Princeton University Postdoctoral Scholars Fellowship Program in USA 2017-20

Princeton University Postdoctoral Scholars Fellowship Program in USA 2017-20


Application postmark deadline: September 15, 2016
Location: USA


The Princeton Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary group of scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and selected natural sciences, invites applications for the 2017-2020 Fellowship competition.


Four three-year Postdoctoral Fellowships will be awarded this year. The stipend for each of the three years of the fellowship will be approximately $84,500. In addition, fellows are provided with a shared office, a personal computer, a research account of $5,000 a year, access to university grants, benefits 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.

If you have already applied to the Princeton Society of Fellows, you may not apply a second time.All candidates will be informed of the status of their application by the end of January, 2017. Interviews will take place in early February. The Society will reimburse the cost of travel and lodging associated with the interview. Names of fellowship winners will be posted on the Society of Fellows’ website in July 2017.

Four Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2017-2020

1. Open Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences (OPEN
2. Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (HUM)
3. Fellowship in LGBT Studies (LGBT)
4. Fellowship in Race and/or Ethnicity Studies (RACE)


    • PhD degree requirements. Please note the Society’s dates of degree eligibility. These are firm dates with no exceptions:a) Candidates already holding the PhD degree at time of application:
      You must have received your degree between January 1, 2015 and September 15, 2016.
      The receipt of the PhD is determined by the date on which you fulfilled all requirements for the degree at your institution, including the defense and filing of the dissertation.b) Candidates who are ABD (All But Dissertation) at time of application:
      If you will not meet the September 15, 2016, deadline for receipt of PhD but are expected to have fulfilled all conditions for the degree, including defense and filing of dissertation, by June 15, 2017, you may still apply for a postdoctoral fellowship provided you have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half). We ask that you include in your dossier a letter confirming your “progress to degree” from either your Department Chair or your Director of Graduate Studies (see details of letter below).
      Please note that candidates awarded a fellowship will be asked to provide a document from either the Registrar or Dean of their Graduate School by June 15, 2017, to confirm completion of all requirements for the PhD.
    • Recipients of doctorates in Education (Ed.D. or Ph.D. degrees), doctorates of Jurisprudence, and holders of Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University are not eligible to apply.
    • If you have already applied to the Princeton Society of Fellows, you may not apply a second time. We therefore recommend that candidates wait until they have completed a substantial portion of the dissertation (approximately half) before applying.
  • Priority will be given to candidates who have received no more than one year of research-only funding past the Ph.D. degree.
  • Fellowships will be awarded to candidates at the beginning of their academic career. Candidates must have already demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching. Their work should also show evidence of unusual promise. The Society has a particular interest in fostering innovative interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities and social sciences.
  • US citizens and non-US citizens, regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability, are eligible to apply. The Society of Fellows seeks a diverse and international pool of applicants and especially welcomes candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Fellows must reside in or near Princeton during the academic year of their fellowship term in order that they can attend weekly seminars and other events on campus.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

Finalists to whom an offer has been made must successfully pass a background check.


The applicant should select an official host from the list of departments below. Please review the website and course offerings of Princeton’s Academic Departments and choose the one which seems most appropriate. It is not necessary to contact a potential host department before submitting your application. In addition to a departmental host, you may choose to be affiliated with one of the University’s interdisciplinary Programs of Study.

Host departments (you must choose one)
African American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art and Archaeology, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French and Italian, German, History, *Music, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese.

* PhD candidates in the following areas may apply: Musicology, Music Theory, Ethnomusicology. DMA recipients are not eligible.

Programs of Study (optional – you may choose one, two, or none)
African Studies, American Studies, Ancient World, Architecture and Engineering, 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 and Eurasian Studies, South Asian Studies, Theater and Dance, Translation and Intercultural Communication, Urban Studies, Values and Public Life

Natural sciences: Astrophysicsonly (Spitzer and Russell Fellowships)
For fellowships in this field only, candidates should apply directly to the Astrophysical Sciences department.  Please note that deadlines for this fellowship are later than those in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

For more details, please consult the following website:

Application Procedure:

Candidates should review carefully the following guidelines before completing the online application form and mailing the dossier materials.  (We do not accept dossiers submitted electronically.)

Applicants may apply for one or more fellowship(s) pertinent to their research and teaching by checking the relevant boxes on the Application Form. It is not necessary to submit separate applications for each fellowship.

Candidates who have previously applied for the Society of Fellows’ postdoctoral fellowships may not re-apply.

Please mail the following dossier items, single-sided, on 8.5 in. x 11 in. paper, in the order listed below. Number and staple pages for each item, and include your name and title of the item at the top of the first page of each. Please submit only the requested items (without binders or folders). Transcripts of courses and grades are not necessary.

Please note that we are not able to accept any substitutions of dossier components after the postmark deadline. However, if you need to make small updates to your current CV (e.g. new publication, change of referee), please email these changes only to and we will add the message to your dossier.

Checklist of dossier items (See below for Details)

Confidential letters of recommendation should be emailed directly to the Society by three referees, or by a dossier service, on or before the postmark deadline.

The following dossier items (single-sided) should be mailed by the candidate:

  1. Completed application form (print-out of online form)
  2. Cover letter
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. For ABD (All But Dissertation) candidates only:  letter of “Progress to Degree” from either Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies (see text below)
  5. Dissertation abstract
  6. Writing sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published article
  7. Research proposal
  8. Two course proposals

In addition, confidential letters of recommendation should be emailed or mailed directly to the Society by three referees, or by a dossier service, on or before the postmark deadline.

Mail the complete dossier by September 15, 2016 (postmark deadline) to:

Princeton University
Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts
Attention: Search Committee
10 Joseph Henry House
Princeton, New Jersey 08544

Candidates outside the USA must use a trackable mail service to ensure prompt delivery.
We recommend that candidates within the USA also ask for a tracking number when they mail their dossier.


Details of Dossier Items

    1. Application form to be submitted online; hard copy should be printed out and mailed with dossier.Please wait until you have gathered all your application materials and are ready to mail them before filling out, submitting online and then printing the application form for enclosure with your mailed dossier. Your application cannot be considered if you have not also submitted the online application form.Submit your online application form only once. If you find you need to correct information (e.g. contact details, names of referees) at a later date, please email the changes to the Society of Fellows at
    1. Cover letter (1½ pages maximum, single-sided, single-spaced), addressed to Search Committee.  The letter should offer a brief overview of your dossier.
    1. Curriculum vitae (single-sided)
    1. For ABD (All But Dissertation) candidates only:Letter confirming “progress to degree” from Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies, to be included by candidate with full dossier (preferred) or sent via e-mail to
      Your Department Chair may write both the brief letter confirming your progress and, if you wish, one of the three letters of recommendation in support of your candidacy, but these should be two separate documents.Note for Chair or Director:  Candidates may apply only once to the Society of Fellows.  We therefore advise applicants to wait until they have a substantial portion of their dissertation completed (approximately one 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 completed at the time of application, and is fully expected to have completed all requirements for the Ph.D by June 15, 2017.
    1. Dissertation abstract: no more than one page, single-spaced.
    1. Writing sample: one chapter of the dissertation OR one published/forthcoming article that best represents your intellectual interests.
      No more than 25 single-sided, double-spaced pages (endnotes/bibliography/illustrations may be included in addition). If the text portion of the sample you wish to send is longer than 25 pages, please edit for length and summarize the deleted portions. We are not able to return any application materials.
    1. Research Project for the fellowship term: two to three single-sided, double-spaced pages; no bibliography necessary.
      We expect this 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 prefer to devote some or most of the three pages to the new project.
    1. Two Course Proposals: together these should not exceed three single-sided, double-spaced pages.
      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 description, please provide a sample reading list. Course descriptions and reading lists together should not exceed three pages.One proposed course should offer an introduction to a topic of your choice for first and second-year students from different fields (a 200 level course at Princeton).  The other course should be a more advanced undergraduate seminar in your own discipline that would have a broad appeal to juniors and/or seniors in your host department (300-400 level).

Referee Letters

Confidential letters of reference from no more than three referees. Additional letters cannot be included. Letters should be emailed by referees directly in Word or PDF format to  (NB. This email address is for letters only; all questions should be sent to

Candidates may also arrange to have their letters emailed by an electronic dossier     service (such as Interfolio) to

Please be sure to send your referees or dossier service the guidelines below:

  • electronic letterhead and signature preferred, if available
  • letter should be addressed to: Director, Susan Stewart (personal address not necessary if you are using a dossier service)
  • subject line of the email should be: applicant’s last name, first name
  • if reference letter is emailed, it is not necessary to mail a hard copy of the letter

If a referee is unable to send a letter electronically, s/he may send it by mail, postmarked by September 15, 2016 to:

Princeton University
Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts
Attention: Search Committee
10 Joseph Henry House,
Princeton, New Jersey 08544


  • The “postmark deadline” is the date by which materials must be stamped by the Post Office in the country from which you are mailing. If you send your application by another expedited mail service, please arrange for pick-up no later than the postmark deadline.
  • We strongly recommend that candidates use an expedited tracking mail service to send their dossier.  Note that the “street address” required for expedited delivery is “10 Joseph Henry House.”
  • We do not accept faxed or emailed applications.

Helpful Info:

  • There is no application fee.
  • Please provide both surface mail and electronic addresses so that we can reach you easily. Advise us by email if either address changes before January 1, 2017 so that our notifications reach you.
  • Only one set of dossier materials is necessary.
  • It is not necessary to send a transcript of graduate courses or grades.
  • It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all materials, including online application form, full dossier, three referee letters, and (for ABD candidates) “progress to degree” letter, are submitted by the September 15, 2016 postmark deadline. Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Candidates who have previously applied for the Society of Fellows’ postdoctoral fellowships may not re-apply.
  • The dates for completion of the Ph.D. degree – between January 1, 2015 and September 15, 2016 (for ABDs: June 15, 2017) – are strictly observed, with no exceptions.The “completion” of the Ph.D. is determined by the date on which you officially fulfilled all requirements for the degree at your institution, including defense and filing of dissertation.

Notification of candidates

  • Owing to the volume of mail we receive, we cannot check for receipt of individual dossiers or letters of recommendation. However, candidates will be notified by email once their dossier has been processed, and again if any letters of recommendation are missing. Note that this can take up to six weeks after the deadline.
  • We are not able to return any application materials.
  • All candidates will be informed of the status of their application by the end of January, 2017. Interviews will take place in early February. The Society will reimburse the cost of travel and lodging associated with the interview.

Evaluation procedures

  • Applications will be read by faculty in both the Society of Fellows and the host departments.
  • All dossier materials and the selection committee’s evaluations remain confidential. The committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications or interviews.


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