Fellowships for External Faculty

External fellowships are intended primarily for individuals currently teaching in or affiliated with an academic institution, but independent scholars may apply. Faculty fellowships are awarded across the spectrum of academic ranks (assistant, associate, and full professor) and a goal of the selection process is to create a diverse community of scholars. Applicants who are members of traditionally under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. There are no citizenship requirements for these fellowships; non-U.S. nationals are welcome to apply. Awards are made from an applicant pool of approximately 350.

The application deadline for 2024–2025 has passed. Applications for the 2025–2026 year will be available in August 2024.

  • We sponsor research in the traditional and emergent disciplines of the humanities and the interpretive social sciences. (Creative arts projects are not eligible.) The projects of our fellows have drawn on every imaginable approach, from conventional methods to those critical of the disciplines themselves. In partnership with the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, we welcome applications in the digital humanities. Especially appropriate are projects that are likely to contribute to intellectual exchange among a diverse group of scholars.
  • All applicants must have a PhD and be at least three years beyond receipt of the degree at the start of the fellowship year. Junior fellowships are for scholars who will be at least three and no more than ten years beyond receipt of the PhD by the start of the fellowship year. Senior fellowships are for established scholars who are more than ten years beyond receipt of the PhD.
  • External faculty fellowships are offered once only. Former external faculty fellows are not eligible to reapply.
  • Fellowships are for one full academic year, and require the fellow to be in residence during Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters (mid-September to mid-June). We do not consider applications for different amounts of time.
  • Since we are a residential center, where intellectual life depends on collegial interaction, we encourage fellows to reside within easy commuting distance of Stanford University. All fellows are expected to attend lunch regularly and to participate in weekly research presentations.
  • During the year, faculty fellows are required to make an intellectual contribution to the Stanford community, usually by participating in a Research Workshop at the Humanities Center. Precise details regarding the intellectual contribution will be determined with the Center's Associate Director after fellowships are awarded.

Fellows are awarded stipends of up to $70,000 and a housing and moving allowance of up to $40,000. Applicants who require additional support are expected to seek supplementary funding in the form of external grants or sabbatical or other contributions from home institutions.

The Center is unable to provide or finance medical insurance. Fellows are required to make individual arrangements for reasonable coverage during their fellowship year.

Application Process
  • Applications must be submitted via our online application system, and in English.
  • We discourage the submission of additional materials with your application and cannot 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.

Please note: due to the number of applicants and the volume of inquiries, we regret that we are not able to provide feedback on individual proposals before the deadline or after decisions have been announced.

Application Content
  • Contact and biographical information about the applicant
  • A curriculum vitae of no more than 10 pages
  • 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).
  • A brief description (not more than 1,000 words) of a research project. State clearly the objectives, significance, methodology, and originality of the project in a manner clear to nonspecialists (the selection committee is composed of a range of scholars from humanities fields and may not include specialists in your field). For sample project proposals, view: Project Proposal 1 (PDF)Project Proposal 2 (PDF).
  • Three reference letters. Applicants are advised to have no more than one reference letter from an individual at their home institution. Reference letters should be written in English. If this is impossible, we reserve the right to request a translation. Referees are encouraged to submit letters through our online application system. Referees who wish to submit their letter of reference via email should send letters to shc-fellowships@stanford.edu. Reference letters must be received at the Center by the application deadline. Consideration of letters received after that date cannot be guaranteed.
Application Criteria

Fellows will be chosen by a multidisciplinary selection committee after an initial screening process by experts in the various disciplines. Applications will be judged based on the following factors:

  • The promise of the specific research project being proposed.
  • The research project's potential interest to scholars in different fields of the humanities.
  • The originality and intellectual distinction of the candidate's previous work.
  • The applicant's perceived ability to engage in collegial interaction and to contribute to the discussion of presentations.
  • Applicants who have received a major research grant within the last three years generally will not be as competitive as other applicants.

For more information, contact the fellowship administrator.


Applications must be submitted by October 1st.

Frequently asked questions