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Summer Research Fellowship

Guide for the Perplexed:

Summer Research Grant

The GSAS offers a Summer Research Fellowship that funds summer work related to applications for distinguished fellowships, conference presentations, and publications. Projects that have been covered in the department previously have included:

  • Travel to archives related to dissertation work.
  • Preparation of conference papers.
  • Publication projects, including academic articles and translation projects.
  • Work with a non-profit related to the dissertation topic, for the purposes of developing research questions.

The amount varies by year (you can find the most recent rates on this website), but the award typically is in the ballpark of $4500.

The GSAS typically posts specific information about these fellowships, including deadlines, at the end of November on this website. The submission deadline is typically around mid-February. Generally, you need to submit the following elements as separate PDF files:

  • Your CV
  • Your project narrative

You also need to ask your teaching mentor to submit a letter of recommendation. She or he will email this to the Department Chair by the deadline.

Keep the following tips in mind as you write your application for your summer research fellowships:

  • Most of the people reading your application are probably not closely familiar with your discipline. Avoid jargon in your statements or proposals. Imagine you are writing for Commonweal rather than Theological Studies.
  • The GSAS likes to be able to point to specific outcomes from students’ summer research. Be sure to highlight the practical products of the summer, which might include your dissertation proposal, a conference presentation, or an article submitted for publication. Committee members prefer to fund projects that prepare students to be able to submit competitive applications to distinguished fellowships and that improve professional credentials. Make connections to these priorities crystal-clear in your project narrative.
  • Keep your recommender in the loop and be considerate about deadlines. Give as much notice as possible. Send draft narratives or statements for your recommender’s reference several weeks before the deadline. Write a thank-you email or note when you learn whether you have received a fellowship.
  • Seek out advice! Ask students in the department who have attained fellowships for tips and perspectives. Be in touch with your advisor, and don’t hesitate to seek feedback on your application materials.