Research Fellowships

Scholars: Apply Now for Up to $90,000 for Research on Suffering and the Good Life

2017-2018 Research Fellowship Description

Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought (“the Center”) will grant multiple semester- and year-long residential research fellowships in amounts up to $90,000 per year. Fellowship recipients will comprise an interdisciplinary group of approximately eight researchers per semester (some of whom will stay for only a semester, others for the entire academic year). Approximately half of the Center's fellows will be non-Biola scholars and the other half Biola faculty. Fellows will be in residence at Biola University for either the fall term (August 28, 2017 to December 15, 2017) or the spring term (January 8, 2018 to May 4, 2018) or both.

Focal Questions

  • What are the conditions under which suffering plays a role in bringing about human flourishing?
  • In what ways is flourishing in the context of suffering contingent on the response of the sufferer?
  • What are the psychological effects of suffering and which of these are conducive to character development?
  • Are there intentional practices the sufferer can adopt to raise the likelihood that suffering conduces to positive growth and change?
  • What light do recent studies on post-traumatic growth shed on the foregoing questions? What further scientific work bears on them?
  • What is the relationship between suffering and pain?
  • Is there a distinctly Christian approach to the experience of suffering and its connection to happiness?
  • How might churches and other voluntary associations help their members harness suffering for good in their lives?

Visiting Scholars

The Center invites prominent scholars from a variety of disciplines to visit the Center for a seminar with research fellows. The following scholars will be visiting the Center during the 2017-2018 year:

  • Marilyn McCord Adams (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • David Bain (University of Glasgow)
  • Lawrence Calhoun (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
  • Julie Exline (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Crystal Park (University of Connecticut)
  • Eleonore Stump (Saint Louis University)
  • Richard Tedeschi (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
  • Miroslav Volf (Yale Divinity School)


Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent terminal degree, identify themselves as members of the Christian tradition (broadly construed), and be willing to relocate to Biola University for one or two semesters. 

Selection criteria include: fit of research proposal with focal theme and questions, coherence of the intended research plan, feasibility of the project in the specified timeframe, prior research accomplishments, and fit of research proposal with other fellowship applicants.


For those relocating to the Biola area, up to $8,000 is available (through reimbursement) for housing within 5 miles of Biola and relocation expenses. Fellows will be responsible for finding and securing their own housing arrangements.

Proposal requests from non-Biola-affiliated scholars will be for up to $90,000 for projects lasting the full 2017-2018 academic year and up to $45,000 for projects lasting one semester that academic year.

Post-doc fellowships may also be available pending qualified applicants and available funding.

Proposal requests from Biola faculty will be for teaching-load reductions sufficient to reduce their teaching to approximately one half of their normal contracted teaching load.

Non-Biola fellows will have office space in the Center, a first-rate facility built around a large conference table and designed with collaboration in mind. All fellows will meet for weekly roundtable meetings to discuss and critique one another’s research. They will also be invited to participate in a year-end conference in which they present the results of their research, some of which may then be published in an edited volume.

Each fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with Center staff to communicate their research to both academic and non-academic audiences. There are no teaching or other requirements connected to the fellowships. During the course of each semester, fellows will have the opportunity to interact with visiting scholars at the Center’s roundtable seminars. Visiting scholars will be in residence at the center for two-or three-day visits and will return to Biola in May for the end-of-year conference.







How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following by email to the Center’s Director, Evan Rosa, at CCT@BIOLA.EDU.

  • Cover letter clearly stating applicant’s preferred semester(s) in residence (fall, spring, either, or both)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Name and contact information of three references familiar with applicant’s scholarly work
  • A research proposal that begins with a 150-word abstract summarizing applicant’s proposed research project. The body of the proposal (600 words maximum) should clearly state the connection of the research to the Center’s 2017-2018 theme (Suffering and the Good Life), the significance of the research, the distinctive character of the argument advanced, and the methodology employed.
  • Please also include:
    • Visiting applicants: Please indicate the award (not to exceed $45K per semester) for which they are applying. Roughly half of an applicant’s salary at their home institution is a good rule of thumb.
    • Biola applicants: Please include permission from their department chair and dean among their application materials.

Deadline to apply: November 15, 2016


  • Applications due by November 15, 2016
  • Awards announced by March 1, 2017
  • Fall program: August 28, 2017–December 15, 2017
  • Spring program: January 8, 2018–May 4, 2018



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