Berggruen Fellowship

A new fellowship program has been launched by the Berggruen Center for Philosophy and Culture, with a major focus on cross-cultural and comparative philosophy. Please read on for details.

Berggruen Fellows Description

The Berggruen Center for Philosophy and Culture (BCPC, part of the Berggruen Institute; see is inviting applications for Berggruen fellowships, starting in the fall. The BCPC offers full fellowships for up to two years that cover one year at a leading university in the UK or US and one year at a leading university in China.

We are pleased to announce that our fellowship program is getting under way this September, with six Berggruen fellows to be hosted by Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. We have also formalized affiliations with the following universities who can host our fellows in the future: Beijing University, Cambridge University, Harvard University, New York University, Tsinghua University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California.

The Berggruen fellows should be innovative thinkers (but need not be academics) engaged in work across cultures and disciplines on one of the following themes:

  • The Autonomous Self and the Relational Self. To what extent are we constituted by our social relations, and how do different views of the self affect our conceptions of the good life?
  • Harmony and Freedom. What are the areas of overlap and difference between these two ideals?
  • Equality and Hierarchy. Which forms of hierarchy are morally justified, and how can they be made compatible with egalitarian goals?
  • Democracy and Political Meritocracy. To what extent can these political ideals be reconciled and help to meet the challenges of the modern world?
  • Humans and Technology. How will new technologies and scientific developments affect what it means to be a human being?
  • Sustainable Innovation. How can rapid innovations in artificial intelligence and biotechnology be harnessed for desirable purposes and prevented from harming human beings and the world we live in?

In addition to working on one of these issues from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives, Berggruen fellows should also be committed to public outreach. We also welcome proposals for research on other themes but a strong case must be made to show that the research is both innovative and ranges across cultures and disciplines.

You can apply to become a Berggruen fellow by applying directly to the Berggruen Institute (please send application to Jennifer Bourne at The application deadline is December 1, 2015.

Please enclose the following materials:

  • Curriculum vitae (or résumé)
  • A statement, up to 500 words, of your project’s fit with one of our themes, or a longer statement, up to 1000 words, developing a different idea
  • Names and contact details of at least two referees

3 replies on “Berggruen Fellowship”

    • Hi Michael — Happy to share what I know. While the aspiration is for Fellows to spend two years on the fellowship (roughly, a year in the US and a year in China), at least at the beginning things won’t all work that way. Some of the listed fellows are already at Stanford, for some or all of this year; and some (like me) will begin next year, in Beijing. Some of the folks in Stanford this year may also try to be in Beijing next year, but as you can imagine, this is challenging for many reasons. (I will probably hold the fellowship for just one year, 17-18 in Beijing.) If you have any other questions, let me know, here or off-line.

  1. Thanks for the update, Steve. Looks like a really esteemed group of scholars. Curious to hear about things as they continue to develop.

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