TBF Burning Questions Fellowship Awards for Academic Researchers in 2021

Tiny Beam Fund invites applications for the Burning Questions Fellowship Awards for Academic Researchers Interested in Helping to Address Negative Impacts of Global Industrial Food Animal Production in 2021.

This program aims to support academic researchers who are interested in both of the following:

  • Help front-line persons tackling negative impacts of global industrial food animal
    production (especially in low- and middle-income countries) deepen their understanding
    of the many complex issues involved.
  • Examine these impacts and issues for the researchers’ own scholarly purposes.

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 most 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 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 but related (or unrelated) to the deliverables required by the program.

Worth of Award

  • For each round a total of three awards are available, one in each category:
  • Category 1: One US$15,000 award for a single individual enrolled in a PhD/doctoral university program.
  • Category 2: One US$20,000 award for a single individual with a PhD/doctoral degree.
  • Category 3: One US$25,000 award for a team of two to four researchers that has at least one person with a PhD/doctoral degree.
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  • 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). Persons from large prominent research organizations can also apply.
  • 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.
  • 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 (4,000 – 6,000 words) 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 3-15 publications that are relevant to the content in the Guidance Memo.
  • A short personal narrative on the experience working on the Guidance Memo

How to Apply

  • Applicants should make sure they are comfortable with preparing Guidance Memos before applying.
  • An application consists of three separate parts:
    Part 1. Applicant’s general information
    Name and contact information of applicant.
    Name and full address of applicant’s institution.
    Short CV of applicant.
  • Part 2. Topics to be addressed in Guidance Memo
  • What are the topics to be addressed in your Guidance Memo?
  • Which “burning question(s)” is/are relevant to your chosen topics?
  • Why do you think the explanations and advice in your Guidance Memo will deepen front-line persons’ understanding of the topics addressed and help them with their endeavours?
  • How will you go about your work on the Guidance Memo?
  • What concrete evidence can you provide to show that the main thrust and substance of your Guidance Memo has been and/or will be considered by your academic peers?
  • Personal statement
  • Why do you want to help front-line persons? Why is the work connected with the fellowship
    important to you personally?
  • How will the work done during this fellowship fit into your academic research interests and
    professional goals in the coming 1–3 years? How do you plan to keep developing this work for your own research purposes?
  • Is there anything else that is very important to your application that you want us to know?
  • Complete this sentence in 50 words or less: “In a nutshell, I am/we are applying for this
    fellowship mainly because . . . .”
  • All inquiries and applications should be sent by email to: [email protected]
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Deadline: Application closes: May 14, 2021


Click here for more details and to apply