich cohort with different perspectives, with people from different parts of the world working in different parts of the world, people who have been doing anthropology for a long time, those who are new to it.

So we are thinking about the breadth of the discipline and the questions of the theme from that year.  And we want to have a really rich group.  So I think we will be thinking in those terms.  But there’s no kind of quota or any concrete terms, concrete sort of eligibility criteria that we will be thinking about.

So for the applicants, I wouldn’t be too worried about thinking about, oh, there’s only three archeology spots or three cultural spots, right.  That really won’t be the case.

Okay.  Very interested in this, but are you open to candidates who will be ABD in September?  And yeah, I think just to reiterate Eshe’s pointing out, really we are asking people to be ABD by September 1st.  If you are really close to be ABD by early September and you really want to do this, if at all possible maybe you could move up whatever your final steps are to be ABD.

Otherwise we do have the next two years, so we would encourage you to consider it then.  Next one is, how about an evolutionary biology program?  Though conducting anthropology research?  And I think, you know, I think I would encourage if you really feel like you are borderline and you are just really not sure, we are going to just have to look at people individually and see exactly what the program is or exactly what your degree is in, right.

So I would encourage you if you really aren’t clear if you are eligible and you feel like you are borderline, please just send an e-mail to Eshe and then we can have the staff look at it and make a decision on a kind of case-by-case basis.  So the next one, yes, is a bit of confusion and apologize for that.

This is saying that on the website it says applicants must be ABD, Ph.D. students currently enrolled in anthropology degree program, have a Ph.D. in anthropology, and/or have an appointment in an anthropology department.  And so yes, and so I think that was the mistake which hopefully clarified in the previous question, we left off the “have a Ph.D.” in the slide presentation.

So the website is correct so it’s really one of those three, either ABD, Ph.D. students currently enrolled in anthropology degree program, have a Ph.D. in anthropology and/or have an appointment in an anthropology department.  So those are the three criteria that would allow you to be eligible.  I apologize for that misstep.

>> ESHE LEWIS:  I can clear that up on the site as well just so that there isn’t anymore confusion about that.  So thank you for pointing that out.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah.  Triple A, this year has podcast as a standard format.  Do you two or House of Pod have any go-to resources for first-timers who want to serialize?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  As far as I know, at this point we don’t.  It is possible that during or over the course of this program we may also be able to offer maybe some standard tips on podcasting.  That isn’t, we will certainly be offering workshops at the moment, we certainly plan to offer workshops that are geared to public writing.

But as of now, podcasting is something that we haven’t — we don’t have those kinds of resources for for podcasting within the program.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah, and I think I would just add that we have been really fortunate, at SAPIENS with our podcast, we have now finished a number of seasons, it’s all been with House of Pod as a partner.  So even on our own SAPIENS side of the staff, we don’t really have that expertise because we lean on House of Pod to do that for us.

But we found it is such an amazing tool for storytelling and sharing research and public anthropology that I think it’s a great question.  I think it prompts us to really think about what resources we can offer, you know, whether it’s the training modules or whatever it might be.  But finding ways to provide more tools for anthropologists to do some of this work on their own.

So another question here is, is there any particular information you think important for to us share in our short bios?  Eshe, do you have expectations around the short bio question?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Sorry, there was a truck going by.  Expectations for short bios?  I’m always truly interested to hear about who — what you’re bringing to, you know, this space.  So what is it that you are really bringing to the program?  What is it about your trajectory, your experience, whether that’s in the field, perhaps something else that has contributed to, you know, your work, where you draw inspiration from?

Those kinds of things are really interesting for me.  I don’t have anything off the top of my head that is going to make or break an application because everyone is so different.  But I encourage you all to think a lot about how you came to where you are now.  I think that’s always really interesting and it offers a lot particularly when we are thinking about putting together a group of people, those kinds of tidbits can be really helpful.

So just let yourself shine as much as possible.  We’re really interested to hear why you’re interested in this and how you came to it and what you are hoping to do in the program.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Great.  And so I did add the link to the chat, so you can look for it there.  At the moment we don’t have any additional questions, so I would invite any last questions here.  Are there any questions we can answer live?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  I’m also just putting in, there you go, the link straight to the Submittable.  You can find it at the bottom of the SAPIENS page.  There’s a link to it.  It says “click here.”  But in case anyone would like to go straight there, that link should take you straight to the application portal.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Great.  We have some more questions here.  I know you already covered a lot, a bit of this year’s theme.  But could you go over it again?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  So again, this year we’re really focusing, I will make the same statement that we made before.  We will get you some very clear more concrete definitions on the site in the next few days.

But as it stands, we’re really trying to think about how cultural — which cultural mechanisms that have been developed help people to navigate the world and create meaning, and what that means in terms of how those perspectives can be applied to current problems, future issues, and how they can explain human experiences in the past as well.

So some of the examples that we’re working with might be, you know, origin of language, the emergence of religion, birth and death traditions, redressing harm in historic violence, thinking about multispecies relationships.  What is it that cultures, wherever they are, are contributing to the way that we can think about the current problems that we are facing and think about the world that is to come that we’re creating.

And as I mentioned as we both mentioned before, these are really broad categories.  So we’re really looking to see how you can talk about your research within that realm.  What is it that your work, the people you work with, the spaces you work with, what learning and what knowledge coming out of those spaces can help us to make sense of what’s going on now and address issues or problems or create in the present and in the future?

And for archeologists if you are working in the past, thinking about what the historical record for humans and human culture has to offer us in terms of thinking about the past, present, and future.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Another question here, Eshe.  Do you have advice for what to prioritize on a two-page CV?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Again, I think I like what Chip said about thinking about how to condense.  You are really thinking of it kind of as a highlight reel.  So what has really — what achievements really stand out in your — if this is academic, then academic career?  Right.

What, if it’s perhaps courses that you have taught that really show your ability to synthesize information around a particular topic, the kinds of organizations you might be a part of that also help you to rethink your research or, you know, perhaps you’re doing work already that is trying to push your research into or under new spot lights.

What kind of writing you have done that perhaps there’s a piece that you did that you think really, you know, really shine or really created, you know, a lot of discussion about the subject matter?  Those are the kinds of things, rather than thinking of everything you’ve done, thinking about the most important things you have accomplished in the different spheres of your work so far.  I don’t know, that was probably a little vague.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah, I think that was good.  Yeah, I liked that, Eshe.  I loved the highlight reel.  That really resonates.  I think also just the standard CV, so degrees, positions held, grants or fellowships, publications, presentations, service you’ve done.  So it’s really nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s really just the condensed version of the CV, but really as Eshe is saying, what are the real highlights so we can focus in on those.

Great, well, I’m not seeing any other questions here.  So if there are any final ones — oh, someone just popped in.  So does the application need to make a link with the theme of the grant cultural evolution?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  I think most directly we are interested in the yearly theme.  Cultural evolution is kind of the overarching theme of this three-year project.  So if you can pull in cultural evolution, that’s great.  But I think a more immediately we’re focusing on the yearly theme.  So how, you know, and it can be both, really, because I think there’s space for both of those.

But we are focusing mainly on how your research interacts with what we’re going to be looking at in that particular year.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah.

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Anymore questions?

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Great I’m not seeing anymore.  I appreciate the thank you’s and all of that.  Really appreciate everyone’s interest.  For my part, I’m just so thrilled to see this getting started and that there’s interest out in the world.  So please do be in touch with Eshe, with any of us on the SAPIENS team if you have broader SAPIENS questions.

But for this program, Eshe is leading the charge.  So thank you, Eshe.  Do you have any final thoughts yourself, Eshe?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  I’m just going to echo Chip.  I am really excited to see, I’m just so excited to see who we’re going to have in this program.  I’m really excited that this program exists.  And I’m really going to work really hard to make this a great experience for our next three cohorts.  I think there’s a lot to learn both from the people you will be working with, but also I really hope that you are able to learn from each other, both in the program and in just the broader world.

It’s always nice to see people coming together and taking part in these kinds of activities.  So I’m really excited.  I see we have one, another question here.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  Yeah, I think another one slipped in, which is great.  So is it appropriate to discuss current research and future trajectory if it fits more with cultural evolution, for example, not doing it now, but want/plan to?  I think in your application, you probably could highlight what you are thinking about next.

That being said, you know, the writing you would be doing and podcasting you would be doing is really work that you are actively working on or work that you have already finished.  So that probably will be leaning a little bit more into what you’ve accomplished and the topics you have worked on up to this point because you are going to be writing and podcasting on topics that are completed rather than things that will be done in the future.

Does that fit with your expectations, too, Eshe?

>> ESHE LEWIS:  Yes, yeah.  Again, I like to think that we do this to make it easier on whoever is going to be in the program because you are really going to have to rethink something that you’ve already been working on.  So we would certainly be looking for people who already have, you know, a fully formed research project, right.

Again, that sort of goes back to that idea about being ABD.  Arguably at that point you have a sense of what you are working on and that makes — that gives that you sort of jump-off point to rework your work for a different audience.  So that’s, I certainly agree with you there, Chip.

>> CHIP COLWELL:  All right.  Well, thanks again to everyone.  Please do be in touch if you have any follow-up questions.  Otherwise we look forward to seeing your applications in a few weeks.  So take care, everyone, and thanks so much.