The James F. Drane Fellowships in Bioethics

          Scholars and researchers from all over the United States and the world are invited to collaborate with the Bioethics Institute in searching for solutions for bioethical issues and answers to bioethical questions. We offer two types of Fellowships to support such research.

          Fellowship for Scholars

          The James F. Drane Bioethics Institute awards fellowship status to scholars (preferably with affiliation to academic centers) and graduate students (preferably PhD candidates who are working on their dissertations) from the United States or abroad whose scholarly works or projects are related to bioethics.

          Each Fellow spends between one and six months at the Institute. During the time of fellowship, the Fellow resides at Edinboro University, using the resources available at the Institute, working with Edinboro University faculty, and participating in University events and activities.

          The Fellow may also participate in the events sponsored by other academic centers in the region, especially the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

          The institute has a limited fund to cover the travel and accommodation expenses for Fellows each year.

          What we provide:

          • Study space and academic resources – Fellows will have study space at the Institute along with full access to the resources including the library and journals.
          • Mentorship – Fellows will spend time with an academic mentor to advance their projects.
          • Studying and teaching experiences – Fellows take part in academic events and bioethics classes at Edinboro University. In some cases, they may teach parts of an academic course.
          • Visa application (if needed)
          • Transportation – A limited budget is available to cover part of the transportation expenses for Fellows who have been accepted. In addition, the Institute will help Fellows with local transportation, especially to local academic institutions.
          • Accommodations – Edinboro University provides housing for Fellows near the Institute. The expenses will be covered by the Institute for Fellows who have been accepted.

          What we expect:

          Funding and the final certificate will depend on:

          • Attendance – The physical attendance of Fellows at the Institute is required. Fellows must spend at least two-thirds of the working days at the Institute, working on the activities directly related to the fellowship. Fellows may spend the remainder of their time pursuing personal business and interests.
          • Collaboration – Fellows are expected to actively engage in their research projects, participate in group activities at the Institute, and exhibit the spirit of teamwork.
          • Presentation – Fellows are required to present their projects for an audience at the Institute at least once during their fellowship.
          • Publication – Fellows are expected to publish the results of their project or other fellowship-related main activities in a reasonable time after their fellowship is complete, and to acknowledge the support of the Institute in their publications.

          How to apply:

          To apply for the Fellowship, please email the following items to Dr. Kiarash Aramesh (Email address:

          • A Cover Letter describing your research interests, project (for graduate students, their thesis or dissertation), your goals for pursuing this fellowship, and your preferred length and timespan (also, please mention if you would like to apply for travel and accommodation funding and if you need a Visa);
          • Your CV;
          • An example of your scholarly works (preferably a recent publication).

          For fellowship opportunities in the spring and summer of 2019, please submit your application by January 1, 2019.

          Our Fellows

          Stephen E. Herman, Ph.D.(c)

          Stephen HermanJames F. Drane Bioethics Institute Fellow, April-May, 2019

          Stephen is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the University of Missouri. His dissertation focuses on the ethics of belief and how agents can be responsible for their beliefs. Over the course of his time at the University of Missouri, Stephen has devoted his time to bioethics, organizing a conference on the ethics of germline genetic modification, and teaching classes in the subject.

          As a James F. Drane Fellow, Stephen has two main research projects at Edinboro. First, he is interested in the ethics of tobacco harm reduction policies that encourage active smokers to switch to e-cigarette products as a means to prevent deaths related to combustible tobacco usage. Tobacco harm reduction policies tend to only encourage switching in more advantaged communities. His main concern is whether we have an ethical obligation to gear harm reduction policies towards the needs of disadvantaged communities, especially in middle- and lower-income countries.

           Stephen’s second interest is in the ethics of germline genetic modification. One of the primary targets for germline genetic modification are fetuses that contain the genetic markers for disabilities. The idea, here, is that modifying a fetus so that it will not possess a disability is therapeutic. Most think that therapeutic genetic modification is permissible. Stephen’s is interested in whether the removal of a disability can constitute genetic therapy.  He argues that possessing a disability does not make a person inherently worse off than one who does not possess a disability.