R.S. Kirby Memorial Scholarships

Richard Stephen Kirby Ph.D. (1949-2009) devoted his life to meeting the needs of present and future humans, on earth and in space, through The Law of Space Abundance.

As part of Kepler Space Institute’s ongoing commitment to furthering Dr. Kirby’s vision, we are pleased to announce The R.S. Kirby Memorial Scholarship, through which we hope to encourage Space Advocates the world over to develop Technologies, Laws, Philosophies, and a Moral and Societal framework to aid the global community in extending life through our solar system and beyond.

Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of candidates’ academic preparation, ongoing achievement in Space related efforts and demonstrated passion for furtherance of Space Exploration, Commercialization and Colonization. The scholarship recipients will each receive a scholarship in an amount up to $10,000 upon Scholarship Award and compliance with Kepler Space Institute Admission Requirements.


Eligibility requirements

Applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria to be eligible:

• Be a student currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a university for the 2017-2018 academic year or a graduate from an accredited university

• Majoring in science, engineering, social science, or business or a closely related field

• Maintain a strong academic record

• Exemplify leadership and demonstrate passion for science and exploration


Application process

Please complete the online application which must include:

• General background information (includes contact information and information about your current and intended institutions)

• Academic transcripts from your current and prior institutions (if you have earned a prior degree)

• Current resume and two letters of reference from a professor, instructor, adviser or supervisor

• Responses to four essay questions

Applications are currently closed. Please check back in Spring 2017 for future scholarship application.

Recipients will be selected based on the overall strength of their essays and application materials compared to the entire applicant pool.


Questions? Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ) or email us at scholarships@keplerspaceinstitute.com.


Richard Stephen Kirby (born July 16, 1949, died on September 24, 2009) was a theologian and chaplain with interests in astronomy, cosmology, and futurology. His thought was in a direct line of descent from H.G. Wells, the prototypical futurist, via Olaf Stapledon, who was known as a “cosmic philosopher”, to astronomer and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.

Kirby attended the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church (United States) as an ordinand from 1982 to 1985 and graduated with an M.Div.. He worked in various church ministries on both sides of the Atlantic for the next 10 years. In 1988, Kirby was the prime mover in re-founding the World Network of Religious Futurists as a community of practice within the World Future Society. He became its chairman in 1993 and served in this capacity for 12 years before becoming the organization’s Chaplain in 2005.

His Ph.D. thesis at King’s College London in 1992 was on The Theological Definition of Cosmic Disorder in the writings of Thomas Forsyth Torrance. From 1992 to 1994 Kirby served as the Director of Administration for Mensa International. After finishing his Ph.D., he moved to Seattle in 1995, where for 10 years he worked developing a theological think tank, which developed into the Stuart C. Dodd Institute for Social Innovation. He was its executive director from 1997 to his death in 2009.

In 2001, he formed a chaplaincy program at World Future Society annual conferences, along with Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dror, to provide collegiality and coaching for spiritually inclined attendees. In 2005, Kirby became the first President and Chaplain of Kepler Academy, an astronomical and theological college. This ultimately developed into Kepler Space Institute.