Whether you are a beginner to philosophy seeking a goal to aim for, or hoping to broaden and deepen your philosophical studies, or thinking of applying to university and need to present evidence of your suitability for degree-level work, the Associate Award from the International Society for Philosophers provides an ideal framework that will give direction and discipline to your studies.
The Associate and Fellowship Awards are open to all Members of the ISFP.
For philosophy graduates as well as postgraduate students in other academic disciplines, the ISFP Fellowship Award offers the opportunity for sustained inquiry into a particular aspect of philosophy that interests you, or that is especially relevant to your research field. You can also use your ISFP Fellowship dissertation to develop ideas for a Masters or Doctoral thesis.
Submissions for the Associate and Fellowship are examined by the Board of the ISFP. Successful submissions — essay portfolios and dissertations — are archived on the Essay archive page.
The ISFP Awards may be considered levels of membership of the ISFP. You will become an Associate of the ISFP or a Fellow of the ISFP. Some ISFP Fellows also sit on the Board of the ISFP.
It is worth while taking some time to study the essays and dissertations on the Essay archive page as these will give a good idea of the level of quality that you should be aiming for. All the work posted here is considered to be well above average in terms of academic attainment.
The Associate is awarded for a portfolio of four essays on any philosophical subject or range of topics. The standard set is sufficiently high to make the Award a challenging and worthwhile goal to aim for, yet within the realistic reach of anyone who has studied philosophy to an intermediate level. The Fellowship is awarded for further research culminating in a paper that is soundly and effectively argued, incorporating the candidate's own original thinking about the chosen topic.
The target length for an essay included in your Associate portfolio is 2,500–4000 words. The target length for a Fellowship dissertation is 8,000–15,000 words.
There are no minimum educational qualifications for for the ISFP Associate and Fellowship Awards. We judge you on your work. You can expect to spend between six months and two years producing an essay portfolio or dissertation to the required standard, depending on how much time you have available for study.
Interested? Write to the Secretary of the ISFP Martin Jenkins and explain your ideas about a possible essay portfolio or dissertation. We will take things from there.