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FIRE Receives $2.5 Million Grant from John Templeton Foundation to Launch SOAR, Announces Nine New Job Openings

John Templeton Foundation

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 18, 2016—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is excited to announce the launch of its new Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project. Made possible by a $2.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, this ambitious three-year project will provide FIRE with the tools necessary to conduct polling on campus attitudes, engage in legal and social science research, and mobilize a wider audience on and off campus in the fight for student and faculty rights.

“FIRE is grateful to the Templeton Foundation for its generous investment in the fight to defeat censorship and preserve academic freedom on campus,” said FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff. “The grant will give FIRE tremendous resources to engage a wider audience and better understand the current attitudes and arguments about campus rights. FIRE has been eager to pursue a project like this since our founding in 1999. The Templeton Foundation has now made it a reality.”

Businessman and philanthropist Sir John Templeton gave his foundation the motto "how little we know, how eager to learn" to exemplify its support for open-minded inquiry and the hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries. The Templeton Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.

“We are delighted to support FIRE’s efforts to help promote understanding of America’s unique constitutional and cultural commitments to free and open speech, including uncensored debate on even the most controversial topics,” said Daniel Austin Green, director of individual freedom and free markets at the Templeton Foundation.

With today’s announcement of SOAR, FIRE is also opening the job application process for nine new positions. FIRE is seeking energetic applicants who are entrepreneurial and passionate about its mission to fill the following positions by January 3, 2017:

  • Director of Public Outreach
  • Data Analyst
  • Psychology Research Fellow
  • History Research Fellow
  • Archival Fellow
  • High School Outreach Fellow
  • Alumni and Public Outreach Fellow
  • Faculty Outreach Fellow
  • Communications Coordinator

“FIRE’s team is composed of some of the most thoughtful, principled, and driven people working to defend and sustain civil rights today,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “With the launch of SOAR, we get to expand our already elite team to explore new issue areas and bolster our ongoing fight to protect campus rights.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

Nico Perrino, Director of Communications, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

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