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AJS invites applications for its second annual Dissertation Completion Fellowship competition. Launched in 2016, this fellowship program awards seven finishing-year fellowships annually ($20,000) to PhD students entering the final year of their programs and completing a dissertation in the field of Jewish Studies. The Fall 2016 competition will support fellowships during the 2017-2018 academic year. The application deadline is Tuesday, December 6, 2016.
The Dissertation Completion Fellowships will encourage the timely completion of doctorates by the most promising graduate students in the field; create a cohort of fellows who will lead the field of Jewish Studies for decades to come; expose new audiences to Jewish Studies scholarship through fellows’ public lectures; and promote continued growth of academic Jewish Studies, at a time of institutional cutbacks in the humanities and social sciences. The program will both provide resources to fellows, in the form of a $20,000 stipend, as well as professional development opportunities, through a mid-year workshop and ongoing contact with mentors during the fellowship year. Particular attention will be dedicated to training the fellows to speak publicly, in an accessible fashion, about their work. Only students who are in the final stages of writing their dissertations and who display clear evidence of their ability to defend their dissertations by July of the fellowship year are eligible to apply for this program.
A unique feature of the program will be its public engagement component. Each fellow will be asked to give one public lecture or workshop at the end of their fellowship year in which they will share their research with a general audience. The purpose of this public speaking component is to give fellows crucial experience in making their work accessible to an interested but non-expert public, and to help satisfy the great demand for engaging and sophisticated discussion of Jewish history, literature, religion, and culture.
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- Applicants must be prepared to successfully defend their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure and no later than June 30, 2018.
- The applicant must be completing a dissertation in the field of Jewish Studies and a member of the Association for Jewish Studies.
- Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation (obtained ABD status) by the application deadline.
- The program is restricted to graduate students who, at the time of application, have progressed no further than the sixth year of the degree program. (This includes time for a master’s degree obtained en route to the PhD.)
- The dissertation must be in English, although citations may be in other languages provided translations are included.
- Applicant must be willing to deliver one public lecture at the end of the fellowship year based on her/his research, to be arranged in cooperation with the AJS.
- Recipients of a Dissertation Completion Fellowship may not receive total grant support in excess of $40,000 during their fellowship year. In addition, they may not hold a full-time job or equivalent academic workload during the fellowship year.
 In special circumstances, an applicant in her/his seventh year of the degree program may petition to have her/his application considered. Such applicants must present a compelling case for eligibility.
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- The project’s potential to advance the field of Jewish Studies
- The quality of the proposal in terms of methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and foundation in the relevant literature
- The feasibility of completing the project within the proposed timeframe
- The applicant’s scholarly record, as demonstrated through past publication record, teaching experience, coursework, and other related experience
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All applications will be submitted using Interfolio. Using Interfolio for the Dissertation Completion Fellowship is free for applicants. If you do not already have an account with Interfolio, you will be able to create one free of charge.
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Completed applications must include:
- Application form (on Interfolio)
- Dissertation Proposal (no more than five pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 11-point font)
- Dissertation Table of Contents
- One-page timeline outlining schedule for completing and successfully defending the dissertation by June 30, 2018. You must explain when you will write and revise each chapter, along with when you have planned any remaining archival visits or field research necessary to complete the dissertation.
- Bibliography (no more than two pages)
- Two completed dissertation chapters, including one that is neither the introduction, conclusion, nor literature review. Chapter should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 11-point font, or a representative excerpt from a longer chapter. The dissertation chapters and dissertation prospectus must be in English, although citations may be in other languages provided translations are included.
- Two letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant’s dissertation advisor. Request confidential letters of recommendation via the Dissertation Completion Fellowship Application on Interfolio.
- Status Confirmation Form from the applicant’s institution (preferably from the applicant’s department chair or dean). The provided form asks the institutional representative to attest to the ABD status of the applicant, the viability of the proposed timeline for completion, and to confirm that the institution will not offer doctoral funding in years subsequent to the fellowship year. The dissertation advisor may not complete this form. Please request the completion of the Status Confirmation Form by sending a request for a confidential letter of recommendation from your department chair or dean via Interfolio. In your Interfolio e-mail request, attach the form and instruct the university representative to fill it out and upload it as an attachment via the link provided in the confidential letter request.
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AJS must receive complete applications by Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Late, incomplete, e-mailed, or faxed applications will not be accepted. AJS will announce award decisions by April 2017.
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Contact Amy Weiss
Grants and Communications Coordinator
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