DPDF Student Fellowship Competition

Providing graduate students with support to formulate effective doctoral dissertation proposals


Open for applications, next deadline is February 3rd 2014. Apply Now


The Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) Student Fellowship Competition is organized to help graduate students in the humanities and social sciences formulate effective research proposals through exploratory research and exchanges with other scholars within interdisciplinary areas of study.


Each year, the program offers dissertation proposal development workshops led by pairs of tenured senior faculty who define emerging or reinvigorated interdisciplinary research fields. These research field directors lead groups of 12 graduate students through two multi-day workshops during the fellowship cycle. The spring workshop helps students focus their research questions and prepare them for summer exploratory research that will inform the design of dissertation proposals. The fall workshop helps students apply their summer research experiences to writing dissertation research proposals for their departments or funding agencies. Students may apply for up to $5,000 to cover summer research costs. Travel, accommodations, and meals for both workshops are covered by the DPDF Program.


Working together with faculty research directors, graduate students design research that will help to shape evolving fields in the humanities and social sciences. All of the program’s activities seek to create professional networks that will have value throughout the participants’ research careers.



Research Fields


Each year, the DPDF program selects five or more fields of study for dissertation research proposal training, choosing emerging or reinvigorating fields that address broad public concerns and can be approached from multiple intellectual, societal, and geographic orientations. Each field centers on a core set of issues and questions that can valuably be addressed through the intellectual perspectives and research styles of different humanities and social science disciplines. Usually, at least one research field is formed through an international partnership with a non-US research institution, expanding the potential for cross-national dialogue.


The 2014 DPDF Research Fields are:



Potential applicants are asked to review carefully the current research field descriptions to assess into which research field, if any, their project might fit best. For questions about whether a specific research project conforms with a field, please contact DPDF staff.



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