Best Practices

  • Proposing a Theme

  • Building a Team

Those proposing themes will be responsible for:

  • Defining the national-to-global significance of issues underlying the theme to be addressed;
  • Explaining specific topics to be examined and how solutions would be sought from across the spectrum of scholarship;
  • Suggesting how the wider community (the academy and beyond) would become engaged in the work and suggesting possible participants;
  • Indicating how new ideas/approaches developed would be reported and disseminated;
  • Providing a timetable for conducting the work and its timely dissemination; and
  • Indicating how national and global impact arising from the work would be achieved and assessed.

Proposed themes must align with the Academy's mission and aspirations, and include excellent participants and a core group of champions with relevant expertise at Western. It is possible a theme may not be selected in a given year if proposals do not meet these high standards.

Successful theme applications will clearly show how the proposed mix of Western Fellows and Visiting Fellows will provide a full spectrum of expertise and viewpoints to the proposed theme:

  • Core team membership—i.e. those funded by the Western Academy—normally includes three Western Fellows and two Visiting Western Fellows. The number of Western Postdoctoral Scholars is normally two.
  • Graduate students working with Western Fellows and Visiting Western Fellows are welcomed as participants in a theme’s work as well, but The Western Academy is unable to support them financially. 
  • Other faculty members are also welcomed to participate in the work of a theme, though stipends and/or release time funded by The Western Academy are not contemplated.