Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity

Deadline: April 15
Duration: one year
Description: The University of Pennsylvania invites applications for the first Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity. This program is designed to provide mentorship and access to Penn’s resources for doctoral students in the humanities or social sciences, enrolled at universities other than Penn, as they complete their dissertations. It supports scholars from a wide range of backgrounds, who can contribute to the diversity of Penn and the higher education community. The Fellowships support graduate students in the final stages of dissertation research or writing for residency at Penn for an academic year, normally September through August. They offer an opportunity for scholars who plan an academic career to take advantage of Penn programs and faculty expertise and to have access to libraries and the resources of the Philadelphia region.   Each scholar will be hosted by a department or program and assigned a faculty mentor.  Recipients can be in the stage of either dissertation research or writing.

The Fellowship provides a stipend of $27,000, health and dental insurance, office space, library privileges, and a $3000 research and travel fund.  The application deadline is April 15, 2012.

This year, three of these new Fellowships will be awarded.  Candidates must:

  • Be a U.S citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be enrolled in a PhD program in the humanities or social sciences at an institution other than Penn, have passed their PhD qualifying examinations, and have an approved dissertation proposal.
  • Be a student of exceptional academic merit who belongs to a group underrepresented in higher education;  and/or comes from a socially, culturally, or educationally disadvantaged background or have faced other significant personal obstacles; and/or pursues academic research on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect disadvantaged segments of society.

Applications consist of:

  • A personal statement describing the student’s work, dissertation, and any other information that the student would like to present to the selection committee.  The statement should begin by addressing the importance of the student’s topic and approach and then explain the dissertation’s aims, methodologies (how the student will conduct the research), originality, and contribution to its field.
  • A dissertation abstract.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one which must come from the dissertation advisor, commenting on the student’s performance, potential, and expected time to degree.  At least one of the letters must address the student’s contribution to diversity in higher education.  These can be sent separately by the recommenders.
  • Official graduate transcript(s).
  • Current curriculum vitae.

These materials should be sent to Stephanie King in the Office of the Provost at They can be transmitted in more than one email.  Statements of endorsement, reference letters and transcripts should be sent as PDFs. Correspondence must be signed and on official letterhead.

Questions can be addressed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty at

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