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Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities

Deadline: Monday, January 22, 2018 11:59pm


The Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities provide the successful applicants with one semester each of support to focus entirely on the dissertation.  The primary goal of the Fellowship is to provide the recipients with one intensive semester to make significant progress on the dissertation. The fellowship also seeks to expand the Fellows' experiences beyond a single disciplinary focus by providing the opportunity for interaction with the Hall Center's interdisciplinary cohort of faculty and public fellows. The program seeks well-rounded students who demonstrate the ability to make outstanding contributions in their chosen humanities disciplines and who can indicate in the application materials that a semester dedicated solely to dissertation writing will result in substantial progress on the dissertation project.



Each Fellow will receive an $8,000 stipend and an office in the Hall Center during the semester of residency.  In addition, the Office of Graduate Studies will pay tuition for a semester.  Having an office at the Center will provide easy access to the Hall Center's Fellows whose mentorship will be invaluable because of their national and international reputations and broad eclectic interests. The Sias fellows will present their work in a meeting of the Resident Fellows Seminar during the semester of residence. 



Eligible applicants will:

1. Be KU graduate students in a core humanities discipline (see list below) who have completed all departmental and graduate school requirements, including the approval of the dissertation proposal or prospectus, by the end of the academic year in which they are applying;

2. Be engaged in dissertation writing and be in residence in the Hall Center during the fellowship period;

3. Demonstrate that a semester residency will result in significant progress on the dissertation project;

4. Demonstrate a high level of motivation, including the ability to establish and achieve goals.

For the purposes of this award, the core humanities disciplines include the following:  American Studies, Art History, English, Ethnomusicology, Film & Media Studies, French & Italian Languages & Literatures, Germanic Languages & Literatures, History, Music History, Music Theory, Musicology, Philosophy, Slavic Languages & Literatures, Spanish & Portuguese, Theatre, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.



A Sias Graduate Fellow is required to:

1. Devote full-time effort to the dissertation during the semester of the fellowship;

2. Hold no other paid position at the University of Kansas or elsewhere during the semester of the fellowship;

3. Occupy an office at the Hall Center and participate in Center activities, including attending and presenting in the Resident Fellows Seminars;

4. Submit a brief report describing the work accomplished and its impact on the overall dissertation project.  The report is due no later than four weeks immediately following completion of the fellowship semester.



All application materials must be submitted through the Hall Center Competitions Portal.  Paper submissions will not be accepted.  For an application to be verified as complete, and thus forwarded for committee review, applicants must:

1. Create an account or log in to an existing account.

2. Select the Apply Now button next to this competition. 

3. Complete the Applicant Information form in the Portal. This form includes choosing a semester of residence. While the Hall Center will try to honor the applicant's semester of choice, we cannot guarantee that all fellows will receive their preferred semester. Fellows should be prepared to be flexible regarding the semester of residency when at all possible.

4. Upload the following materials as 4 separate PDF or Word files:

a. Curriculum Vitae, not to exceed two pages

b. Project Description not to exceed four double-spaced pages, with one-inch margins and twelve-point type. Describe your dissertation project and the contribution it will make to your field and to the humanities in general. Provide a brief outline of your dissertation including what has been undertaken and what awaits completion. Include a plan of work for the fellowship period, describing what you intend to complete during the semester fellowship period and how that represents significant progress on the dissertation overall. Please indicate if you prefer a Fall or Spring semester residency (although the Hall Center cannot guarantee you will be offered your preferred semester).

c. Bibliography not to exceed 2 pages, singled-spaced.

d. Degree Progress ReportEnsure that this report provides sufficient detail on completed coursework and other departmental requirements for degree progress (thesis defense, comprehensive exams, etc.) Copies of transcripts from other institutions are not required.

5. Ensure the receipt of three original letters of recommendation, in English, one of which must be from your dissertation advisor. Request letters from individuals who can discuss the general quality of your work and your ability to make significant dissertation progress during a semester-long fellowship period.

Reference letters should discuss the quality of the project's conception, the likely contribution of the work to the field, and the applicant's potential as a future leader in the humanities.  Your advisor's letter in particular should describe the current state of the project and the applicant's potential for effectively using a semester residency to make critical progress on the dissertation.

All reference letters must be submitted via the Hall Center Competitions Portal prior to the application deadline.  Applicants will submit the names and email addresses of referees via the portal. This submission will generate notifications and instructions for the referees, allowing them to submit their reference letters electronically.  Applicants will receive a notification email when a referee has completed a reference.  Applicants may also log into the system at any time to see if a reference letter has been submitted.  The letter itself will not be visible to the applicant.

Applicants should submit the names of their references well before the application deadline to allow sufficient time for the preparation and submission of the letters.  References will not be allowed to submit letters after the application deadline has passed.

No extraneous materials will be considered.



A committee of humanities graduate faculty will select the Sias Fellow according to the following criteria:

1. Interdisciplinary nature of the dissertation project and the quality of the conception, definition, and organization of the project as presented in the proposal;

2. Significance of the contribution that the completed dissertation will make to thought and knowledge in the pertinent genre, tradition, or field, and to the humanities generally; and

3. Likelihood that the applicant will make significant progress on some aspect related to the writing of the dissertation during the semester the fellowship is held, as demonstrated by the letters of reference and the application materials.



An interdisciplinary panel of KU faculty with successful grant and publishing track records select awardees.  The Hall Center Director brings together a unique panel for each competition.  Reviewers are asked to read the applications and enter their comments and rankings for each applicant in the online portal. Reviewers then meet to discuss individual applications and determine awardees. All applicants can view reviewer comments in the online portal. While these reflect only an individual reviewer's comments and not the final consensus of the group, they are offered to applicants as input that may help improve their applications for future competitions.  


Applicants should direct all questions about the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities to Hall Center Interim Director Clarence Lang (4-3054; celang@ku.edu) or to Interim Associate Director Sarah Bishop (4-7823; sarahbishop@ku.edu).

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