Graduate Fellowship Awards Application Guidelines

Applications are invited from current U of I graduate students for selection as IPRH Graduate Student Fellows for the 2018–19 academic year.

The fellowship will enable Fellows to develop research projects related to the broad theme of “Race Work” and to participate in the year’s activities, including the yearlong interdisciplinary Fellows Seminar and other related programming.

Graduate Student Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend and a tuition and partial fee waiver.

IPRH welcomes applications from scholars in all disciplines and departments with an interest in humanities and humanities-inflected research. IPRH is especially interested in fostering interdisciplinary work.

Eligibility and Terms

Only Urbana campus graduate students are eligible to apply. Applicants should have advanced far enough in their course of graduate study to be proposing working on their final research projects, such as a dissertation or thesis, during the span of the fellowship year, and should be enrolled in a terminal professional degree program (i.e. PhD or MFA; other MA students are not eligible). Ideally, this is after the preliminary examinations have been completed. Graduate students who have previously held an IPRH fellowship may not reapply.

All IPRH Fellows are required to maintain residency on the Illinois campus (residing within a 20-mile radius) during the award year and to attend the Fellows Seminar. Applicants should make certain that their teaching and research obligations do not prevent them from participating fully in IPRH activities, and should identify in the narrative statement any applications being made for other campus or external grants and fellowships.

Graduate Student Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend and a tuition and fee waiver.

Application Guidelines

Applications must be submitted through the online application portal.

Applicants will be asked to create a password-protected account, to which they can return multiple times. The application system opens in September 2017. No paper or emailed applications will be accepted. The online application must be completed and submitted no later than midnight on December 1, 2017. Referees must submit their letters of reference by midnight on the following Monday, December 4, 2017. Please note that IPRH staff will not be available for trouble-shooting after the close of business on December 1, so IPRH strongly recommends applicants and referees submit their materials well before 4:30 p.m. on the 1st.

In addition to completing the online application form, applicants must submit the following materials through the online application system (documents should be double-spaced, and in 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins; materials that exceed the required length will not be considered):

  • A 100-word abstract with project title. [Upload under “Abstract.”]
  • A current curriculum vitae, including a list of all U of I graduate courses taken, papers published, presentations made, and assistantships and fellowships held (maximum 5 pages; this need not be double-spaced, but please consider the committee and render it legible). [Upload under “Curriculum Vitae.”]
  • A statement of 2,000 words describing the student’s research on the proposed project, including preparation to undertake this research and all progress on the project to date. [Upload under “Research Statement.”]
  • A pdf of the student’s official transcript, which has been emailed to the student directly from the registrar’s office (rather than scanned from a paper copy). The applicants must request this electronic delivery from the registrar’s office. [Upload under “Transcript.”]
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation to be uploaded by the applicant’s referees, one of which must come from the faculty member supervising the student’s dissertation or equivalent research. Recommendation letters should speak to the applicant’s abilities and achievements, to his/her progress on the project, and to the intellectual value of the project itself.

IPRH recommends entering recommenders’ names and emails early in the online application process. The application system will generate an email request for letters to those whose names and emails the applicant submits, and the email will provide a link for uploading the letter. Please note that applicants must enter their personal contact information first before they can proceed to entering references. Doing so enables the system to insert the applicant’s name in the email request to referees. In order for the system to generate those emails, however, the applicant must click “continue” after entering referees’ names and emails—even if nothing else is to be done in the application at that time. Applications for which both letters of recommendation have not been uploaded by midnight on December 4, 2017 will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered. All letters must be uploaded through the application portal. No paper or emailed copies will be accepted.

In the narrative statement, the applicant should describe his/her research in reasonable detail, explaining its significance to the IPRH theme for 2018–19 (“Race Work”) and to the broader scholarly community at Illinois and elsewhere, and addressing the applicant’s readiness to undertake the project. The statement should also indicate the applicant’s willingness to participate in IPRH activities, especially the Fellows Seminar.


Online applications must be complete and submitted, by midnight Central Time on December 1, 2017. Referees must submit their letters of reference by midnight on the following Monday, December 4, 2017.

Visit the application system.

Deadline extensions will not be granted. The review committee will consider only complete applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documentation is complete, and that referees submit their letters before their deadline. Applicants should be sure that the application documents are complete and should proofread all materials carefully, as no changes are possible once one clicks “submit.” Note that one must click through the final section of the application portal, and hit “continue” in order to have the option to “submit.” Merely uploading all required documents does not constitute “submission.” Applicants must actively submit their applications. The portal will automatically generate an email acknowledgment of your submission, if you do not receive such an email within a reasonable time after clicking “submit,” and do not find one in your spam/junk folders, please touch base with IPRH. IPRH strongly recommends submissions be made prior to 4:30 p.m. on the day of the application deadline, as IPRH staff will not be available to assist with troubleshooting after close of business on Friday, December 1st.

Selection Criteria

The applications will be reviewed by the IPRH Advisory Committee, who will make their award recommendations to the IPRH; the IPRH Director and Associate Director serve on the committee in an ex officio capacity. Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria: scholarly promise of the project and the applicant’s preparation to undertake the proposed research, the quality of the narrative proposal, the relationship to the annual theme, and the letters of support.


All applications will be acknowledged via e-mail, and all applicants will be notified in the latter part of the spring 2018 semester, when the search has concluded. Please do not contact IPRH about the status of an application; because of the volume of applications IPRH receives, we are unable to answer questions about individual applications.

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To submit your application, go to the application system where you will be asked to create an account. The system opens September 1, 2017.

Questions about these fellowships may be addressed to Nancy Castro at or 244-7913.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2017