Sugarman Practitioner in Residence Program

2022-23 Sugarman Fellows

2022-23 Sugarman Practitioners in Residence and Associated Practitioners

Established through a gift by Jay S. Sugarman ’84, the Sugarman Practitioner in Residence program is intended to support practitioners in a variety of fields to pursue a breakthrough solution to a society-relevant problem, the success of which depends on understanding certain aspects of human behavior, and which could benefit from the support, guidance, and mentorship of members of Princeton's academic community. Each Sugarman Fellow proposes a project, hypothesizing that the gap between the current state and an improved future could be solved by addressing some aspect of human motivation, judgment, decision, or perception, whether individual or collective.

The ideal Sugarman Fellow will be someone who applies (or seeks to develop the application of) behavioral scientific tools in policy-relevant settings.  Fellows will be engaged in a project of their own proposing that can benefit from the application of behavioral science tools and insights.  Applicants should have a clear problem statement and propose a project on which the residency will be based.  Completion of the project is not necessary during the residency, though the hope is that much forward progress will be realized through interaction with the Princeton community.

The Practitioners in Residence we envision may range from young entrepreneurs, app developers, leaders of non-governmental organizations, and policy wonks, to activists, climate scientists, leaders of social, cultural, or health-related movements, architects, designers, urban planners, and so on. Applicants need not be U.S. citizens and need not have held an academic appointment or an advanced degree.

The application should include a clearly-stated problem or opportunity, where the applicant hypothesizes that the gap between the status quo and an improved future could be solved by addressing regular errors, oversights, or biases in human judgment or perception—whether individual or collective. The problem statement should also introduce a proposed project idea, instrument, intervention, etc. to address this gap, including an outline of the steps that the applicant envisions to work through during the residency, the anticipated outcome if successful, and the types of experts whose insights may prove fruitful. 

During the appointed term, the Sugarman Fellow will be affiliated with Princeton University, but with no formal teaching, research, or publication expectations.  Like an “artist-in-residence” program, this position will provide the resident practitioner a sanctuary from the everyday responsibilities that can impede breakthrough thinking, along with the opportunity to deepen engagement with the behavioral sciences and related policy tools through collaboration with university faculty.  In addition to developing their projects while in residence, the cohort members will participate in the full life of the Kahneman-Treisman Center, giving talks and workshops and engaging with Princeton faculty, fellows, and students, who will benefit from the Sugarman Fellows’ knowledge and applied approach to their fields. An $85,000 stipend is provided for the 10-month appointment in the rank of Visiting Fellow (renewable with demonstration of satisfactory progress and confirmed funding of the program). Full-time residency is not required, however Fellows should be on campus enough throughout the appointment period to facilitate meaningful engagement with Princeton faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students, who, the hope is, will benefit from the Resident’s knowledge and applied approach.

The inaugural cohort began in Spring 2022 and was completed with the addition of other Fellows in Fall 2022. The program has continued into 2023-24

The call for proposals for the 2024-25 cohort are now posted. Another page on our site addresses Frequently Asked Questions.