Over the next several years, funding opportunities for Ph.D. students in the Humanities will be made available through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, Humanities Engage: Re-Imagining Doctoral Education in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.
These opportunities include Immersive Dissertation Research Fellowships. These innovative research fellowships are a new, competitive, and prestigious mechanism with which we wish to incentivize and support dissertation projects that involve substantial professional development and will likely result in dissertation formats other than the conventional proto-monograph. Ph.D. students are required to embed themselves or otherwise collaborate intensively with institutions or communities as part of their research toward their Ph.D.
Such dissertation projects might, for example, center on ethnographic research in non-academic settings; participant-observer fieldwork; collaborations with museums or historical sites; structural and institutional analysis of cultural entities; the creation of crossover academic-lay texts that have net public benefits or are directed toward the public good; community-based writing that aims to improve local conditions through research and expository writing.
Projects: Ph.D. students interested in embedding themselves or otherwise collaborate intensively with communities or institutions as part of their research toward their Ph.D. They will develop professional networks beyond higher education. This funding line is also open to students interested in projects resulting in innovative dissertation formats. Combinations of these two goals are also welcome. Such dissertation projects might, for example, center on ethnographic research in non-academic settings; participant-observer fieldwork; collaborations with museums or historical sites; structural and institutional analysis of cultural entities; the creation of crossover academic-lay texts that have net public benefits or are directed toward the public good; community-based writing that aims to improve local conditions through research and expository writing.
Eligibility: Arts and Humanities Ph.D. students, who will have been admitted to candidacy by July 1, 2023.
Terms: For AY2023-24, up to four fellowships will be offered. Fellowships carry a stipend of $26,500 and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the fellowship. These fellowships also come with access to professional development funds of $3,000 per fellow to support eligible costs (conference presentations, extra-mural professional development opportunities, costs related to dissertation project). Fellows are expected to engage in full-time dissertation research during the period of their fellowship. No additional duties will be required or permitted.
Criteria for selection: The selection committee will consider the applicant’s promise of achieving scholarly distinction in their field. Applicants will need to have clear, demonstrably important plans to use their immersive experiences to enhance and expand the intellectual work of their dissertations. Preference will be given to projects that are expected to result in innovative, non-conventional, or otherwise distinct dissertation formats.
Required application materials:
Applicants are required to submit the following items in this order, in one .pdf file:
- Research statement (max 2 pp., single-spaced): Applicants should convey clearly and compellingly the rationale for the research, the methodology to be used, the immersive and/or collaborative dimensions beyond higher education settings, and the potential impact of the research on the discipline and field. They should detail the expected contribution of the fellowship to their intellectual and professional development during and post-Ph.D., and the projected use of professional development funds. Applicants should also detail as appropriate how they will complete the fellowship in light of the current public health guidelines and university operating posture.
- Current CV with graduate funding history to date.
- Strongly encouraged for projects requiring access to institutions, communities, sites: brief letter of support from relevant entity confirming that the applicant will have access relevant to pursuit of dissertation research and offering any additional relevant information.
- Names and University of Pittsburgh email addresses of two members of the graduate faculty, including the primary doctoral advisor, who will be submitting letters on applicant’s behalf: Applicants are responsible for requesting references, sharing materials with their referees, and ensuring timely submission of letters. Letters should speak to the originality and potential impact of the proposed research; the applicant’s readiness to make effective use of the fellowship year (e.g., prior relations with host institution or field site, access agreements, methodological training, languages, etc.); anticipated contribution of the fellowship to the applicant’s professional trajectory pre-and post-doc; any additional aspects of the student’s background, skill set, or initiative that make them an especially compelling candidate.
Deadline: both applicants’ materials and, separately, the letters of reference must be submitted by March 31, 2023, via email to: HEngage@pitt.edu Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their references are submitted on time to the same address.