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PPEL-Koch Foundation Summer Fellowships

Program Guidelines and Application

The PPEL program is pleased to announce two 10-week undergraduate summer research opportunities funded by the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

Purpose:  A summer fellowship provides an opportunity for a student to pursue a theoretical or applied research interest with a faculty mentor that relates to public policies within a classical liberal framework.  Please review the brief description of classical liberalism.

Eligibility:  Students must demonstrate academic preparation for the topic undertaken.  They may, but need not be, PPEL majors; students working in any area of the PPEL major, including those majoring in Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, Leadership, History, and Business Administration, are eligible for this Fellowship.  Any student who wishes to earn credit towards the completion of his or her degree while undertaking this Fellowship should discuss that possibility with the faculty mentor who has agreed to supervise the applicant. 

Recipients of a PPEL-Koch Foundation Summer Fellowship may not receive other fellowship or grant support from the University of Richmond for the ten-week research period that will be supported by this fellowship.

Summer 2018 Fellowship

Students who will graduate from the University of Richmond before August 16th, 2018, are not eligible for this Fellowship.   

Research Outputs:

  • The student will engage in sustained intellectual activity for 10 weeks leading to the production of a polished output by October 1, 2018.  The major output can be a research paper, a documentary video, a screenplay, a website, or other endeavor that demonstrates sustained intellectual inquiry and originality within these guidelines.
  • The student will write a progress report due July 2, 2018, which must be approved by the faculty mentor.
  • The student will deliver a public presentation on this research activity by the end of October 2018. 

Selection: The fellowships will be awarded by a competitive process and judged by a PPEL faculty subcommittee. Successful applicants will demonstrate an understanding of classical liberalism, how it relates to the proposed research issue, and the necessary academic background and other characteristics needed to complete the project successfully. 

Application: It is desirable to begin the thought process well before the application deadline. You should be working closely with a faculty mentor to craft the research question, a timeline of activity, and so on. Students must obtain a letter of support from a faculty mentor before submitting the application.

This list of sample research projects is primarily intended to illustrate the range of projects students might pursue, though applicants are also welcome to develop one of these topics.

Apply online at:

Deadline: Applications are due no later than noon on Monday, February 12, 2018. 

Funding: The student receives a salary stipend of $4,000 and a housing stipend of $500 for students who elect to live on campus.

The faculty mentor receives a stipend of $1,000. 

Please direct questions to Dr. Steve Simon at