Call for Applications for a

Development Workshop on Interdisciplinary Well-Being Research


The Happiness and Well-Being Project, led by Dan Haybron of Saint Louis University, invites early career researchers in philosophy, the sciences, theology and religious studies to submit applications for a four-day summer workshop aimed at integrating scientific, philosophical, and religious perspectives on well-being. For the purposes of this workshop, “early career” or “junior” ranges from advanced graduate students (students in doctoral programs who are "all but dissertation" or the equivalent) to recently tenured faculty (preferably no more than 2-3 years past tenure).

The four-day workshop will take the form of a retreat in a secluded cloud forest location in Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica, from June 21-24, 2016. Up to 10 junior scholars and 5 senior researchers will meet to share their work and discuss key issues in contemporary well-being research. Senior participants will include Ellen Charry (theology), Ed Diener (psychology), Dan Haybron (philosophy), Martin Seligman (psychology), and Valerie Tiberius (philosophy). The project’s postdoctoral fellow, Richard Kim, will also attend.

Participants will present some of their research in an informal setting; work in progress is fine. Unlike a typical summer seminar format, “top-down” instruction from senior scholars will be kept to a minimum. A major goal of the workshop is to build a cohort of young well-being researchers who will help shape the next generation of work on well-being, bringing empirical and non-empirical approaches together.

In selecting participants, we will primarily be seeking long-term impact in advancing the cause of interdisciplinary well-being research. Participants need not claim such research as the central focus of their previous work, as it is hoped that some exceptional scholars might be persuaded to shift their efforts toward the subject. But they should have a serious interest in conducting interdisciplinary well-being research in the future.

Note that we understand interdisciplinary work broadly; for example, there is no expectation that psychologists engaging with philosophy will write philosophy papers. It may suffice simply that their researches be significantly informed by the philosophical literature, or by collaboration with philosophers.

For an illustrative (but non-exclusive) list of some of the topics that might be covered, please see the RFP questions posted on the Grants page of the project website at

Participants will receive travel reimbursement, food and lodging for the workshop plus travel days, funds to attend the project’s capstone conference in 2018, and a $500 stipend. Participants should plan to arrive at the venue by June 20, and depart June 25. A short reading list will be provided in advance of the workshop, with which all participants should be familiar.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following materials to by January 8, 2016:

·      A current CV

·      A 750 word description of research interests and how they relate to the workshop’s themes

·      One letter of recommendation (this can be submitted directly by the recommender)

·      A writing sample (this need not focus on well-being)

For answers to questions, please email