Michael Novak and Karen Laub-Novak Fellowship in Philosophy and Public Policy

About the Fellowship

Print in gold and black, with a crowd of figures standing before a shining building and others standing atop a dais.
Karen Laub-Novak's The New Jerusalem

The Michael Novak and Karen Laub-Novak Fellowships awarded by the Jacques Maritain Center provide support to Notre Dame graduate students who show evidence of a vocation to pursue Catholic intellectual life in regard to public policy questions, national and international. A Fellow may either be specifically pursuing research on a question of public significance, or more generally pursuing  research in one of the following areas relevant to questions of public significance:

  • Philosophy and economics
  • Theology and economics
  • Philosophy of ethics
  • Politics and social justice
  • Philosophy of sports
  • The relation of faith and reason in society
  • Religion and science
  • Philosophy of art
  • Philosophy of democracy and human rights
  • Human nature and human dignity
  • Principles of public policy regarding the family, welfare, and liberation from poverty
  • Other topical areas that advance the intellectual, social, and cultural contributions of Jacques Maritain and his school

Laub-Novak Fellows will receive a $3,500 summer stipend paid May-July, during which period they commit to assisting the Center with tasks for 5 hours per week. Fellows will remain affiliated with the Jacques Maritain Center for the duration of their graduate studies at Notre Dame, providing access to special programming, as well as support for research and event organizing.

We expect to appoint up to 2 fellows each year.


Open to graduate students enrolled full-time at Notre Dame in the departments of Philosophy, Theology, or Political Science. Preference is given to PhD students, but applications from Master’s level students will also be considered.

Application requirements

  • Current CV;

  • Brief essay describing candidate’s suitability for and interest in the Laub-Novak fellowship in relation to their current program of studies at Notre Dame (no more than 2 double-spaced pages);

  • The name and contact info of an ND professor, preferably the candidate’s supervisor, who has agreed to submit a recommendation on the candidate’s behalf.

Candidates should submit these materials at our online portal; we will contact recommenders directly in the second round of consideration.

The application window for Summer 2024 is now closed. Please check back for next year's application in the fall.

Directors of Graduate Study in Philosophy / Theology / Political Science: Please note that a limited number of stipends are available to outstanding incoming doctoral students via program nomination; please inquire with maritain@nd.edu.

About Michael Novak and Karen Laub-Novak

Michael Novak And Karen Laub-Novak
Michael Novak and Karen Laub-Novak

Like Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, Michael Novak and Karen Laub-Novak devoted themselves to the life of the mind, artistic creativity, and public service. Michael Novak was an esteemed philosopher, theologian, and political theorist. Novak taught at Stanford, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Ave Maria University, and Catholic University of Amrerica and worked as a journalist and editor for national publications such as Commonweal, The Christian Century, and First Things. His thought proved influential among world leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II.

Visit Michael Novak's website

Karen Laub-Novak was a prolific artist and professor of humanities. She received commissions for her work from college presidents, executives, churches, and non-profit organizations and taught at Carleton, Stanford, Syracuse, Georgetown, Mount Vernon College, and University of California-Riverside. Her artwork, traversing the media of painting, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture, has been exhibited across the country and is maintained in many permanent collections.

Visit Karen Laub-Novak's website