Apply Now | Princeton Society of Fellows Fellowship Program in the Humanities and Social Sciences 2021-2024, USA

Application Dossier:
For the 2021-24 fellowship competition, applicants will need to upload the following documents, along with the online application form, to the application portal by the application deadline August 4, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST):

1. Cover Letter: 1½ pages maximum, single-spaced, addressed to the Search Committee. Your letter should include a brief overview of your application.

2. Curriculum Vitae

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3. Dissertation Abstract: no more than one page, single-spaced.

4. Writing Sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published/forthcoming article related to your dissertation topic that best represents your intellectual interests. No more than 25 double-spaced pages (endnotes/bibliography/illustrations may be included in addition). If the text portion of the sample you wish to submit is longer than 25 pages, please edit for length and summarize the deleted portions.

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5. Research Project for the Fellowship Term: two to three double-spaced pages; no bibliography necessary. We expect this will usually take the form of a proposal for revising the dissertation in preparation for publication. However, if you have given serious thought to a second research project beyond the dissertation, and/or already prepared the dissertation for publication, you may choose to devote some or most of the three pages to this new project.

6. Two Course Proposals: Briefly outline two sample courses you would be interested in teaching at Princeton. It is not necessary to include syllabi, but, in addition to the course descriptions, please provide sample reading lists. The two course descriptions and reading lists together should not exceed three double-spaced pages. One proposed course should offer an introduction to a topic of your choice for first and second-year students from different fields (typically a 200-level course at Princeton). The other course should be a more advanced undergraduate seminar in your own discipline that would have broad appeal to juniors and/or seniors in your host department (300 or 400-level).

7. For Applicants with Ph.D. Degree: a document confirming your completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. This may be a formal Ph.D. certificate, an official transcript, or a letter from your dissertation advisor.

For ABD (All But Dissertation) Applicants only: a letter from the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies confirming your “progress to degree.” It is advisable that you request this document well before the August 4 application deadline.

Your Department Chair may write both the brief letter confirming your progress and, if you wish, also one of the three letters of recommendation in support of your application. However, these will have to be two separate documents, as you will need to upload the “progress to degree” letter as part of your dossier. Referees will be asked to upload their confidential letters to the online portal once the application has been submitted, and they will be contacted as outlined below.

Note to Chair or Director: Candidates may apply only once to the Society of Fellows. We therefore advise applicants to wait until they have a substantial portion of their dissertation completed (approximately one half of the dissertation written) before applying. The “progress to degree” letter need not contain an evaluation but should state that the candidate has a substantial portion of the dissertation completed at the time of application and is fully expected to have completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including filing and defense, by June 15, 2021. Should a finalist not be able to meet this deadline, a fellowship offer would have to be rescinded.

Reference Letters:
Applicants will be asked to name three referees on the online application form. Within 24 hours following an application’s submission, referees can expect to receive an automatic email with the request to submit their recommendations.

While the deadline for applicants is Tuesday, August 4, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST), referees may submit their letters confidentially to Princeton University’s online application portal through Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Letters will need to be uploaded in PDF format; signed reference letters on electronic letterhead are preferred, if possible. Letters may be addressed to the search committee, and it is not necessary to mail or email a copy of the letter. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact referees well before submitting an application. Please note that we cannot consider more than three letters of recommendation.

Dossier services may be used for the submission of reference letters. Applicants using such services should contact these for specific instructions. We cannot accept individual or bundled letters sent by dossier services to the address.

Additional Information and Timeline:
We cannot accept application materials sent via email.

Applicants interested in more than one type of fellowship should submit just one application, as the online application form allows applicants to indicate which fellowships they wish to be considered for.

We recommend that applicants allow sufficient time for the final review of their application dossier and potential browser or internet connectivity issues before submitting their application to the online portal, as exceptions to the application deadline cannot be granted. Updates to a dossier after its submission are not possible.

An application withdrawn after the application deadline of August 4, 2020 will be considered as submitted, which means the applicant will be ineligible to reapply in the following year.

Finalists invited for interviews can expect to be contacted in mid-November, and interviews will be held in the week of December 14th, 2020. The Society of Fellows will reimburse the cost of travel and lodging associated with the interviews, should these take place on campus.

All other applicants will be notified about the status of their application by the end of December 2020. The fellowship winners are to be announced on the Society of Fellows’ website in summer 2021.

Applications are reviewed by faculty in the Society of Fellows and participating departments at Princeton. Please note that all application materials and the selection committee’s evaluations remain confidential, and the committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications or interviews.

Any inquiries should be sent to

Online Application Form
Fellowships will be awarded to applicants in the disciplines represented in the Society at the beginning of their academic career. Selection is based on exceptional scholarly achievement and evidence of unusual promise, range and quality of teaching experience, and potential contributions to an interdisciplinary community. The Society of Fellows seeks a diverse and international pool of applicants, and especially welcomes those from underrepresented backgrounds.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements:
Applicants already holding the Ph.D. degree at the time of their application must have received their degree between January 1, 2019 and August 4, 2020. Priority will be given to applicants who have received no more than one year of research-only funding past the Ph.D. degree.

The receipt of the Ph.D. is determined by the date on which all requirements for the degree, including the defense and filing of the dissertation, were fulfilled.

Applicants will be asked to upload a document to the application site with evidence of completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree (either the formal Ph.D. certificate, an official transcript, or a degree confirmation letter from advisor).

Applicants who are ABD (All But Dissertation) at the time of their application: Applicants who do not meet the August 4, 2020 deadline for receipt of their Ph.D. but are expected to have fulfilled all conditions for the degree, including defense and filing of dissertation, by June 15, 2021, may still apply for a postdoctoral fellowship provided they have completed a substantial portion of their dissertation (approximately half).

Applicants will be asked to upload a letter by the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies confirming “progress to degree” to the application site.

ABD candidates who are awarded a fellowship will be asked to provide an official document from the Registrar or Dean of the Graduate School by June 15, 2021, to confirm completion of all requirements for the Ph.D.

Other Eligibility Criteria:
If you have already applied to the Princeton Society of Fellows, you may not apply a second time. We therefore recommend that applicants wait until they have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half) before applying.

Candidates for/recipients of doctorates in Education (Ed.D. or Ph.D. degrees), in Jurisprudence, the DMA, and candidates for/recipients of Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University are not eligible to apply.

The positions are subject to the University’s background check policy.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW.


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