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 or 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. Details about the number of fellowships available and the level of funding will be announced soon.

The application is now active. The deadline is 11:59pm, January 18, 2019.

Mellon DYF Application, 2019-20

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Eligibility Requirements

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, a student currently in their sixth year is not eligible to apply.

4. Preference will be given to students who do not have access to other sources of funding.

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Award Conditions

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

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Application Instructions
There are three separate parts to the application, all due by 11:59pm on January 18, 2019:
  • Online application form

  • Submission of supporting materials via Box

  • Submission of advisor recommendation letter

Please note the following:
  • You will not receive a separate confirmation that your application is complete. However, if your application is incomplete, you will receive notice about the missing materials by Tuesday January 22nd. You will be given until Friday, January 25th to complete your application.

Part I
Complete the online application form.

The Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship Application is available online.

Part II

  • Through your Brandeis Box account, create a folder titled "LastnameFirstname, DYF 2019-20 Application Materials." If you need help accessing your Box account, look through the following knowledge base: https://kb.brandeis.edu/display/SCI/Brandeis+Box.com

  • Put the following pdfs into this folder: CV, Dissertation Description and Annotated Table of Contents, Commitment form and DGS/Chair Approval form. Title each file with your name and the type of supporting document (e.g., LastFirst CV).

  • Share the folder with Assistant Dean Alyssa Stalsberg Canelli (acanelli@brandeis.edu)

  • Please note: your materials will be moved into a different Box folder after the application deadline of January 18, 2019, in order to preserve the integrity of the application deadline and review process.

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;

AND

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.

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.

Part III
Advisor Recommendation Letter
The advisor must email Assistant Dean Alyssa Stalsberg Canelli (acanelli@brandeis.edu) their recommendation letter no later than January 18, 2019.

Please note the following:

  • You will not receive a separate confirmation that your application is complete. However, if your application is incomplete, you will receive notice about the missing materials by Tuesday January 22nd. You will be given until Friday, January 25th to complete your application.