The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program

Request for Proposals: 2018-2019

The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics is a career development award to enable junior faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research. It supports research that goes beyond current work in bioethics to help resolve pressing ethical issues in clinical care, biomedical research, and public policy, and creates a community that enhances future bioethics research by Scholars and Alumni/ae.

Each year, the Foundation selects approximately three Greenwall Faculty Scholars to receive 50 percent salary support for three years to enable them to develop their research program.

Scholars and Alumni/ae attend twice-yearly meetings, where they present their works in progress, receive feedback and mentoring from the Faculty Scholars Program Committee and other Scholars and Alumni/ae, and have the opportunity to develop collaborations with other researchers. The ongoing involvement of Alumni/ae with the Program provides them ongoing opportunities for professional development and feedback, and engages them in mentoring of younger Scholars.

The Faculty Scholars Program Committee provides oversight and direction for the Program and is involved not only with selection of the Scholars but also with mentoring and professional development activities. 

Who may apply?

Applicants must be junior faculty members at a university or non-profit research institute that has tax-exempt status in the United States. Applicants must hold a faculty appointment that allows at least 50 percent of their effort to perform research (often this is a faculty position with at least a 60 percent appointment in a tenure-track position or its equivalent). Priority will be given to applicants who have not yet been considered for tenure or an equivalent promotion; whose research will have an impact on public policy, biomedical research, or clinical practice; and who will make important contributions to the field of bioethics over their careers. 

Faculty Scholars will be selected on the basis of their achievements, the strength of their research project, their commitment to the field of bioethics, and support from their home institution, including after the end of this award. While the amount and quality of an applicant's research in bioethics will count favorably towards his/her application, outstanding candidates with less direct experience in bioethics will also be considered when their proposed work aims to advance the bioethics field. 

Within this group, priority will be given to applicants whose research addresses innovative ideas and/or emerging topics. Lower priority will be given to applicants who are primarily carrying out educational reform or theoretical work with limited applicability to practice, research, or health care delivery. The Greenwall Foundation particularly welcomes applicants from backgrounds that are under-represented in bioethics and academia.

Please note: Up to two applicants from a university or non-profit research institute will be considered in each application cycle. Institutions are requested to have an internal screening and selection process. No more than one award per institution will be made in each Faculty Scholars Program grant cycle. The unit of award will be the overseeing university. Thus if a university with a law school, medical school, several teaching hospitals, and a faculty of arts and sciences nominates two applicants in a cycle, only one may be chosen. Moreover, if a university system, such as a state-wide university system, comprises several universities, each university within the system may nominate two applicants in a cycle.

Funding for Greenwall Faculty Scholars

The award supports 50 percent of a Scholar’s salary plus benefits for three years, up to the NIH salary cap, with 10 percent institutional costs for the salary and benefits. This funding is intended to ensure that at least 50 percent of the Scholar’s time is devoted to bioethics research. In addition, the Foundation provides $5,000 each year for limited project support and travel (no indirect costs are provided for these items). 

What does the Faculty Scholars Program Committee look for in letters of intent?

1. The proposed project. Does it address an important bioethics issue in an innovative way? Does the application show how the project will make a significant advance beyond what has already been published on the topic? Is the applicant thinking about the conceptual and normative ethical issues regarding the topic in a rigorous and creative way?

In the case of proposals to carry out an empirical study of a topic that has a bioethics component, the most successful of these proposals have conducted enough empirical research to allow the applicant to discuss what conceptual or normative bioethics issues they will focus on. Because the Greenwall Faculty Scholar award is intended to ensure that at least 50 percent of the Scholar's effort and time are devoted to bioethics research, the applicant will need to show that funding also will be available for any data collection and analysis. Applicants who propose to carry out empirical work on a bioethics issue, without a strong conceptual framework, normative analysis, and plans for mentoring on these research methodologies are unlikely to be successful. Applicants who are extending previous empirical research to a new population or clinical condition are unlikely to be successful unless there is a persuasive demonstration of how their proposed extension is innovative. 

Historical, theological, psychological, qualitative sociological, normative, legal, comparative, and policy research projects are welcomed, provided they are tightly tied to bioethics. Pure advocacy is not supported.

2. Demonstrated ability to carry out innovative bioethics research. At the full application stage of the selection process, the Faculty Scholars Program Committee carefully reads a peer-reviewed first-authored bioethics paper written by the applicant that has been published or is in press. Because this demonstrated publication of bioethics research is given great weight, applicants who have not yet published a strong bioethics article will not be successful. Scholars who have published a book should submit a chapter that best indicates the quality of their thinking in bioethics. The Committee assesses candidates on their potential; prior work is used to assess future creativity, productivity and prospect of becoming a leader in the field.

What bioethics activities do we not fund? 

We do not fund:

  • Scholars to carry out bioethics teaching, institutional change, or quality improvement on bioethics issues. We expect, however, that Greenwall Faculty Scholars, and the students they teach, will do such activities during their careers.
  • Theoretical ethics research without clear application to pressing, real-world problems in patient care, biomedical research, or public policy.
  • Survey research or qualitative research that touches on a bioethics issue unless there is a strong conceptual analysis of the bioethics issue or thoughtful analysis of the bioethics implications of the empirical findings. We are, however, interested in bioethics researchers who want to work on conceptual or normative analysis linked to their empirical findings.
  • Basic science research that has implications for a bioethics issue.
  • Bioethics work directed towards predetermined conclusions.

As a nonprofit organization, we do not support or engage in political advocacy. 

For instructions on how to apply, please follow this link. Please e-mail inquiries about this program to jbrownell@greenwall.org.