Call for Submissions for the MCEAS Dissertation Fellowship Program

Since 1978, some 300 advanced graduate students from universities across North America and Europe have received dissertation fellowships from the McNeil Center. At least eight new fellows will be appointed for the 2022-2023 academic year, most for nine-month terms. Nine-month fellows will receive a stipend of $30,000, office space in the Center’s home on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus and library, computer, and other privileges at the University. Limited travel funds for research will also available. All fellows are expected to be in residence in Philadelphia during the terms of their appointments in order to participate fully in the Center’s programs.

Doctoral candidates from any PhD-granting institution who are in the research or writing stage of the dissertation are eligible. As outlined below, some fellowships are targeted at specific areas, but any project dealing with the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850 will be considered. Proposals dependent on the use of Philadelphia-area archives and libraries are particularly welcome. Applications are encouraged from students of all relevant disciplines, including Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Economics, English, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Latinx Studies, Law, Music, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Political Science, Queer Studies, Religious Studies, Urban Studies, and Women’s Studies.

The McNeil Center is strongly committed to the University of Pennsylvania’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence and to creating a more inclusive campus community, where all feel welcomed, supported, and have equal access to networks for mentoring and research. (For more information see: http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v58/n02/diversityplan.html.) The University of Pennsylvania is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Nine-Month or One-Semester Fellowships

Awards may be made in the following categories, depending on the qualifications of the applicants and the availability of funding:

  • MCEAS Barra Dissertation Fellowships and Advisory Council Fellowships are open to candidates from any discipline working on topic within the McNeil Center’s area of interest.
  • The Richard S. Dunn Fellowship, acknowledges excellence in any aspect of Early American Studies.
  • Barra Foundation Fellowship supports research related to art or material culture.
  • Friends of the MCEAS Fellowships  support research on any relevant topic, with a preference for projects dealing with Philadelphia or the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • MCEAS Consortium Fellowships are reserved for candidates from research universities that are members of the McNeil Center Consortium. Projects on any topic within the Center’s areas of interest are eligible. (For more information about the Consortium, please visit http://mceas.org/consortium.shtml)
  • The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellowship in Early American Religious Studies is open to candidates in any discipline researching any aspect of religion in North America and the Atlantic world before 1850.
  • Marguerite Bartlett Hamer Fellowships are awarded to advanced doctoral candidates from any relevant program at the University of Pennsylvania who meet the same rigorous standards as external candidates.

Other Fellowships    

  • The Society of the Cincinnati Fellowship, supports research on the era of the American Revolution.
  • The Monticello-McNeil Fellowship, co-sponsored by the McNeil Center and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, facilitates scholarship on Thomas Jefferson and his times. Holders of this fellowship spend a portion of their fellowship term at the ICJS in Charlottesville, Virginia.

How to Apply

A single online application suffices for all fellowships. Categories and duration of awards are determined by the selection committee. Applications need to be uploaded at: https://apply.interfolio.com/99504   Categories and duration of awards are determined by the selection committee, but candidates interested in the Monticello-McNeil fellowship should state their interest clearly in their research proposals. The following items must be prepared for uploading as pdf files:

  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A proposal not to exceed 1,500 words, double-spaced, describing the general scope of the project and the specific work proposed for the fellowship term;
  • An unpublished writing sample related to the project, double-spaced, limited to 7,500 words exclusive of notes.
  • Two letters of recommendation should be uploaded through Interfolio or submitted by email to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu Please ask recommenders to address the specifics of this application. Do not send generic letters from placement dossiers.

Questions can be directed to: The McNeil Center for Early American Studies, mceas@sas.upenn.edu

The deadline for online applications is 1 February 2022.

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