The IRC will organize two, one-week long workshops towards the end of the first and second years of the project, and one three-day long workshop in the third year. The first workshop will have as its basic theme the origin and concept of life; the second will be on the brain, mind, and human person; and the third one on the place of the person in the cosmos. The intention is to enable a select group of exceptional, early-career Latin American academics to interact with a core team of three senior, high profile researchers, chosen for their strong ability to foster interdisciplinary engagement across science, philosophy and theology.

Format of the workshops

The basic format of each morning of each workshop will be as follows:

  • 1.5 hour plenary session (9 – 10:30) with a presentation from one of the main speakers, including at least half an hour for questions from the participants
  • 0.5 hour break and an opportunity for informal discussions
  • 1.5 hours for ongoing discussion with the plenary speaker, during which time individual appointments will be available for each participant to meet other speakers.

The plenary sessions will present an overview of contemporary discussions on the main topic of the conference, including a summary of the key questions of the field and the speaker’s perspectives on future developments and prospects. Individual appointments will provide an opportunity for a one-to-one meeting between participants and the main speakers to discuss research ideas and future plans.

The basic format of each afternoon of the workshop will be:

  • 2.0 hours of four parallel group sessions, with each of the three plenary speakers and, as the fourth parallel session, a project management workshop
  • 0.5 hour break and an opportunity for informal discussions
  • 1.5 hours to continue the parallel sessions

The parallel sessions are intended to be ‘master classes’, enabling advanced students to get feedback from their peers and from world leaders in their field. The parallel sessions with the three main speakers will consist of a short presentation of work by each of the participants in turn, followed by feedback and questions from the main speakers, and then the broader group. Each day, the members of the four groups of seven will be shuffled so that each participant has the opportunity to present and receive feedback from each of the plenary speakers and discuss and debate ideas with as many different peers as possible.

In addition to those presentations and seminars focused on research and the big questions, Drs Andrew Pinsent and Ignacio Silva will also present a workshop on project proposal and management skills. This project management workshop will take the place of one of the afternoon sessions.


Any early-career scholar from Latin America can apply to participate in these workshops. By early-career the IRC understands any post-graduate student (at masters or doctorate level), post-doctoral fellows and scholars within their fifth year of tenure at any HEI in Latin America.

Up to twenty-eight early career scholars from throughout Latin America who show exceptional promise, selected by means of the competitive evaluation, will be invited to take part of these workshops.


Details of requirements can be found on the request for applications for each workshop. In summary, the requirements will be:

  • A CV
  • A letter of intent of not more than 1,000 words
  • An abstract of not more than 500 words of the proposed paper
  • A letter from the home institution stating support for the application

Selection criteria (“What does a successful application look like?”)

The applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • High academic promise, as evidenced by CVs, personal statements
  • Quality of abstract and proposed paper
  • Future academic plans
  • Plans for publications

Apply for the second workshop on the Brain, the Mind and the Person at Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, before April 30th, 2016.