Princeton Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition
The Princeton Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the humanities and humanities-related social sciences, calls for fellowship applications annually. Three to five postdoctoral fellows are appointed each year for three-year terms in residence to pursue research and teach half-time in their academic host department, the Program in Humanistic Studies, or other university programs. The fellowships carry with them an appointment as lecturer in a fellow's academic host department. Fellows receive a competitive salary and benefits, a $5,000 research account, access to university grants, a shared office, a desktop computer and other resources. Fellows are expected to reside in or near Princeton during the academic year in order to attend weekly seminars and participate fully in the intellectual life of the Society.
2023 Call for Applications
Information on the 2024-27 fellowship categories, eligibility criteria, disciplines represented in the Society, application dossier requirements and reference letters is outlined in the following sections of this website. Applicants are advised to review these details carefully before submitting their application materials to the online portal.
The application deadline is August 1, 2023 (11:59 p.m. ET).
For the 2024-2027 fellowship competition, the following fellowships will be offered:
1. Two or Three Open Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences
These fellowships are open to applicants in all disciplines represented in the Society of Fellows. The fellowships' responsibilities include both research and teaching, one course each semester in the first and second years, one course in the third year. The fellows will either participate in team-taught courses or offer self-designed courses in the host department and/or an interdisciplinary program. In addition, fellows normally take on some advising in their specialty or related research areas.
2. One Fellowship in Humanistic Studies
This fellowship is supported jointly by the Humanities Council and the Society of Fellows and is open to candidates in the humanities disciplines represented in the Society. The fellowship’s responsibilities include research and teaching, one course each semester in the first and second years, one course in the third year. Courses are offered in a fellow’s host department and cross-listed with the Program in Humanistic Studies, possibly additional programs. In the spring semester of the first two years, the fellow will join a faculty team to co-teach in the Humanities Sequence, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture: From the Renaissance to the modern period. The fellow will be called upon to lead or contribute to occasional activities designed to build a sense of community among undergraduates in the Program in Humanistic Studies, which offers local and international field trips, an undergraduate society, workshops and other opportunities.
3. One Fellowship in Race and Ethnicity Studies
The Fellowship in Race and Ethnicity Studies is supported jointly by the office of the President at Princeton University and the Society of Fellows. The fellow will be expected to pursue research that explores the discursive forms and meanings of concepts of race and ethnicity in one or more selected disciplines in the humanities and affiliated social sciences. The selection committee particularly welcomes applications from candidates whose scholarship is driven by innovative, interdisciplinary, and historical ways of thinking, including interests in pre-modern and non-western cultures. In each of the first two years, the fellow teaches one course per semester in the host department and/or an interdisciplinary program, either team-taught or self-designed. In the third year, the fellow teaches one course. In addition, the fellow normally takes on some advising in their specialty or related research areas.
Applicants may be considered for more than one fellowship category pertinent to their research and teaching, and they may indicate their preferences on the application form.
All fellowships will be awarded to applicants in the disciplines represented in the Society who are at the beginning of their academic career. Selection is based on exceptional scholarly achievement and evidence of unusual promise, range and quality of teaching experience, and potential contributions to an interdisciplinary community. The Society of Fellows seeks a diverse and international pool of applicants, and it especially welcomes those from underrepresented backgrounds.
Fellowships will be awarded to applicants in the disciplines represented in the Society who are at the beginning of their academic career. Selection is based on exceptional scholarly achievement and evidence of unusual promise, range and quality of teaching experience, and potential contributions to an interdisciplinary community. The Society of Fellows seeks a diverse and international pool of applicants, and it especially welcomes those from underrepresented backgrounds.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements:
Applicants already holding the Ph.D. degree at the time of their application will need to have received their degree between January 1, 2022 and August 1, 2023. The receipt of the Ph.D. is determined by the date on which all requirements for the degree, including the defense and filing of the dissertation, were fulfilled. Priority will be given to applicants who have received no more than one year of research-only funding past the Ph.D. degree.
Applicants with a Ph.D. are asked to upload a document to the application site with evidence of completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree (either a formal Ph.D. certificate, an official transcript, or a degree confirmation letter by the advisor).
Applicants who are ABD (All But Dissertation) at the time of their application: Applicants who do not meet the August 1, 2023 deadline for receipt of their Ph.D., but are expected to have fulfilled all conditions for the degree, including defense and filing of dissertation, by June 15, 2024, may still apply for a postdoctoral fellowship, provided they have completed a substantial portion of their dissertation (at least half).
Applicants who are ABD need to upload an official letter by the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies confirming “progress to degree” to the application site.
ABD candidates who are awarded a fellowship will be asked to provide an official document from their institution’s Registrar or Dean of the Graduate School by June 15, 2024 to confirm completion of all requirements for the Ph.D.
Additional Eligibility Criteria:
Applicants who already applied to the Princeton Society of Fellows may not apply a second time. We therefore recommend that applicants wait to submit an application until they have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (at least half).
Candidates for/recipients of doctorates in Education (Ed.D. or Ph.D. degrees), in Jurisprudence, the DMA, and candidates for/recipients of Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University are not eligible to apply.
The positions are subject to the University's background check policy.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW.
As part of the online application, applicants are required to select one academic host department from the following options:
African American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French and Italian, German, History, Music (limited to Musicology, Music Theory, Ethnomusicology), Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese.
We ask applicants to refrain from contacting faculty in potential host departments; we will do so on behalf of finalists at a later stage of the search.
Programs of Study
In addition to a host department, applicants may choose to be affiliated with one of the University's interdisciplinary programs:
African Studies; American Studies; Ancient World; Asian American Studies; 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, East European 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 Department of Astrophysical Sciences. Please note that deadlines for these fellowships are later than those for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
To participate in the 2024-27 fellowship competition, applicants will need to submit the following documents, along with an online application form, to the application portal by August 1, 2023 (11:59 p.m. ET):
1. Cover Letter: 1½ pages maximum, single-spaced, addressed to the search committee. The letter should include a brief overview of the application.
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Dissertation Abstract: no more than one page, single-spaced.
4. Writing Sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published/forthcoming article related to your dissertation topic that best represents your intellectual interests. No more than 25 double-spaced pages (endnotes/bibliography/illustrations may be included in addition). If the text portion of the sample you wish to submit is longer than 25 pages, please edit for length and summarize the deleted portions.
5. Research Project for the Fellowship Term: two to three double-spaced pages; no bibliography is necessary. We expect this research statement will usually 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, and/or already prepared the dissertation for publication, you may devote some or most of the three pages to this new project.
6. Two Course Proposals: Briefly outline two sample courses you would be interested in teaching at Princeton. It is not necessary to include syllabi, but, in addition to the course descriptions, please provide sample reading lists. One proposed course should offer an introduction to a topic of your choice for first and second-year students from different fields (typically a 200-level course at Princeton). The other course should be a more advanced undergraduate seminar in your own discipline that would have broad appeal to juniors and/or seniors in your host department (300 or 400-level). The two course descriptions and reading lists together should not exceed three double-spaced pages.
7. Proof of Ph.D. or Progress to Degree:
For applicants with the Ph.D. degree: a document confirming your completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. This may be a formal Ph.D. certificate, an official transcript, or a letter from your dissertation advisor.
For ABD (All But Dissertation) applicants only: a letter from the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies confirming your "progress to degree." It is advisable that you secure this document well before the August 1 application deadline.
Your Department Chair may write both the brief letter confirming your progress and, if you wish, also one of the three letters of recommendation in support of your application. However, these will have to be two separate documents, as you will need to upload the "progress to degree" letter as part of your dossier by the application deadline. Referees will be contacted by the Society of Fellows directly with an invitation to upload their confidential letters to the online portal once your application has been submitted, as outlined below.
Note to Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies: Candidates may apply only once to the Society of Fellows. Therefore, we advise applicants to wait until they have a substantial portion of their dissertation completed (at least 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 written at the time of application and is fully expected to have completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including filing and defense, by June 15, 2024. Should a finalist not be able to meet this deadline, a fellowship offer would have to be rescinded.
Applicants are asked to name three referees on the online application form. Within 24 hours following an application’s submission, referees can expect to receive an automated email with the request to submit their recommendations, confidentially and securely, to the online application portal. Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to contact referees well before submitting an application.
While the deadline for applicants is Tuesday, August 1, 2023 (11:59 p.m. ET), referees may submit their letters to Princeton University's online application portal until Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
Reference letters will need to be uploaded in PDF format; signed letters on institutional letterhead are preferred, if possible. Letters may be addressed to the search committee. We ask that reference letters are not sent via email, and we cannot consider more than three letters of recommendation.
Applicants are welcome to use dossier services for the submission of reference letters, however, they will need to consult the dossier service of their choice for specific instructions.
Additional Information and Timeline:
Applicants interested in more than one type of fellowship should submit just one application. The online application form allows applicants to indicate which fellowships they wish to be considered for, and they may also indicate their preferences in the cover letter.
We recommend that applicants allow sufficient time for the final review of their application dossier and potential browser or internet connectivity issues when submitting their application to the online portal, as exceptions to the application deadline cannot be offered. Updates to a dossier after its submission are not possible.
The Society of Fellows cannot accept application materials sent via email.
An application withdrawn after the application deadline of August 1, 2023 will be considered as submitted, which means the applicant will be ineligible to reapply in the following year.
Finalists to be invited for interviews can expect to be contacted in mid-November, and interviews will be held via Zoom in the week of December 11, 2023. All other applicants will be notified about the status of their application by the end of December. Fellowship winners are to be announced on the Society of Fellows’ website in summer 2024.
Applications are reviewed by faculty in the Society of Fellows and in participating departments at Princeton. Please note that all application materials and the selection committee's evaluations remain confidential, and the committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications or interviews.
Any fellowship or application related inquiries should please be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.