Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship (DYF)
The Dissertation Year Fellowship enables the recipient to work without interruption toward completion of his or her dissertation. Awards are restricted to ABD students who are in their fifth of sixth year during the year of the fellowship (i.e., in their fourth or fifth year in the academic year when they apply) and who are writing dissertations in an area of the humanities or humanistic social sciences using methods that are qualitative (i.e., not empirical or quantitative), analytical, critical, and/or speculative. As long as the dissertation takes this humanistic approach, students in the following programs will qualify: Anthropology, English, History, Music Composition and Theory, Musicology, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Politics, and Sociology. Six fellowships will be available for the 2019-2020 academic year. The DYF carries a 12-month stipend of $33,500, a summer research grant of $4000, and a full credit toward the Brandeis Health Insurance option. Applications are not active at this time. Information about the next application cycle will be made available on this site by November 2018.
1. Awards are restricted to doctoral candidates writing dissertations in an area of the humanities or humanistic social sciences using methods that are qualitative (i.e., not empirical or quantitative), analytical, critical, and/or speculative. As long as the dissertation takes this humanistic approach, students in the following programs will qualify: Anthropology, English, History, Music Composition and Theory, Musicology, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Politics, and Sociology.
2. Applicants must have completed all degree requirements other than the dissertation. Your Department Chair or the Director of Graduate Study must certify your ABD status.
3. Applicants must be CURRENTLY in the fourth or fifth year of their program (excluding any leave(s) of absence). In other words, one is not eligible to apply if one is currently in one’s sixth year and will be in one’s seventh year during the year of the fellowship.
4. Preference will be given to students who do not have access to other sources of funding.
1. Mellon Fellows must sign the Commitment Form. By doing so, Mellon Fellows have certified that if they accept the award they agree to: (1) check-in monthly with their advisor; (2) submit a progress report to the Dean of GSAS in March 2020; (3) graduate by August 2020; and (4) renounce all Brandeis University employment until such time that their dissertation is defended.
2. Mellon Fellows understand that their funding can be revoked if they do not make sufficient progress toward completion without good cause by their March progress report.
3. Mellon Fellows must register as a continuation student for the entire period of the award.
4. Mellon Fellows agree to participate actively in a year-long, interdisciplinary dissertation workshop.
There are two separate parts to the application. The first part is the completion of the online application form. The second part is the submission of your supporting documentation. Both parts must be completed before the deadline.
Part I: Complete the online application form.
The Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship Application will be available online.
This application informs us of your intent to apply for the Dissertation Year Fellowship and sends a link to your advisor through which they can upload their letter of recommendation. The link will not be sent to your advisor until you have completed the application form. It is, therefore, best to complete the application form early enough to allow your advisor time to upload their letter of recommendation before the January 12 deadline. NOTE: Since the January deadline is only a few days after the spring semester begins, it would be most respectful to your advisor if you were to complete this part of the application well BEFORE the holiday break.
Part II: Submit all supporting documents (described below) in pdf format as attachments in a single email to the email address that will be indicated on this page. Title each file with your name and the type of supporting document (e.g., LastFirst CV). Applicants from non-music doctoral programs should submit all five (5) of the supporting documents listed below. Music Composition and Theory students should only submit four (4) supporting documents and have separate instructions for dissertation descriptions.
1. Curriculum Vitae: include publications, conference papers, awards, and distinctions.
2. Dissertation Description:
The dissertation description should be a maximum of four (4), double-spaced pages of clear, academic prose. Avoid jargon, since the selection committee comprises faculty from a variety of disciplines.
Dissertation Description for applicants from non-music programs will include the following:
Executive Summary: A succinct overview of the dissertation, including the problems the dissertation will address.
Existing Scholarship: The main focus of previous research, with examples of substantive contributions and a clear statement on the shortcomings of existing scholarship.
Focus and Methodology: How you intend to address the issues discussed in the summary and how this will contribute to scholarship in the field. Include the texts, documents, and other sources you will use to write your dissertation.
Music Composition and Theory Dissertation Descriptions should:
Outline your analytical essay;
Present a detailed grasp of the piece(s) to be analyzed;
Indicate your intentions for the composition regarding instrumentation, text (if any), and number of movements;
Explain the current state of your dissertation project, providing an estimated completion schedule that indicates when you will finish all outstanding work to meet the dissertation defense deadline.
3. Annotated Table of Contents: The Table of Contents will be a maximum of one double-spaced page in length and will list all chapters, with a very brief summary of the substance. Clearly indicate the status of each chapter (completed, in draft, not yet started). This requirement does not apply to students in Music Composition and Theory.
4. Commitment Form: Use this form to indicate your commitment to the Mellon DYF’s award conditions. Both you and your advisor will need to sign and date this form. NOTE: Since the January deadline is only a few days after the beginning of the spring semester, be sure to allow plenty of time for you and your advisor to sign this form and for you to send the signed form in pdf format.
5. Department Approval: Use this form to indicate that you have completed all degree requirements for your program except for your dissertation. Both you and your Director of Graduate Studies or Department Chair will need to sign and date this form. NOTE: Since the January deadline is only a few days after the beginning of the spring semester, be sure to allow plenty of time for you and your DGS or Department Chair to sign this form and for you to send the signed form in pdf format.
Advisor Recommendation Letter (to be provided separately)
Once your online application (Part I) is submitted, your advisor will receive an email with a link through which to upload their letter of recommendation. The link will not be sent to your advisor until you have completed the application form. We recommend that you be in contact with your advisor to ensure that a) they have received an email with the link for submitting the letter and b) they upload their letter by the deadline. If your advisor has not received the link within 24 hours of you having completed the online application, inform the Mellon Administrator.
The selection committee is composed of graduate program chairs and the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. You should be notified of the selection committee’s decision in February.