Through the Freedom and Opportunity Academic Prizes, The Heritage Foundation supports and encourages the research, publications, and programs of faculty who are aligned with the foundation’s mission at colleges, universities, and seminaries throughout the United States.
The Freedom and Opportunity Academic Prize recognizes and provides financial awards to faculty at higher education institutions as they write and disseminate original research and develop projects and programs that explore topics related to The Heritage Foundation’s current priority issue areas and broader issues around freedom and opportunity.
Prize winners receive financial awards of $15,000 in recognition of their past accomplishments, the importance of their current work, and their future promise in the academy, especially in relation to public policy. Recipients of the Freedom and Opportunity Academic Prizes are also invited to participate in a Summer Colloquium, and Workshop in Washington, D.C. with leading academics, scholars from Heritage, and their fellow prize winners.
Why the Academic Prize?
The academic environment is particularly challenging for faculty who wish to research, publish, teach, and develop programs in areas that explore economic freedom, the dignity of the person, human flourishing, constitutional governance, national sovereignty, and other issues related to freedom, opportunity, and traditional American values. Moreover, funding opportunities for such projects are increasingly scarce.
Recognizing the importance of critical thinking and thoughtful research on these issues and the impact such work has on its own policy initiatives and the broader public debate, The Heritage Foundation is committed to investing in the academic community.
Through the Freedom and Opportunity Academic Prizes, The Heritage Foundation hopes to encourage the robust exploration and development of ideas that help sharpen our own scholars’ thinking, support the work of courageous faculty on often-hostile college campuses, grow the network of talented researchers and public intellectuals, encourage new partnerships, and ultimately help to advance Heritage’s vision of building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.
Read the press release here.
Guidelines and Process
Applicants must be full-time or adjunct faculty at colleges, universities or seminaries in the United States who are actively engaged in research, writing, programming, or course development that relate to:
- The Heritage Foundation’s current priority issue areas;
- The broader questions around economic freedom, the dignity of the person, human flourishing, constitutional governance, and national sovereignty; or
- Other issues that explore the notions of freedom, opportunity, and traditional American values.
Priority will be given to applicants whose scholarship has relevance to current policy debates and those who do not have other external funding sources for the upcoming academic year. Applicants who are actively engaged in extracurricular activities that build community among academics are eligible for an additional award of $5,000.
Prize awards are $15,000 and funding will be directed to individual faculty members rather than their home institutions. Winners are also invited to participate in a Summer Colloquium and Workshop in Washington, D.C. with fellow Prize Winners.
Read about the 2023 Freedom and Opportunity Academic Prize Winners here.
2023 Freedom and Opportunity Academic Prize Winners:
- Dr. Daniel Burns, associate professor of politics at the University of Dallas
- Dr. William English, assistant professor of strategy, economics, ethics, and public policy at Georgetown University
- Philip Hamburger, professor of law at Columbia Law School
- Dr. Matthew Kroenig, professor in the department of government at Georgetown University
- Dr. Allen Mendenhall, associate dean and professor at Troy University
- Robert Miller, professor and associate dean at the University of Iowa College of Law
- Dr. Catherine Pakaluk, associate professor of social research and economic thought at Catholic University of America
- Dr. James Patterson, associate professor at Ave Maria University
- Dr. Ionut Popescu, assistant professor of political science at Texas State University
- Dr. Siri Terjesen, professor and associate dean at Florida Atlantic University
- Dr. Andew Walker, associate professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Dr. Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia
APPLICATION AND REVIEW PROCESS
Applications for the 2023 Academic Prizes are no longer being accepted. The application window for the 2024 Prizes will be December 2023 through February 1, 2024.
As part of the application, applicants will be asked to provide, among other things, the following:
- A current curriculum vitae
- A brief description of your past and current scholarship and its potential policy applications
- A brief description of any extracurricular activities
- A writing sample relevant to your application
- List of two or more references who could speak to the quality of your scholarship and future potential
Additional information may be requested if needed for further evaluation, and interviews may be conducted as part of the application review and evaluation process.
After submission, applications will be reviewed by Heritage staff and advisors, and top applications will be shared with an Academic Advisory Committee that includes scholars from across the country. Final decisions will be made by an internal selection committee and will be announced annually in May.
Prize winners will also be invited to participate in a Summer Colloquium and Workshop with their fellow Prize winners.
Email inquiries can be sent to [email protected].