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Announcing SAPIENS Public Fellowship Program


Wenner-Gren Foundation SAPIENS Public Fellowship Program

The Wenner-Gren Foundation invites applications for the first year of its SAPIENS Public Fellowship program. The program will place one recent PhD, in anthropology or a closely aligned discipline, in a two-year term fellowship at SAPIENS, the Foundation’s online magazine. The Fellow will gain experience in the work of the magazine, expand their professional networks, and receive professional mentoring. The Fellowship comes with a stipend of $50,000 per year.

Acknowledging the precarity faced by many early career anthropologists, the Foundation has designed the fellowship to meet the needs of scholars for whom relocation can be a hardship.  The Fellow will choose between telecommuting or working at the Foundation’s headquarters in New York City.  The Foundation cannot sponsor a U.S. visa, but the successful applicant may be a non-U.S. citizen and undertake their fellowship outside the U.S.

This initiative aims to expand opportunities in our field by demonstrating that the skills developed in the advanced study of anthropology have wide application, both within and beyond the academy. The program helps recent PhDs build careers in public media and science communication.

Specific activities will include but not be limited to:

  • Managing the online submission system
  • Identifying articles by anthropologists for republication
  • Uploading new pieces and proofreading with the team
  • Contributing to the title decision process and social media plans
  • Assisting in selecting and commissioning art and photos for articles
  • Collaborating with technical contractors to maintain website functionality
  • Organizing workshops
  • Writing articles for publication
  • Gaining skills for development editing

The Foundation seeks applications from recent PhDs who aspire to careers beyond academia by choice rather than circumstance. Competitive applicants will be able to demonstrate a sincere interest in public anthropology and will have a record of success in both academic and extra-academic endeavors.


Applicants must:

  1. have a PhD in anthropology conferred between September 1, 2015 and June 21, 2019;
  2. defend and file/deposit their completed dissertations no later than June 21, 2019, and be prepared to verify this with official university documentation during the review and selection process; and
  3. write fluently in English, the primary language of the magazine.

The deadline for applications is Friday, June 14, 2019, 5 pm EDT.


To apply, you must complete an online form, providing:

  1. Personal information (including name, birthdate, gender, and citizenship)
  2. Information on your education accomplishments (including dates of conferral, institutional affiliation, and dissertation supervisor)
  3. Information on your professional background (listing employment positions since graduation)
  4. A statement of interest describing how your past experiences have led to your interest in this fellowship
  5. A statement of your vision for the mission of public communication, the future of SAPIENS, and your own future as a practitioner in this field


In addition, you must upload a one-to-two page résumé, as well as a separate document providing the names and contact information for two references.

Please note that finalists may need to provide institutional documentation of PhD conferral (or, if the degree has not yet been conferred, an institutional statement from the registrar attesting that the dissertation defense and deposit have been completed and confirming the degree conferral date).


The Foundation will only consider complete applications, submitted through


Selection Criteria

All eligible applications will undergo the Foundation’s peer-review process. Applicants who advance to the final round of review may participate in interviews with Foundation staff and SAPIENS staff. Reviewers will look for:

  1. applicant’s academic and extra-academic accomplishments;
  2. a demonstrated relationship between the applicant’s past experience and the fellowship’s goals, as well as overall fit for the position; and
  3. a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in public anthropology.


Applicants will receive news of the status of their candidacy by email in late August 2019.

The successful applicant should be ready to start the fellowship in January 2020 or shortly thereafter.