Mellon Dissertation Fellowships

Call for Mellon Fellowship Applications

The World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP) is pleased to invite applications for two Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowships for Ph.D. students in HFA and SBS. Fellowships will be awarded to students whose dissertation projects intersect with the themes of the WSIP Sawyer Seminar “Beyond Medieval and Modern: Rethinking Global Paradigms of Political Economy and Culture.” We welcome a wide range of themes and projects, and we expect that projects will intersect with the themes in different ways and degrees. For more information on these themes, visit:

The deadline for applications is Monday April 18th. Fellowships will be $22,337 for the academic year 2016-17, plus coverage of fees and health benefits. Decisions will be announced by June 1. See below for information about qualifications and application.

NOTE: During the Fellowship year, Mellon fellows will be expected to devote their time wholly to dissertation writing. By June 1 2017, they must submit a progress report to the Mellon-Sawyer Selection Committee.


  • Successful completion of all Qualifying and/or Area Exams
  • Completion and official approval of a prospectus, OR a letter from the dissertation chair confirming that the prospectus will be officially approved by September 1, 2016. (The student must then notify the Fellowship committee at the time of final approval.)
  • Candidates will be judged on: the basis of their records so far; the promise of the dissertation to be successfully carried out; and the potential for the dissertation to contribute to scholarship on Sawyer Seminar questions or themes.


  • Completed application form, with the following attachments
  • Curriculum Vitae, including PhD course list and grades
  • Letter of recommendation from a committee member or chair, assessing the student’s scholarly work and addressing the connection between the research plans and the Sawyer Seminar questions or themes
  • Brief applicant cover letter (maximum one page) describing: the applicant’s record and direction of study so far; and the relationship between the dissertation research and the Sawyer Seminar themes. Applicants may wish to mention related research projects or publications, although the dissertation should remain the centerpiece.
  • Description of the expected dissertation project (maximum two pages, single-spaced) concluding with a brief research schedule for Summer 2016 to Summer 2017. Please be as specific as possible about your envisioned project, even if the materials, argument, and organization are provisional.
  • NOTE: Finalists may be asked for additional materials, such as a writing sample, in late April or early May.

TO APPLY please go to to fill out the application form and upload the supporting documents.

Please have the Chair of your prospectus/dissertation committee or a committee member send a reference letter from their UMASS account to: If you have not yet defended/submitted your prospectus please note that your chair must send a letter confirming the expected date of prospectus submission/defended.