Applications for the Spring 2022 Ethics Circle program are now closed. Check back in autumn semester for information about applying to the 2023 program.
We often struggle to find time to reflect on ethical issues in a sustained way. Ethics Circle offers faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff across the university an opportunity to develop their understanding of the ethical issues underlying their work, in a community of fellow inquirers. Fellows will be given the tools to sensitively and more systematically address cutting-edge ethical challenges in their area of interest.
Ethics Circle fellows who participate to enhance their teaching will be eligible for a Teaching Ethics and Human Values endorsement from the Ohio State Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning. Click here for more details on the teaching endorsement.
Successful completion of the program will result in a $500 fellowship award.
Why should you apply?
Every social and technological transformation presents complex ethical and social challenges. Whether thinking about bias in data analytics, the social impact of smart technology (from automated vehicles to technological unemployment), the challenge of sustainable food systems, or the promise and perils of new medical therapies, we often find it difficult to address satisfactorily the underlying ethical issues at stake. The same is true when thinking of broader social issues such as sustainable development, the role and limits of markets, the value and challenge of diversity, or social inequality. Each of these challenges raises questions about our moral and political rights, about our ideals and core values, and about how to weigh values against each other.
Ethics Circle offers you the chance to engage these issues under the mentorship of CEHV faculty, and with other Ohio State community members also seeking to enhance their understanding of ethical issues in their work.
"My participation in the Ethics Circle in the spring of 2020 helped me cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a part of the Circle opened my eyes and heart to be able to view the pandemic and the response of nurses through an ethical lens. Meeting with the other fellows was crucial to help keep me on track and feel supported in my journey. It was helpful to hear the perspective of faculty and graduate students from various fields. In addition, the mentorship that I received from Dr. Piers Turner was truly extraordinary. Dr. Turner met with me individually during the fellowship and over the summer of 2020 to support the completion of my project, a book chapter that focused on the moral distress of nurses who work in free health clinics during the pandemic. My book chapter is currently under review at the publisher. Lastly, by completing the tasks of the fellowship, I was able to submit my application to be eligible to receive the Teaching Ethics and Human Values Endorsement from the Ohio State Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning. The endorsement is one of my annual review goals and will strengthen my teaching of ethics content to graduate nursing students. I encourage you to participate in this wonderful opportunity!"
- Dr. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing, Spring 2020 Ethics Circle Fellow
"One of the highlights of the Ethics Circle fellowship for me was the workshop on teaching strategies. I learned different teaching techniques that have proven effective in getting students to embrace more nuanced perspectives on ethical issues. Since I started applying these pedagogical strategies this fall semester, I have seen students being able to balance their positions with differing views better than ever in my teaching experience at OSU. These strategies have opened up a kind of democratization of ideas in my classroom, engendering an atmosphere that is welcoming for every student to share their individual perspectives on issues.
Another highlight of Ethics Circle was the opportunity to learn from the projects of other fellows. Our monthly gatherings, which featured each fellow sharing their projects, were enlightening for me. Listening to different fellows’ projects made me realize the expansiveness of ethics, and our all of life’s endeavors, really, can be approached through a study of ethics."
- Kayode Odumboni, PhD Student, Department of English, Spring 2020 Ethics Circle Fellow
What will the program involve?
Applicants will be asked to specify a project, describing an area of interest and an expected output (a draft of an academic paper, a piece of public or online writing, a grant proposal, instructional materials or lesson plans, a piece of artwork, etc.). Proposals should be under 500 words. Those pursuing a Drake Institute teaching endorsement must propose the development of instructional materials as their project.
The semester-long program kicks off with a half-day workshop allowing fellows get to know each other, and including a whirl-wind introduction to the leading ethical traditions in Western philosophy.
The workshop is followed by monthly dinners with the community of fellows -- the Ethics Circle -- in which each participant presents their project question to the other fellows, and leads a discussion. (During the Spring 2021 fellowship program, all meetings will take place on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
It will also involve regular meetings with a CEHV mentor.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Director, Piers Turner.