From: Kathryn E Agoston


Dear All,


A friendly reminder for your PhD students that the deadline for the Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity is approaching on March 1. This is a residential dissertation fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania for students in the humanities and social sciences who are from underrepresented backgrounds (defined quite broadly, see below.)


A Mason PhD student in History, Eric Gonzaba, currently holds one of these fellowships, and another Mason History PhD, Celeste Sharpe, held it in 2015-16 – so Mason has a good track record! If you have interested students who might like to talk with these alumni about their experience, I can help facilitate that. Please share the announcement with PhD students who plan on writing up in 2018-19 and who may be a good fit for this program. As always, I am available to help students navigate the application process or provide feedback on application statements.


Kay Ágoston, PhD

Director of Graduate Fellowships

Office of the Provost

George Mason University




Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity


The University of Pennsylvania is pleased to invite applications for the 2018-19 Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity. These awards are designed to provide mentorship and access to Penn’s resources for doctoral students in the humanities or social sciences, enrolled in graduate or professional programs at universities other than Penn, as they complete their dissertations. The Fellowships are intended to support scholars from a wide range of backgrounds, who can contribute to the diversity of Penn and the higher education community.

These residential Fellowships support graduate students in the final stages of dissertation research or writing 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 afford access to libraries and the resources of the Philadelphia region. Each scholar will be selected and hosted by a department or school and assigned a faculty mentor. Recipients will be in the stage of either advanced dissertation research or writing.

The Fellowship provides a stipend of $32,000, health insurance, library privileges, and a $3,000 research and travel fund. Moving expenses are also covered. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.


This year, five Fellowships will be awarded.



Candidates for the fellowship must be a U.S citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a PhD program in the humanities or social sciences at an accredited university graduate or professional school other than Penn. Candidates must have passed any PhD qualifying examinations and be in an advanced stage of research and writing on an approved dissertation topic. Candidates must be students of exceptional academic merit, who also belong to a group underrepresented in higher education; come from a socially, culturally, or educationally disadvantaged background or have faced other significant personal obstacles; and/or(c) pursue academic research on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect disadvantaged or underrepresented sectors of society.



Applicants should submit:

  • A 2-3 page double-spaced personal statement describing the applicant’s dissertation project, and providing any other information the applicant would like to present. The statement should address:
    • the dissertation’s aims, methodologies (how the student will conduct the research), originality, and contribution to its field, and
    • how the student and/or the dissertation contributes to understandings of diversity and inclusion.
  • Two letters of recommendation, signed and on official letter head. One 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 applicant’s contribution to diversity in higher education. Note: You will not be able to submit your application until both letters of recommendation have been received.
  • Official graduate transcript(s).
  • Current curriculum vitae. 

Applications will be accepted on Fluid Review at 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 [log in to unmask].