Program Officer, Philosophy and Theology
Location: Philadelphia metro area, Pennsylvania, USA
Department: Philosophy and Theology (Programs)
Reports to: Director, Philosophy and Theology
Salary: Competitive salary and benefits package based on qualifications and experience
Travel: Domestic and international travel as pertinent
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 in disciplines ranging from fundamental physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology, and genetics, to psychology, sociology, philosophy, and theology. We encourage open-minded and rigorous intellectual engagement between scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between scholars, public intellectuals, journalists, and the general public. In all our work, we strive to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery. To accomplish this, we make grants to support academic research on a wide range of topics within the Foundation’s mission, as well grants to disseminate information about that research.
The Philosophy and Theology Department maintains a portfolio of grants totaling approximately $70 million in projects worldwide. It supports constructive research in philosophy and theology that promotes theoretical and conceptual innovation and improvement in the world’s wisdom tradition; integrates well-founded scientific research into philosophical and theological inquiries that draw from the world’s wisdom traditions; or interrogates and improves the theoretical, conceptual, and (where relevant) theological underpinnings of scientific research and practice.
Current strategic priorities for the Philosophy and Theology Department include science-engaged theology, intellectual humility, mathematics and physical sciences, the science of character virtues, cultural evolution, and the science of purpose. The Philosophy and Theology Department also has a special focus on developing and supporting capacity for research on themes within the Foundation’s remit among scholars in Latin America and scholars working within Islam.
To advance the Foundation’s mission and strengthen our team, the Foundation is seeking a Program Officer for Philosophy and Theology. The Program Officer will work with the Program Associate and the Director of Philosophy and Theology to develop and commission new initiatives to advance its strategic priorities, recruit and review grant proposals, communicate with applicants and grantees regarding the application and review process, monitor the activities and progress of active grants, help grantees adjust their projects in response to changing circumstances, and collaborate with our evaluation team to examine our grants’ research and overall impact. The Program Officer will also keep abreast of new developments in the research, institutional landscape, and general culture that impact the Philosophy and Theology Department’s work, and advise the Director, Philosophy and Theology and other internal stakeholders on how these developments might afford new opportunities or challenges for carrying out the Foundation’s mandate.
Areas of Responsibility
- Review and analyze grant proposals, prepare funding recommendations, monitor grant activity, help grantees with change requests, and manage the Foundation’s relationship with principal investigators.
- Develop new ideas for grants and larger initiatives in collaboration with the Director, Philosophy and Theology, and the Vice President, Natural Sciences.
- Recruit, commission, and equip scholars to potentially lead large-scale research projects.
- Evaluate the performance of grants and grantees in conjunction with the Foundation’s department of Planning and Evaluation.
- Contribute to the development, refinement, and implementation of strategic priority plans.
- Communicate the mission of the Foundation both internally and externally, especially to researchers, academic institutions, and in related networking opportunities.
- Identify and communicate with other funding agencies whose goals overlap with the Foundation’s interests in philosophy and theology.
- Organize and participate in conferences, workshops, special meetings, and symposia that advance the goals of the Philosophy and Theology Department.
- Participate in relevant professional development opportunities.
Required Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities
- Graduate degree in philosophy, theology, or religion/religious studies (Ph.D. preferred).
- At least three years of professional experience in a foundation or academic setting.
- Experience in writing, editing, and critically reviewing scholarly written materials related to philosophy or theology, including proposals, papers, books, and scholarly presentations.
- Strong analytical skills, especially pertaining to information gathering, the evaluation of ideas, and principled decision-making.
- Efficiency and reliability working with a team asynchronously and independently on tight deadlines.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Ability to winsomely and diplomatically network, communicate, and collaborate with scholars and members of various scholarly communities.
- Ability to work collaboratively with internal Foundation stakeholders, including other Foundation staff, leadership, and trustees.
- Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s overall mission.
Preferred Skills and Abilities
- Track record of scholarship in an area of inquiry that substantially intersects with questions about the history and philosophy of science, or the relationship between the sciences and society.
- Demonstrable intellectual interest several of the department’s current strategic priorities.
- Intense curiosity concerning a breadth of fundamental questions in science, philosophy, and theology/religion.
- Experience participating in interdisciplinary academic research programs.
- Experience creatively connecting disparate fields of inquiry together to advance research in areas within the Foundation’s mission and core themes.
- Interest in fostering academic scholarship on Templeton themes in Latin America and other non-Anglophone, non-Western European countries around the world.
- Some facility with written and spoken Spanish or Portuguese.