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Program Officer, Character Virtue Development (Temporary)

Location: Philadelphia metro area, Pennsylvania, USA
Department: Character Virtue Development
Reports to: Interim Vice President, Programs
Salary: Competitive salary and benefits package based on qualifications and experience
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis

Organization and Position

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. We support research within disciplines ranging from astrophysics, evolutionary biology, and genetics, to philosophy, psychology, and economics. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between such experts and the public at large. In all cases, our goal is to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery. To catalyze such discoveries, we provide grants for independent academic research on a wide range of topics that relate to the Foundation’s mission.

The Character Virtue Development department seeks to advance the science and practice of good character, with a focus on virtues such as humility, gratitude, curiosity, diligence, and honesty. Current strategic priorities for the science of virtues include a focus on intellectual humility, curiosity, love, gratitude, and religion. The department’s priorities for the development and practice of good character include support for communities of practice and for organizations that serve as translators of the science of character virtue development.

To support our team in advancing the Foundation’s mission, we are seeking a temporary Program Officer for an anticipated duration of one year. The Program Officer will work with the Senior Program Officer and the Senior Program Associate on both grantmaking and grant monitoring activities in the Character Virtue Development department.  Specifically, the Program Officer will review open submission and proactive proposals, identify potential applicants, write summaries of relevant research and/or conference presentations, assist with conference/meeting planning, review grantee reports, provide summary updates to the Senior Program Officer, and communicate with applicants and grantees.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Contribute to the life cycle of the grant process for select initiatives that fall under the purview of Character Virtue Development by reviewing and analyzing grant proposals, preparing funding recommendations and monitoring grant performance.
  • In collaboration with the Senior Program Associate and Senior Program Officer, monitor all active grants for the department, including the review of reports and grantee communications.
  • Identify potential applicants and relevant scholarly work in Character Virtue Development.
  • Attend and report on relevant academic conferences and grantee events.

Required Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities

  • Master’s Degree required in psychology, sociology, child development, education, or a related area; Ph.D. preferred.
  • A background in academic research.
  • A proven track record of writing and editing program related content, proposals, papers, and presentations.
  • Highly organized with strong analytical skills.
  • Skilled communicator able to work with scholars and members of the academic community as well as across internal departments in a multidisciplinary environment.
  • Adept relationship builder able to forge and maintain professional networks.
  • Ability to understand the Foundation’s mission and core themes.
  • Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission is essential.


We are committed to caring for our employees and their families through exceptional benefits. We pay for 100% of employee medical, dental and vision premiums, and generously contribute to family premiums.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the temporary Program Officer role will be a remote position through at least January 3, 2021.  The Foundation does plan to resume in-office operations when it is safe to do so, and the position will be based in the Foundation’s offices, located in West Conshohocken, PA. Advanced notice will be provided for the resumption of in-office operations.

West Conshohocken, PA is a short drive (~15 miles) from Philadelphia and within walking distance of a commuter train station into downtown Philadelphia. The offices are close to residential and commercial districts with multiple restaurants, as well as Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs where Villanova University, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College are located. The surrounding area has many walkable communities with an affordable cost of living and a robust variety of cultural and entertainment opportunities, including a vibrant food scene, five professional sports teams, world-class museums, galleries, gardens, and a broad array of music venues and other performing arts institutions. The offices are in close proximity to major highways, with New York City, the Jersey shore, the Pocono Mountains, and the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country all within a two-hour drive. The offices also provide easy access to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (making New York City or Washington, D.C. an easy day trip) and to Philadelphia International Airport, an American Airlines hub serving destinations throughout the U.S. (more than a hundred routes), Caribbean (a dozen routes), and Europe/MENA (more than twenty routes).

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