dissertation fellowships


Submissions for the 2020-21 academic year are now closed.
2021-22 applications will open Spring Quarter 2021. 

Deadline May 11, 2020

The Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN) is pleased to announce that applications for Dissertation Fellowships for the 2020-21 academic year are now being accepted. Northwestern University doctoral students who either have advanced to candidacy or will advance in the current academic year, and whose dissertation relates to sexuality studies from a social science perspective are invited to apply.

This application has three components:

  1. An online application.
  2. Within the application, you will be asked to upload a summary of your dissertation (no more than 3 pages, double-spaced, with standard fonts and margins). Your summary should be explicit about your research questions, research methods, and the connections to sexuality studies (including, if relevant, to sexual orientation and/or health in social context). Please also indicate succinctly your current stage in the project (e.g., completing dissertation proposal, collecting data, completing write-up, etc.).
  3. In addition, please ask your dissertation chair to send an email to sexualities@northwestern.edu that reports on your status in the doctoral program and indicates when you will advance to candidacy. This need not be a formal letter of recommendation.

Your application will not be complete until we have received all three components: the online application, the summary, and the email from your dissertation chair. You will receive a confirmation from sexualities@northwestern.edu once your application is considered complete. If you do not receive an email confirming its receipt within one week, please inquire at that email address. 

Additional information

To be eligible, applicants (a) must currently be in their 3rd or 4th year of graduate study and (b) must have already attained ABD status before their fellowship term begins. If you receive a SPAN Dissertation Fellowship, you may petition to bank previously awarded support equivalent to the length of the SPAN dissertation fellowship for use in your sixth year.

Applications will be judged both on the merits of the project and in relation to the degree of closeness to sexuality studies from a social science perspective broadly construed. If your PhD is not in the social sciences, you may still be eligible, but it is your responsibility to make clear how you rely in a substantial way on social science theories and/or methods in studying sexuality. A total of three quarters of funding are available, including a standard monthly stipend along with a tuition waiver from The Graduate School. The selection committee may award all three quarters to one student or may fund more than one student for one or two quarters each. Faculty advisers of awardees will be asked to verify eligibility. Unless they are out of the area, awardees will be expected to participate, during their award period, in one of SPAN’s graduate student mentoring sessions. Awardees will be required to submit a short progress report at the completion of the fellowship term.

Please note: Students are encouraged to apply for a SPAN Dissertation Fellowship or a SPAN Summer Research Grant or both. Students who apply for but do not receive a dissertation fellowship are welcome to reapply in a subsequent year. Students who have received a SPAN dissertation fellowship in the past may reapply the following year, but their applications will be assigned lower priority.

Substantive questions about the fellowship program can be directed to SPAN Co-Directors Héctor Carrillo (hector@northwestern.edu) and Gregory Ward (gw@northwestern.edu ). Questions concerning the electronic submission should be directed to Cassilyn Ostrander (sexualities@northwestern.edu).

For information on dissertation fellowships that have been awarded in the past, click here.


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