The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) offers nine to twelve months of support to graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are enrolled in PhD programs in the United States and conducting dissertation research on non-US topics. Sixty-eight fellowships are awarded annually. Fellowship amounts vary depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $21,000. The fellowship includes participation in an SSRC-funded interdisciplinary workshop upon the completion of IDRF-funded research.
The program is open to graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences—regardless of citizenship—enrolled in PhD programs in the United States. Applicants to the 2018 IDRF competition must complete all PhD requirements except on-site research by the time the fellowship begins or by December 2018, whichever comes first.
The program invites proposals for dissertation research conducted, in whole or in part, outside the United States, on non-US topics. It will consider applications for dissertation research grounded in a single site, informed by broader cross-regional and interdisciplinary perspectives, as well as applications for multi-sited, comparative, and transregional research. Proposals that identify the United States as a case for comparative inquiry are welcome; however, proposals that focus predominantly or exclusively on the United States are not eligible.
Applicants from select disciplines within the humanities (Art History, Architectural History, Classics, Drama/Theater, Film Studies, Literature, Musicology, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Theory, and Religion) may request three or more months of funding for international on-site dissertation research in combination with site-specific research in the United States, for a total of nine to twelve months of funding. All other applicants (for instance, those in Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology, among others) must request nine to twelve months of on-site, site-specific dissertation research with a minimum of six months of research outside of the United States. Research within the United States must be site-specific (e.g., at a particular archive) and cannot be at the applicant’s home institution unless that institution has necessary site-specific research holdings. Please note that the IDRF program supports research only and may not be used for dissertation write-up.
Applicants who have completed significant funded dissertation research in one country by the start of their proposed IDRF research may be ineligible to apply to the IDRF to extend research time in the same country. Eligibility will be at the discretion of the IDRF program, depending on completed research time and funding. The IDRF program expects fellows to remain at their research site(s) for the full nine- to twelve-month funding period. The IDRF program will not support study at foreign universities, conference participation, or dissertation write-up. The program does not accept applications from PhD programs in law, business, medicine, nursing, or journalism, nor does it accept applications in doctoral programs that do not lead to a PhD. For more information on the 2018 IDRF competition, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.
The IDRF competition promotes a range of approaches and research designs beyond single-site or single-country research, including comparative work at the national and regional levels and explicit comparison of cases across time frames. The program is open to proposals informed by a range of methodologies in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, including research in archives and manuscript collections, fieldwork and surveys, and quantitative data collection.
Applicants are expected to write in clear, intelligible prose for a selection committee that is multidisciplinary and cross-regional. Proposals should display a thorough knowledge of the major concepts, theories, and methods in the applicant's discipline and in other related fields, as well as a bibliography relevant to the research. Applicants should specify why an extended period of on-site research is critical for successful completion of the proposed doctoral dissertation. The research design of proposals should be realistic in scope, clearly formulated, and responsive to theoretical and methodological concerns. Applicants should provide evidence of having attained an appropriate level of training to undertake the proposed research, including evidence of a degree of language fluency sufficient to complete the project. For more information on the 2018 IDRF competition, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.
*These competitions require nomination by the department. Departments set earlier internal application deadlines in order to nominate. Please check with your department for more information.
Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships
Terms: The fellowships cover the cost of tuition and will provide a stipend of $18,000 in 2018-2019. Awards are renewable and can fund students for a maximum of three years, although fellows must request renewal funds for each subsequent year.
Eligibility: Graduate students who have outstanding undergraduate records, can demonstrate financial need, and are U.S. citizens.
Application: Departments are invited to submit one nominee per department to the Dean of Students office. They will be forwarded to an internal selection committee, which will consider the applications from across the campus and select three for recommendation to the Liebmann Fund in New York. Students who wish to be nominated should contact their departments for more information.
Deadline: Departmental nominations are due in the Dean of Students office by Monday, December 13, 2017.
Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowship
Each year, the College provides up to five Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowships. Each department in the Humanities Division may sponsor up to two advanced graduate students who then compete for these fellowships across the Humanities Division. The final decision on fellowships is made by a divisional selection committee convened by the Humanities Collegiate Divison. Teaching Fellows will receive a minimum of $5,000 for the individual undergraduate course they will teach in the College. This fellowship is for one quarter only. Recipients of the Tave fellowships may not defer the fellowships to a later year.
Stuart Tave Teaching Fellows teach one undergraduate course of their own design in the department sponsoring their project. This course can be taught in any of the three regular quarters of the academic year, depending on their department’s wishes. Courses are to be designed by the graduate students, and they should reflect their intellectual interests. However, the intent of this fellowship is to provide engaging and interesting courses for undergraduates—courses that are suitable for the department’s undergraduate curriculum as well as having a broader appeal. Course proposals that too closely mirror the dissertation research of applicants are often not suitable for undergraduate courses. Examples of past Tave syllabi are SPAN 23013 and ENGL 25925.
Graduate students must be ABD by January 31 of the academic year prior to the year in which their course is offered, and each student must submit an electronic copy of one chapter of their dissertation as part of their application.
An announcement of the annual Stuart Tave Fellowship competition is sent by the College to departments each year in November. Each department has individual procedures and deadlines for students to submit their courses for consideration. Please see your department for details.
Decisions by the Stuart Tave Selection Committee are made in late February. Questions regarding the Stuart Tave Fellowship should be addressed to Norah O'Donnell.
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships
Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships are for Ph.D. students in their first five years or two-year M.A. students in their second years who must study certain languages for their programs. In 2017-2018, the University will be accepting applications for languages in five world areas: East Europe, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia and East Asia. The FLAS program provides funding for study on campus during the academic year and on campus or elsewhere (domestic or abroad) during the summer.
Humanities CMES, LACS, and doctoral students who will register for qualifying language courses in the year of the fellowship are strongly encouraged to apply for an Academic Year FLAS. Students receiving no stipend in the fellowship year who are awarded a FLAS will receive a $15,000 stipend and student life fee coverage in addition to their University of Chicago Fellowship. Students receiving a stipend/teaching renumeration combination in the fellowship year will receive, in addition to their University of Chicago fellowship, a $3,000 stipend and student life fee coverage.
Summer award benefits for all students: $2,500 stipend and up to $5,000 in tuition for study off campus.
Applications & Additional Information: Available on the UChicagoGRAD website
Contact for Advising: Sarah Mehta, UChicagoGRAD
Questions about FLAS funding for Humanities students should be directed here.
Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship
This award, established in 2005-2006, is made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is designated to support our very best graduate students in the final years of their graduate program at the University. The grant is made in honor of Mrs. Gray and is given in recognition of her dedicated efforts to improve and sustain graduate education at the University and beyond and of her own notable achievements as a scholar. One fellowship will be awarded each year in the Humanities Division and one in the Social Sciences Division with the latter selected from the humanistic Social Sciences departments. Each department may nominate one student who is currently in the fourth year of study. Departments set internal deadlines and procedures for consideration. Interested students should contact their departments for internal deadlines and procedures. Announcements of the winners will be made in mid-May. Each application must include:
1. An essay (eight to ten pages, double spaced) on the topic proposed for the dissertation.
2. At least two letters of recommendation—a departmental letter from the chair or director of graduate studies, as appropriate, and a second letter from a University of Chicago professor who has taught the nominated student and can write in support of the dissertation topic.
3. A curriculum vitae (CV).
4. Transcripts which will be provided by the Office of the Dean of Students.
Applicants do not have to be admitted to candidacy at the time of nomination; however, admission to candidacy is a requirement to start the award. To hold the award, a nominee must be admitted to candidacy by the end of Summer Quarter of the fourth year. If the student does not meet this requirement, the fellowship will be awarded to an alternate. The term of the fellowship will be for two years, pending satisfactory progress. To qualify for renewal, a fellowship holder must submit a progress report and schedule for completion of the degree. The Gray award will replace the student's current University aid package for the fifth year. Gray Fellows must complete their pedagogical teaching requirements. Other employment, either at the University or off-campus, will not be permitted. Recipients of the second year of the Gray Fellowship who do not graduate by the end of spring quarter of the following year are ineligible for further internal University funding from any source, with the single exception of conference travel reimbursement. Please be aware that this means the student will not be eligible for out-of-pocket tuition aid as otherwise awarded in the quarters in which students teach.
Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship in Archaeology
The Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship is awarded annually by the Ryerson Fellowship Committee to graduate students who are studying Greek and Roman art and archaeology. Students may apply for travel/conference grants, pre-dissertation grants, or dissertation year completion fellowships. In the absence of qualified candidates who are studying Greek and Roman art and archaeology, fellowship funds will be available to graduate students who are studying Near Eastern art and archaeology.
Students may apply for up to three quarters of a pre-dissertation grant, provided they have reached candidacy by the application deadline. These awards may not be held later than year seven.
The Ryerson dissertation completion fellowships will be awarded for the academic year (autumn, winter, and spring quarters) and provide tuition, the required student life fee, University student health insurance if elected, and a stipend. The terms of the fellowship prohibit students from engaging in any remunerative activity during the period of the fellowship. To apply for this fellowship, applicants must have reached candidacy by the application deadline. These completion fellowships may not be held past year eight. Recipients in a given academic year who do not graduate by the end of spring quarter of the following year are ineligible for further internal University funding from any source, with the single exception of conference travel reimbursement. Please be aware that this means the student will not be eligible for out-of-pocket tuition aid as otherwise awarded in the quarters in which students teach.
Applications for a pre-dissertation grant should include:
1) an application form
2) a detailed plan of work for the requested number of grant quarters
3) a letter of support from the student's dissertation chair or other member of the dissertation committee
Applications for a dissertation completion fellowship should include:
1) an application form
2) a statement of purpose, describing the dissertation project (3-5 pages)
3) a one-page timeline for completion of dissertation writing and defense
4) a letter of support from the student’s dissertation chair or other member of the dissertation committee
5) one approved dissertation chapter
Proposals and faculty recommendation letters should be addressed to the Ryerson Fellowship Selection Committee. The Office of the Dean of Students will add a current transcript to the application.
All application materials should be submitted electronically via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Award decisions are typically announced in early May. At the completion of the fellowship, students are required to submit a short report to the Committee.
Humanities Division Dissertation Completion Fellowships
The Division of the Humanities is able to award around 25 dissertation completion fellowships (commonly referred to as DCFs) to doctoral students who are sufficiently advanced in the writing of their dissertation that they are expected to complete the dissertation. These fellowships recognize the student’s academic achievement and enable the student to devote full attention and effort towards completing the dissertation by the end of the spring 2019 quarter.
When a dissertation director nominates a student for this fellowship, the director thereby indicates that the student is expected to complete the dissertation by spring 2019. Although it certainly is not possible to predict the exact date of completion, these fellowships are intended to benefit those students who can commit themselves to finishing that year. Students who hold a completion fellowship will no longer be eligible to receive any further student funding from the University, if they do not graduate by the end of spring quarter 2020. Please be aware that this means the student will not be eligible for out-of-pocket tuition aid as otherwise awarded in the quarters in which students teach.
Fellowships will be awarded for the academic year (autumn, winter, and spring quarters) and provide tuition, the required student life fee, University student health insurance if elected, and a stipend. The terms of the fellowship prohibit students from engaging in any remunerative activity during the period of the fellowship. The sole exception to this prohibition is that, if permitted by the funding agency, fellows may undertake a modest teaching assignment in the spring 2019 quarter when it is clear from the fellow’s progress on the dissertation that teaching will not delay completion of the degree.
Some fellowships may only be held by students up to and including the sixth year in their program; others may only be held by students up to and including the seventh year; the few other dissertation year fellowships may be held by students up to and including the eighth year of their program (unless set by the terms of the fellowship to an earlier date).
The following terms and conditions apply for all dissertation completion fellowships:
1. Without exception, students must have been admitted to candidacy before they can apply for these fellowships.
2. Students who have held or currently hold any dissertation year fellowship (whatever the title of the fellowship: dissertation write-up, completion, etc.) from any internal or external sources are not eligible for consideration.
3. Students pursuing a joint degree program should submit their application through the home department only.
Students are nominated to the competition by their home departments. Nominations are made in a letter from the department chair, in which the chair (a) declares that the candidate has been nominated by the entire faculty of the department and (b) declares that in the best estimation of the faculty of the department, the student is fully prepared to complete the dissertation by the end of the spring 2019 quarter. To bolster the latter point, the chair may include such supporting information as the student’s prior accomplishments, outside professional achievements, or other reasons to expect the student to complete within the time predicted. If a department nominates more than one student, the chair’s nomination letter must include a ranking of the candidates.
The dossier for each student must include the following supporting documents:
1. Application form.
2. Letters from two members of the student’s dissertation committee, attesting to the quality of the work and also to the ability of the student to complete and defend the dissertation by the end of spring 2019.
3. The timeline for completion of dissertation writing and defense, with the student and the dissertation committee attesting to the feasibility of completion and defense of the dissertation by spring 2019 and granting of the degree no later than the spring 2020.
4. Statement of purpose (3-5 pages), describing the dissertation project. The narrative statement should include a work plan. The statement should discuss the significance of this work within the student’s specific and general fields and the contribution this project will make to the field(s) with which it engages. Please remember that the fellowship review committee will include faculty members from across the Division and thus that the candidate must explain terms and contexts that might not be familiar to those outside the field or subfield.
5. A curriculum vitae (C.V.).
6. A copy of one approved chapter of the nominee's dissertation, for reference by the fellowship review committee.
Departments should email their nominees’ dossiers to email@example.com by the deadline. The selection committee reserves the right to eliminate from consideration nominations that do not comply with eligibility and dossier requirements. The Office of the Dean of Students will add a current transcript to each dossier and forward these along with nominating letters to the selection committee. The Office of the Dean of Students will announce awardees in mid-May.