Princeton University Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition in the Liberal Arts, 2012-2015

Princeton University Fellowship Competition in the Liberal Arts, 2012-2015Deadline: 30 September 2011

The , an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and selected natural sciences, invites applications for the 2012-2015  Fellowship competition.

Four three-year Postdoctoral Fellowships will be awarded this year. The will be approximately $76,000. Fellows are provided with a shared office, a personal computer, a research account of $5000 a year, and access to university , benefits and other resources.

Fellows are expected to reside in or near Princeton during the academic year in order that they can attend weekly seminars and participate fully in the intellectual life of the Society.

All candidates will be informed of the status of their application by the end of January 2012.  Interviews will take place in early February. The Society will reimburse the cost of travel and lodging associated with the interview.  Names of fellowship winners will be posted on the Society of Fellows’ website in July 2012.

Four Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2012-2015

Applicants may apply for one or more fellowship(s) pertinent to their research and teaching.

1. Two Open Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences (OPEN)

Open to all disciplines represented in the Society of Fellows.  In each of the first two years, the successful candidate pursues research half-time and teaches the equivalent of two courses per year, either team-taught or self-designed, in the host department or in an interdisciplinary Program.  In addition, the fellow normally does some advising in his/her specialty or related areas.  In the third year, the fellow teaches one course in the fall semester and devotes the final semester to full-time research.

2. Fellowship in East Asian Studies (EAS)

This fellowship is sponsored by the Princeton Program in East Asian Studies and the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. Together with other faculty in East Asian Studies, the postdoctoral fellow teaches half-time for the first two years in the core Humanities-EAS course, which is sponsored jointly by the Humanities Council and East Asian Studies Department. In the third year, the fellow teaches one course only, either in the East Asian Studies Department or in an interdisciplinary program. The EAS Fellow is expected to pursue research that will make a significant contribution to the field of East Asian Studies in one or more disciplines in the humanities.

3. Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (HUM)

This fellowship is sponsored jointly by the Humanities Council and Society of Fellows, and is open to candidates in all relevant disciplines represented in the Society of Fellows.  For one semester, either fall or spring, in each of the first two years, the Fellow joins faculty from different disciplines to teach the interdisciplinary year-long sequence Approaches to Western Culture: From Antiquity to the Modern Period, delivering lectures and leading some discussions. The Fellow also pursues research half-time.  In the other semester of the first two years and in one semester of the third year, the Fellow teaches a self-designed course in his/her host department. The final semester is devoted to full-time research without teaching.


  • PhD degree requirements. Please note the Society’s dates of degree eligibility. These are firm dates with no exceptions.a) Candidates already holding the PhD degree at time of application:
    You must have received your degree between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.
    The receipt of the PhD is determined by the date on which you fulfilled all requirements for the degree at your institution, including the defense and filing of the dissertation.b) Candidates who are ABD (all but dissertation) at time of application:
    If you will not meet the September 30, 2011, deadline for receipt of PhD but are expected to have fulfilled all conditions for the degree, including defense and filing of dissertation, by June 15, 2012, you may still apply for a postdoctoral fellowship provided you have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half). We ask that you include in your dossier a letter confirming your “progress to degree” from either your Department Chair or your Director of Graduate Studies (see details below).
    Please note that candidates awarded a fellowship will be asked to provide a document from either the Registrar or Dean of their Graduate School by June 15, 2012, to confirm completion of all requirements for the PhD.
  • Recipients of doctorates in Education (EdD or PhD degrees), doctorates of Jurisprudence, and holders of PhD degrees from are not eligible to apply.
  • If you have already applied to the Society of Fellows, you may not apply a second time. We therefore recommend that candidates wait until they have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half) before applying.
  • Fellowships will be awarded to candidates at the beginning of their academic career. Candidates must have already demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching. Their work should also show evidence of unusual promise. The Society has a particular interest in fostering innovative interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities and social sciences.
  • US citizens and non-citizens, regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability, are eligible to apply.
  • Fellows must reside in or near Princeton during the academic year of their fellowship term in order that they can attend weekly seminars and other events on campus.

Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and complies with applicable EEO and affirmative action regulations.

Disciplines Represented in the Society of Fellows

The applicant should select an official host from the list of departments below. Please review the website and course offerings of Princeton’s academic departments and programs and choose the one which seems most appropriate.  It is not necessary to contact a potential host department before submitting your application.  In addition to a departmental host, you may choose to be affiliated with one of the University’s interdisciplinary Programs of Study.

Host departments (you must choose one)
African American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French and Italian, German, History, *Music, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese.
* Music. PhD candidates in the following areas may apply: Musicology, , .  DMA recipients are not eligible.

Programs of Study (optional – you may choose one, two, or none)
African Studies, Ancient World, Architecture and Engineering, Classical Philosophy, Contemporary European Politics and Society, Environmental Studies, European Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Hellenic Studies, History of Science, Italian Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, Linguistics, Media and Modernity, Medieval Studies, Political Philosophy, Population Studies, Renaissance Studies, Russian and Eurasian Studies, South Asian Studies, Theater and Dance, Translation and Intercultural Communication, Urban Studies, Values and Public Life

Natural sciences: Astrophysics only (Spitzer and Russell Fellowships)
For fellowships in this field only, candidates should apply directly to the Astrophysical Sciences department.  Please note that deadlines for this fellowship are later than those in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
For more details, please consult the following website: http://www.astro.princeton.edu

 Application Guidelines

Candidates should review carefully the following guidelines before completing the online application form and mailing the dossier materials.

Applicants may apply for one or more fellowship(s) pertinent to their research and teaching by checking the relevant boxes on the Application Form.  It is not necessary to submit separate applications for each fellowship.

Please submit the following dossier items in the order listed below. Number and staple pages for each item, and include your name and title of the item at the top of the first page of each.  Please submit only the requested items (without binders or folders).  Transcripts of courses and grades are not necessary.

Checklist of dossier items (See below for Details)

Confidential letters of recommendation should be emailed directly to the Society by three referees on or before the postmark deadline.

Dossier items (below) should be mailed by the candidate:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Cover letter
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. For ABD (All But Dissertation) candidates only:  letter of “Progress to Degree” from either department chair or director of graduate studies (see text below)
  5. Dissertation abstract
  6. Writing sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published article
  7. Research proposal
  8. Two (or three*) course proposals (*see details below)

Details of Dossier Items

For referees:

  • Confidential letters of reference from no more than three referees: to be emailed directly in Word or PDF format to sfrecs@princeton.edu (NB. This email address for letters only; all questions should be sent to fellows@princeton.edu)
    • electronic letterhead and signature preferred, if available
    • letter should be addressed to: Director, Susan Stewart
    • subject line of the email should be: applicant’s last name, first name
    • if reference letter is emailed, it is not necessary to mail a hard copy of the letter
  • If a referee is unable to send a letter electronically, s/he may send it by mail, postmarked by September 30, 2011 to:Search Committee, Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, 10 Joseph Henry House, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544

For candidates:

  1. Application form:hard copy should be printed out and mailed together with dossier.Please wait until you have gathered all your application materials and are ready to mail them before filling out, submitting electronically, and then printing the application form for enclosure with your dossier.
    Submit your online application form only once.  If you find you need to correct information (e.g. contact details, names of referees) at a later date, please email the changes to the Society of Fellows at fellows@princeton.edu
  2. Cover letter (1 ½ pages maximum)
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. For ABD (all but dissertation) candidates only:Letter confirming “progress to degree” from Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies, to be included by candidate with full dossier (preferred) or sent via e-mail to sfrecs@princeton.edu.
    Your Department Chair may write both the brief letter confirming your progress and, if you wish, one of the three letters of recommendation in support of your candidacy, but these should be two separate documents.

Note for Chair or Director:  candidates may apply only once to the Society of Fellows.  We therefore advise applicants to wait until they have a substantial portion of their dissertation completed (approximately one half of the dissertation written)before applying.  The “progress to degree” letter need not contain an evaluation but should state that the candidate has a substantial portion of the dissertation completed at the time of application, and is fully expected to have completed all requirements for the PhD by June 15, 2012.

  • Dissertation abstract: no more than one page, single-spaced.
  • Writing sample: one chapter of the dissertation OR one published article.No more than 25 double-spaced pages, not including footnotes/illustrations.  If the chapter you wish to send is longer than 25 pages, please edit for length and summarize the deleted portions. We are not able to return any application materials.
  • Research Project for the fellowship term:no more than two double-spaced pages.We expect this will take the form of a proposal for revising the dissertation in preparation for publication.  However, if you have given serious thought to a second research project beyond the dissertation, please describe it in an additional third page. 
  • Two Course Proposals:together these should not exceed three double-spaced pages.Briefly outline two sample courses you would be interested in teaching at Princeton. It is not necessary to include syllabi but a brief sample reading list for each course would be helpful, in addition to the course description.One proposed course should introduce first-year students to a topic of your choice in the form of a Freshman seminar. (See link for examples.)  The other course should be a more advanced seminar in your own discipline but one that is broad enough in scope to appeal to juniors and/or seniors in your host department who will not necessarily be familiar with your research area.

    If you are applying for both Open and Targeted fellowships, you may opt to include a third sample course (and therefore an additional, fourth page) that addresses a topic of relevance to the targeted fellowship. Please note: the option to provide a third sample course does not apply to the Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, which is linked to a specific course.


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Application procedures

  • There is no application fee.
  • Only one set of dossier materials is necessary.
  • It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all materials, including online application form, full dossier, three referee letters, and “progress to degree” letter (for ABD candidates), are submitted by the September 30, 2011 postmark deadline. Only complete applications will be considered.
  • It is not necessary to send a transcript of graduate courses or grades.
  • Please send only the items we have requested.
  • Candidates who have previously applied for the Society of Fellows’ postdoctoral fellowships may not re-apply.
  • The dates for completion of the PhD degree – between Jan. 1, 2010 and Sept 30, 2011 (for ABDs: June 15, 2012) – are strictlyobserved, with no exceptions.The “completion” of the PhD is determined by the date on which you officially fulfilled all requirements for the degree at your institution, including defense and filing of dissertation.

Mailing instructions

  • The “postmark deadline” is the date by which materials must be stamped by the Post Office. If you send your application by another mail service, please arrange for pick-up no later than the postmark deadline.
  • Please provide both surface mail and electronic addresses so that we can reach you easily. Advise us by email if either address changes before January 1, 2012.
  • We strongly recommend that candidates, particularly those mailing from outside the US, use an expedited, tracking mail service to send their dossier.
  • Please note that we do not accept faxed or emailed applications.

Notification of candidates

  • Candidates will be notified by mail once their dossier has been processed, and by email if any letters of recommendation are missing.  Note that this can take up to six weeks after the deadline, owing to the volume of mail we receive.
  • We are not able to return any application materials.

Evaluation procedures

  • Applications will be read by faculty in both the Society of Fellows and the host departments.
  • All dossier materials and the selection committee’s evaluations remain confidential. The committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications or interviews.

Application Postmark deadline: September 30, 2011

Complete rules and application form may be downloaded from the web site:


Latest articles

About the Author

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Comments are closed.