The program description below is for information purposes only. An updated description for the 2015-16 competition will be posted in July. The Online Fellowship Application (OFA) system will also open at that time.
- Stipend: $30,000, plus funds for research costs of up to $3,000 and for university fees of up to $5,000
- Tenure: one year beginning summer 2015
- Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, October 22, 2014.
- Notifications will be sent in late March 2015.
ACLS invites applications for the ninth annual competition for the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships, which support a year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of PhD dissertation writing. The program encourages timely completion of the PhD. Applicants must be prepared to complete their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure and no later than August 31, 2016. A grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supports this program.
ACLS will award 65 fellowships in this competition for a one-year term beginning between June and September 2015 for the 2015-16 academic year. The fellowship tenure may be carried out in residence at the fellow's home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site for the research. These fellowships may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant.
The total award of up to $38,000 includes a stipend plus additional funds for university fees and research support. In addition to the monetary support that the fellowship offers, Dissertation Completion Fellows are able to apply to participate in a seminar on preparing for the academic job market. The seminar takes place over three days in the fall of the fellowship year.
- The program is open to PhD candidates in a humanities or social science department in the United States. (1)
- Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation (obtained ABD status) by the application deadline.
- The program is restricted to graduate students who, at the time of application, have progressed no further than the sixth year of the degree program. (This includes time for a master’s degree obtained en route to the PhD.) (2)
- Graduate students who currently hold or have previously held a dissertation completion fellowship are not eligible for the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.
- Unsuccessful applicants may reapply to this program only once.
Applications must be submitted online and must include:
- Completed application form
- Proposal (no more than five pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font
- One-page timeline for the expected completion of dissertation writing and defense
- Up to three additional pages of images, musical scores, or other similar supporting non-text materials [optional]
- Bibliography (no more than two pages)
- Completed chapter of the dissertation (that is neither the introduction, nor the conclusion, nor the literature review) of not more than 25 double-spaced pages, in Times New Roman 11-point font, or a representative 25-page excerpt from a longer chapter. The chapter must be in English, though citations may be in other languages (with translations provided).
- Two reference letters
- A statement from the applicant’s institution (preferably from the applicant’s department chair or dean). The provided form asks the institutional representative to (1) attest to the viability of the proposed timeline for completion; (2) stipulate that, in the event of an award, the university will not charge the student tuition or fees beyond a limit of $5,000 and will provide for any additional costs; and (3) pledge that if an ACLS award is made, the university will not provide the applicant with any subsequent aid. The person submitting the statement cannot be one of the reference letter writers.
Note that transcripts are not required.
Scholars asked to review applications in this program are instructed to use the following four criteria:
- The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to knowledge.
- The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
- The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
- The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant.
- The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship program does not accept applications from students receiving a PhD in the following disciplines: business, library and information sciences, public administration, public policy, education, clinical or counseling psychology, law, social work, social welfare, public health, filmmaking, or creative or performing arts. Students completing master’s degrees are not eligible, even if they are the terminal degree in the field. Back to text.
- In special circumstances an applicant and his or her advisor may petition to have seventh-year application considered. Such applicants must present a compelling case for eligibility. Back to text.