Call for Applications for 2023-2024 MCEAS Dissertation Fellowships

Stock photo of the front facade of the McNeil Center as seen through a screen of trees.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 2023-2024 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. Fellows are normally resident in Philadelphia during the terms of their appointments so that they may benefit fully from the Center’s programs and its scholarly community.

Doctoral candidates from any PhD-granting institution who are in the research or writing stage of the dissertation are eligible. 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.

Application Instructions

A single online application suffices for all fellowships. Categories and duration of awards are determined by the selection committee. The following items must be prepared for uploading as pdf files:

  1. A curriculum vitae;
  2. 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;
  3. An unpublished writing sample related to the project, double-spaced, limited to 7,500 words exclusive of notes;
  4. Two letters of recommendation should be uploaded by the letter writers or submitted by email to Please ask recommenders to address the specifics of this application. Do not send generic letters from placement dossiers.

Deadline to apply online is February 1, 2023. Click here to submit application online.

Questions may be directed to: 
The McNeil Center for Early American Studies
University of Pennsylvania
3355 Woodland Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4531