Burning Questions Fellowship Awards

Encouraging academic researchers to offer high quality suggestions to front-line persons to help them come to grips with their burning questions

Application for 2019 Fall/Winter Fellowships Now Open

Application opens September 23, 2019, closes November 27, 2019.

For information on how to apply, refer to this document.

Not sure whether to apply? Or just want to know more about these fellowships? Please contact min@tinybeamfund.org

We are happy to provide honest feedback and answers. We are friendly. We don’t bite.

2019 Spring/Summer Fellowship Award Winners

Learn about our recent fellowship awards.

Fellowship awards key information

  • The fellowships are meant primarily for academic researchers (including independent scholars) interested in helping to address negative impacts of global industrial food animal production (especially in low- and middle-income countries).
  • All applicants must hold PhD/doctoral degrees or be enrolled in PhD/doctoral programs.
  • Early career as well as senior academics are equally welcomed to apply.
  • There are no restrictions as to applicants’ residence / citizenship / location.
  • The award period is four months.
  • A single individual or a team of 2-4 researchers can apply for one fellowship award.
  • There is no fixed number of awards given for each round, but generally not to exceed a total of six awards. Three categories of awards are available:
    • Category 1: US$15,000 for a single individual enrolled in a PhD/doctoral university program.
    • Cateogry 2: US$20,000 for a single individual with a PhD/doctoral degree.
    • Category 3: US$25,000 for a team of two to four researchers that has at least one person with a PhD/doctoral degree.
  • Fellowships are awarded twice each year: Spring/Summer round, and Fall/Winter round.
  • The main task of a fellow during the award period is to prepare one Guidance Memo in plain language:
    • Guidance Memos are documents prepared specifically to assist front-line persons who are the end users, written from the perspectives of academics.
    • Topics addressed in Guidance Memos must be directly relevant to the “burning questions”.
    • Guidance Memos’ primary objective: To provide sound information and clear explanations that deepen front-line persons’ understanding of the issues addressed; to highlight key considerations that they may not be aware of; to offer practical advice that helps their decision-making and work.
  • Also required from a recipient of a fellowship award are:
    • An annotated bibliography of publications that are relevant to the content in the Guidance Memo.
    • A short personal narrative on the experience working on the Guidance Memo.

Why offer this program? What is its purpose?

  • For academic researchers:
    • There are academic researchers interested in the negative impacts of global industrial food animal production – from PhD candidates to senior scholars – who would like their research to be of practical use and value to the real world. They want to pick issues that are important to actual persons, to increase the chance that their research is used by those mostly likely to benefit from it. But they face challenges.
      • It is not always obvious what these real world needs are. And it is not easy to find out.
      • Disseminating and making accessible their research findings to those who need them may pose another conundrum. (The traditional approach is that researchers decide what to study and let their peers know about the findings; it is up to others to take care of how these findings are spread and applied outside academe.)
      • Furthermore, academic researchers are often not incentivized or rewarded for work intended primarily to serve societal needs.
    • The fellowship awards provide academic researchers with concrete opportunities to prepare short plain language documents that shed light on front-line persons’ “burning questions”. The program also communicates these documents to front-line persons on behalf of the researchers. Fellows can also use the award period to undertake work that advances their own research related to deliverables required by the program.
  • For front-line persons:
    • The program is also aimed at benefiting front-line persons. It offers them academic research findings, perspectives, and suggestions relevant to questions they themselves have asked. These succinct documents in plain language (“Guidance Memos”) are made available to them within months of their completion.
    • It takes a number of years for research projects focused specifically on the burning questions to be put in place and the results to be reported. But front-line persons urgently need to acquire as much understanding of the issues they are actively grappling with as possible. They need “something” from academic researchers that they can readily use in the meantime. And the Guidance Memos can serve as stopgaps.

Application for 2019 Fall/Winter Fellowships Now Open

Application opens September 23, 2019, closes November 27, 2019.

For information on how to apply, refer to this document.

Not sure whether to apply? Or just want to know more about these fellowships? Please contact min@tinybeamfund.org

We are happy to provide honest feedback and answers. We are friendly. We don’t bite.