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Stanford Graduate Students

The Stanford Humanities Center and the School of Humanities and Sciences collaborate to administer the two Stanford humanities dissertation fellowships: the Stanford Humanities Center Dissertation Prize and Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowships. Stanford students submit one application to be considered for one or both of these fellowships.

(For information on the Humanities Lieberman award, please see the Humanities and Sciences' funding resources page.)

Please click HERE to apply. Applications are due by 11:59 PM PST, on January 4, 2021.

Fellowship Opportunities
  • Stanford Humanities Center Dissertation Prize Fellowships[+]
    The SHC Dissertation Prize Fellowships, endowed by Theodore and Frances Geballe, are awarded to doctoral students whose work is of the highest distinction and promise. The fellowship stipend for 2021-22 is currently set at $35,889 + TGR fees. The recipients of these fellowships have offices at the Humanities Center and take part with other graduate and faculty fellows in the Center's programs, promoting humanistic research and education at Stanford. The SHC Dissertation Prize Fellowships also provide an additional $2,500 in research funding.
  • Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowships[+]
    The Mellon Dissertation Fellowships, which are generously funded by the Mellon Foundation, are awarded to advanced doctoral students whose work is of the highest quality and whose academic record to date indicates a timely progression toward completion of the degree. The 2019-20 stipend for the Mellon Fellowships is $32,868 plus TGR fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Eligibility[+]

    The SHC and Mellon Dissertation Fellowships are awarded to advanced graduate students, based on accomplished work of the highest distinction, and on the promise of further outstanding achievements in the humanities.

    • Applicants must have advanced to PhD candidacy.
    • Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD, other than the dissertation (and its defense in departments where the University Oral Examination is such a defense). This includes handling any incompletes.
    • Applicants must have a formally composed dissertation committee.
    • Applicants must have a dissertation proposal approved by their committee.
    • Applicants must have a strong likelihood of completing the degree within the tenure of the fellowship.
    • Applicants must have reached TGR status by the beginning of autumn quarter of the fellowship year.
    • Applicants must have completed supervised teaching, if required by their department, before the tenure of the fellowship.
  • Requirements[+]
    1. No other employment, assistantship, or fellowship (unless specifically intended for travel or research expense) may be held concurrently. Exceptions to this restriction must be approved by the Humanities Center Director (for SHC Fellows) or the H&S Dean’s Office (for Mellon Fellows).
    2. SHC Fellows are strongly encouraged to live within ten miles of Stanford and take part in the life of the Center for the duration of their fellowship.
    3. Applicants who have previously held one of these fellowships are not eligible to reapply for that same fellowship.
    4. Applicants who have not previously held a Stanford dissertation fellowship will be given the most serious consideration.
    5. SHC Dissertation Prize Fellowships are the only dissertation fellowships in the humanities that are open to applicants from the School of Education.
  • Application Process[+]
    Applications must be submitted via our online application system and must be in English. Access to the system will open in August. We discourage the submission of additional materials with your application and cannot circulate these to the committee or return such materials to you.

    Applicants will be notified when their applications have been received, and will be notified of the fellowship competition outcome in late March.
  • Application Content[+]
    1. Contact and biographical information about the applicant
    2. A curriculum vitae (C.V.)
    3. Current unofficial transcript (download from AXESS)
    4. Timetable for your completion of the degree
    5. Statement of your project’s scholarly significance: Provide a concise explanation of the ways in which your project is a significant contribution to its area of study. Assume your audience to be academics who are not specialists in your field. (250 word maximum)
    6. A brief description (no more than 1,000 words) of a research project.
    7. Two reference letters. One should be from your advisor. Referees are encouraged to submit letters through our online application system. Referees who wish to submit their letter of reference via email may send them to Reference letters must be received at the Center by the application deadline - consideration of letters received after that date cannot be guaranteed.
  • Application Criteria[+]
    A selection committee representing humanities departments and programs will review and rank the applications on the basis of the following criteria:
    1. The evidence of intellectual distinction.
    2. The quality and precision of the dissertation proposal.
    3. The applicant's timely progress toward the degree.
    4. The likelihood of completing the degree within the tenure of the fellowship.
    5. In the case of SHC applicants, the likelihood of the applicant contributing to, as well as benefiting from, the programs of the Humanities Center.

    For more information on the SHC Dissertation Prize Fellowships, contact Kelda Jamison, the Humanities Center fellowship manager, 724-8106.

    For more information on the Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowships, contact Sheila Booth, student services officer and fellowship coordinator in the Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Office, 723.3067.

    For information about the Lieberman fellowships, please see:

  • Other FAQs[+]
    For more frequently asked questions, click here.