Let Me Think

Envisioning alternative academies to broaden access to scholarly practice

Scholarship Workshop 2023

Reimagining the academy

Large House
Oneonta, NY, where the workshop will be held

Update: Applications now open! See below.

Scholarship Workshop 2023, organized by Let Me Think, is an 8-week in-person incubator for new scholarly institutions, taking place June 4 – July 29 in Oneonta, New York. We will study the past and present of scholarly institutions, and then use our knowledge to found new scholarly institutions. We will cover food and lodging, so that participants won't have to pay.


Create new scholarly institutions.

The workshop should end with several new scholarly institutions underway.

Create new research on scholarly institutions, past, present and future.

The workshop will serve as a unique vantage point outside the university to think about scholarly institutions.

Explore the potential of hybrid study-incubator retreats for envisioning and enacting new futures.

That is, the workshop itself is an experiment with scientific value. We plan to issue a report on the workshop to inform future efforts.


Prior to the retreat

In the month of May the participants will meet virtually to get to know each other ahead of time and plan the daily practices and curriculum/syllabus.

Week 1

The participants settle in for the retreat and get to know each other.

Weeks 2-3

Intensive study regarding the past of scholarly institutions. We will read about the history of universities, monasteries, and industrialized education among other things.

Weeks 4-5

Intensive study regarding the present barriers that people experience to scholarly practice. This will include plenty of literary practice (reading and writing), as well as possible experimental research (e.g. surveys, interviews).

Week 6

We rest, integrate the preceding month of study, and start brainstorming ideas for new scholarly institutions.

Weeks 7-8

Under the guidance of business mentors, we write business plans for new (for-profit, non-profit, or public) scholarly institutions informed by our study, and we set them in motion. The workshop ends with a pitching event, attended by funders.

After the retreat

The participants will continue their projects (if they want) and keep in touch (if they want).


We are looking for 20 participants who are eager to found new scholarly institutions that address some of the deficiencies with the current university system.

If that sounds like you, please fill out the application form here. For any questions, please email us at contact@let-me-think.org.

Applications are due on March 24, 2023. (If you are international and need extra time to get a visa, please submit your application by March 19, 2023 and we will try to get back to you early.) Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


What are the dates of the workshop?

June 4 to July 29, 2023.

Where will the workshop be held?

Somewhere a few hours from New York City, exact details coming soon.

What will sleeping conditions be like?

You can sleep in the house (you won't have a private room) or you can camp outside the house.

How will food be handled?

Meals will be taken communally, and prepared by the participants. The cost of ingredients will be covered.

What stipend will be given to the participants?

Each participant will receive a $1000 stipend (this may increase if we get more funding).

Will participants be compensated for travel to and from the workshop?

This depends on our funding, but we hope so!

Can I bring my own work to the workshop?

There will be time for participants to do their own work, but we can't guarantee fast internet, and you should be prepared to spend most of your time thinking about scholarly institutions.

I can only attend for some of the two months. Should I still apply?

Yes, please still apply! We will favor applicants who can attend the entire workshop, but it is not the only factor we will be looking at. Please explain your situation when you apply.

What will be looked for in applicants?

We are looking for applicants who are intellectual (e.g. open-minded, honest, disciplined, cares about the big questions) able to live in community, likely to found something good, and willing to commit to the workshop.

Can I visit the workshop for a couple days as a non-participant?

Perhaps! If you are interested in this possibility email us at contact@let-me-think.org.

What is a scholarly institution?

See here.


We are grateful for the support of the following individuals and organizations:

We plan to use our funds in the following way, approximately:

We welcome your contribution to making this workshop a reality.