Department Fellowship Guidelines

English Department Dissertation Fellowship: Application Guidelines Eligibility

The dissertation fellowship is available to MU English doctoral program students who, at the time of application, have completed their course work and have passed the foreign language and qualifying exams. Preference will be given to applicants who will have completed their dissertation credits by the beginning of the fellowship period and who plan to complete their dissertations by the end of that period.

Terms of award

The fellowship pays a stipend equivalent to doctoral assistantships. The award does not include tuition credits or continuous enrollment fees.

Due Dates

Applications are due on the same date as Departmental applications for the Raynor, Smith, and Schmitt Fellowships.

Selection Process/Timeline

In late November the selection committee, consisting of members of the Graduate Studies Committee, will name a primary recipient and one or more alternates. The primary recipient may await the outcome of other fellowship competitions before accepting the dissertation fellowship. Should the primary recipient accept another fellowship, the dissertation fellowship will be offered to the first alternate. Since the primary recipient is expected to concentrate on the dissertation during the fellowship period, it is prohibited that s/he accept outside teaching jobs; such an acceptance will result in the forfeiting of the award. If there are no suitable applicants or alternates in a given year, the fellowship will not be awarded.

Application: Checklist

A complete application consists of:

  1. a cover sheet
  2. a curriculum vitae
  3. a dissertation outline
  4. two letters of reference

Items 1-3 are to be submitted directly to the DGS by the candidate. Item 4 is to be submitted directly to the DGS by references.

For the purposes of this fellowship, the primary document is the dissertation outline. Approved outlines (i.e., those signed by committee members and the director of graduate studies and submitted to the Graduate School) will have an advantage over those that are unapproved at the time of application. The dissertation outline form can be downloaded from the Graduate School website

Application: Format of Documents

Cover Sheet. The cover sheet should include the following information:

  • Applicant’s name and MUID
  • Dates on which the applicant (a) began Ph.D. course work, (b) passed the foreign language exam, (c) passed the qualifying exam, and (d --if applicable) filed an approved dissertation outline with the Graduate School
  • Brief statement (100 words maximum) of the dissertation topic
  • Description of the current state of the dissertation and a timetable for its completion, concluding with a likely date for the defense

Letters of Reference

One of the two letters of reference should be from the dissertation director. It should address the significance of the project, its current state, and the likelihood that it will be completed on schedule. The second letter should be from one of the dissertation readers.