Apply for Funding

Application Deadline Closed
Please consider applying in Fall 2018!

Recognizing the importance of greater access to philosophy for all adults, youth, and children, as well as the scarcity of funds available for philosophy programs, PLATO created the PLATO Philosophy Fund (PPF), which provides funding for a wide range of innovative philosophy programs with the aim of broadening philosophy’s reach. The expectation is that many of these programs will take place in public and other non-traditional settings.


The Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) is not a federal agency. Accordingly, no grants awarded by the PLATO Philosophy Fund shall be subject to Facilities and Administrative Cost as defined in subsection B.4 of Appendix A to 2 Code of Federal Regulations part 220, or as otherwise defined by any college or university. Moreover, the PLATO Philosophy Fund does not award funding for fringe benefits or grant administration costs. Grantee organizations should support these costs through other funding sources. Please address any questions to PPF chair Jana Mohr Lone at


In PPF’s first year, all applications were blind-reviewed by a committee composed of members of the PLATO Board of Directors. The following projects were funded:

Linguistic Inquiry with Bilingual Children – New York, NY $2,000

This project will explore how philosophical inquiry can be integrated into the English Language Arts curriculum of mainstream elementary dual language classrooms, and begin to assess the utility and viability of such a model. By cultivating their own philosophical stances regarding language and language use, students are supported in becoming critical consumers of texts and are empowered as learners.


Philosophy in the Community – Helena, Montana $5,000

This community project consists of a variety of philosophy-based community activities, including but not limited to: philosophy walks, philosophy symposiums, philosophy drive-ins, philosophy workshops, philosophy community socials, and philosophy forums and roundtables.  Philosophy is viewed as a means to help people live healthier, happier and more deeply satisfying lives, to promote and encourage critical and creative thought, to cultivate leadership and action, and to foster, strengthen, and enrich communities.  Valued and relevant, philosophy is conceived of as a truly fun, exhilarating, and rewarding activity in itself – something that should be lived.


UCSC Philosophy Outreach – Santa Cruz, CA $4,200

This university-based outreach program will serve two disparate communities:  the Santa Cruz City Jail, Code 4 unit (a self-contained unit of 25 inmates that stresses anti-recidivism and self-improvement); and two public elementary schools, where 3rd – 5th graders will do philosophy with volunteers from UCSC’s Center for Public Philosophy.  One of the program’s goals is to bring philosophy into places where the subject is not usually encountered.


Beautiful Minds – Washington DC $1,075

This after-school high school club is a place where students come together to discuss issues of the day, think deeply and critically about subjects important to them, learn about the different schools of philosophy, and share their philosophical perspectives.  This student-led club is for students who want to make difference in their lives and inspire others; the club leaders believe that philosophy will help students learn who they are and how they want to be in the world. In addition to the club, the project includes a competition during which students are asked and reply to a series of questions.  Prizes will be awarded.


Young Philosophers of New York, NY $5,000

A series of after-school workshops will be offered to older elementary and middle schools students around the city in diverse neighborhoods: “What’s the Big Idea?” will provide a forum where 3-5 graders can discuss questions they themselves generate and “The Keys to the City” will give 6 – 8 graders the opportunity to develop their own city and discuss the philosophical issues that arise during the planning.


Annual Philosophy Summer Camp – Lexington, Kentucky $2,500

Run by the University of Kentucky’s Graduate Student Association, this free week-long summer camp will offer 30 young students the opportunity to respond to readings, stories, and invited speakers. Campers will keep journals, learn about philosophical terms, logic, and social justice, and examine the relationship between philosophical theory and activism. The program’s goal is that half of the campers will come from underrepresented communities.

Application Instructions:

Learn how you can apply for a PLATO Philosophy Fund Grant!

Applications are due January 31, 2018.


Questions? Email us at:

  1. You must be a PLATO member to apply for funding. You can join here.
  2. Download application
  3. When completing the application, you have 2 options…
    1. Print and fill out by hand (download the PDF) -OR-
    2. Download and fill out on your computer using the Microsoft Word version
  4. Then scan (if necessary) and/or upload your answers by clicking on the Application Submission.

Application Submission:

Click here to view the online form »

We are no longer accepting applications. Please check back in the Fall of 2018!

Indicate the institution you are affiliated with for the purposes of this grant application. (school or organization usually)
(just additional applicants please - no need to enter the contact person a second time)
(just additional applicants please - no need to enter the contact person a second time)
(just additional applicants please - no need to enter the contact person a second time)
Allowed file extensions are pdf, png, jpg, gif, doc, docx. Max file size is 16 MB. Download the application (you can find it in the "Apply Now" section to the right of this form). Then print, fill-out, sign and scan it; then you can upload it here.