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Ethics Fellows

Target Audience: Students in their second and third years at UNC.

The Ethics Fellows program provides students opportunities to work in teams on projects of ethical concern. Each Fall, Fellows self-select into teams of 6-9 students to work on one of our year-long projects (listed below). Projects are supervised by Parr Center Staff Advisors, who provide guidance, direction, and insight regularly. Students must meet weekly with their group to discuss project progress and direction. Then, students spend 2 – 2.5 hours working on tasks related to their project.

Aside from projects, students are required to attend twice monthly evening talks called “Parr Heel Talks,” where scholars from across campus discuss their latest research on ethics. Also, students must attend at least two Parr Center Speaker Series events. In addition, Fellows participate in social events like the Induction Ceremony and End of Year Celebration. Finally, Fellows volunteer at the North Carolina and National High School Ethics Bowls. 

50+ Ethics Fellows posing for a silly picture on the steps of caldwell.
Photo Credit: Alex Berenfeld


Students self-select into one project they would like to work on for the year. Each group is led by one or two Executive Board Members. Execs are returning Fellows and are decided in the summer.

Group Meeting: Groups must meet weekly to discuss project updates, progress, and issues. Fellows decide the day and time for their meetings, though meetings are expected to last 15 – 30 minutes.

Weekly Work: Fellows must complete 2 – 2.5 hours of work on their project (not counting the group meeting). Work may be completed anytime, anywhere, and with anyone, provided it is completed by the end of the week. Students will complete a short reporting form each week to prove work completion.

Fellows are expected to attend bimonthly “Parr Heel Talks,” where invited scholars from across campus share their research in ethics. These talks are open only to Parr Center students, include dinner, and provide insight on how various disciplines approach topics in ethics.


Induction Ceremony: At the ceremony, the Parr Center community welcomes new and returning students to the year. Additionally, we provide free headshots for all students.

Full-day Orientation: Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the rules, requirements, and expectations of the Parr Center Ethics at the retreat. More importantly, students get to know each other and begin mapping their project goals at this event. 


End of the Year Celebration: Fellows participate in a celebratory event to send off graduating seniors and international students returning to their home institutions. 

The Parr Center hosts various public lectures each academic year. Lectures include the lunchtime Ethics Around the Table series and evening events such as Parr Center PresentsParr | Bioethics Joint Lectures, and the Parr Center Forum. Fellows must attend at least two Parr Center public lectures each semester. To see our upcoming events visit our events calendar!

The Parr Center for Ethics is the home of the National High School Ethics Bowl. Each Spring semester, the Parr Center hosts the North Carolina Regional and National competitions. All Fellows train to moderate competition rounds, serve as help points for visitors and provide general assistance during the matches. In addition, Fellows must moderate or room staff during the one-day Regional competition and the weekend-long National competition.

Bioethics Society of UNCThis team will promote and lead our university-wide, student-led organization. Learn more here.
Chapel Phil PodcastChapel Phil will brainstorm, research, record, and release ethics-related podcast episodes. Learn more here.
Ethics EdThis group will assist Outreach Director Michael Vazquez with initiatives and programs throughout the year. Learn more about Michael's work here.
Ethics from My SeatEMS will engage in outreach and community building through ethically driven discussions and social events.
Intercollegiate Ethics BowlIEB will lead UNC’S IEB team. Note: UNC’s IEB team will be open to all students. Learn more here.
National High School Ethics BowlThis team will assist the NHSEB Director with initiatives and programs. Learn more here.
Parr Heel Blog The blog team will discuss, pitch, write, and edit content for the Parr Center’s blog. Learn more here.

Past Projects 

  • Arete
  • Carolina Forum for Ethics Club
  • Marketing
  • Moral Obligations to Returning Veterans
  • National High School Ethics Bowl
  • Outreach
  • Parr Heel Blog
  • Technology
Absolutely not! There are no requirements or expectations for students to be studying Philosophy. We believe ethics is everywhere and affects everyone’s lives. To this end, we strongly encourage students from all disciplines, backgrounds, and walks of life to apply to our programs. 
Those admitted as Fellows will serve for one year. However, suppose students would like to return for a second year. In that case, they must be invited to complete a Returning Fellow Application to recommit their time and energy to the Ethics Fellows program for the following year. Students may serve as an Ethics Fellow for two years. After that, they may be invited to participate in the Ethics Mentor program.
Fellows have access to world-renowned ethicists, free coffee and tea in our office, a secluded study space in Caldwell Hall, and a welcoming community of intellectually curious peers. Additionally, students can work toward the Ethics Scholar transcript designation while sharpening their moral reasoning skills. To hear about more benefits, please reach out to our Director of Undergraduate Programming, who can connect you to a current Fellow.
The Ethics Fellow program commitment is 80 hours annually. Group meetings and weekly work are designed to take two hours of work most weeks of the semester. However, we provide weeks “off” near Fall Break and Spring Break. We do not ask students to work during finals in either semester. Additional requirements (Parr Heel Talks, National High School Ethics Bowl volunteering, etc.) occur infrequently and are included in the 80-hour total.
Due to increased student demand and our efforts to grow the Ethics Scholar program, we ask that Fellows study at UNC-CH for the Fall and Spring. Unfortunately, we do not have a comparable hybrid or fully remote option.
Absolutely! We value varying perspectives and experiences and will work with you to ensure the Ethics Fellow program fits your new schedule.
Preference for admission to the Fellows program will be given to students who intend to earn the Parr Center Ethics Scholar transcript designation.
Additional questions? Email our Director of Undergraduate Programming, Vanessa Moore!
The Parr Center Ethics Scholar Application will open on August 20, 2023 and will close on September 7, 2023.