Application Process

Application Dossier:

For the 2020-23 fellowship competition, applicants were asked to submit the following documents with their online application form by the application deadline August 6, 2019. Please note that, at this time, no applications are accepted.

1. Cover Letter: 1½ pages maximum, single-spaced, addressed to the Search Committee. Your letter should offer a brief overview of your application.

2. Curriculum Vitae

3. Dissertation Abstract: no more than one page, single-spaced.

4. Writing Sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published/forthcoming article related to your dissertation topic that best represents your intellectual interests. No more than 25 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.

5. Research Project for the Fellowship Term: two to three 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 this new project.

6. Two Course Proposals: 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 descriptions, please provide sample reading lists. The two course descriptions and reading lists together should not exceed three double-spaced 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).

7. For Applicants with Ph.D. Degree: a document confirming your completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. This may either be a formal Ph.D. certificate or a letter from your dissertation advisor.

For ABD (All But Dissertation) Applicants only: a letter from the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies confirming "progress to degree." 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 application. However, these will have to be two separate documents, as you will need to upload the "progress to degree" letter as part of your application. Referees will be asked to upload their letters to the online portal once an application is submitted, and they will be contacted by us as outlined below.

Note to 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., including filing and defense, by June 15, 2020.

Reference Letters:

In addition, applicants will be asked to name three referees on the online application form. Within 24 hours following an application’s submission, referees should receive an automatic email prompting them to upload their confidential letters to the application portal. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact referees well before submitting an application.

Reference letters on electronic letterhead, signed, and in PDF format are preferred, if possible. Letters may be addressed to the Search Committee. It is not necessary to mail or email a copy of the letter. Additional letters beyond three cannot be considered.

Dossier services may be used for the submission of reference letters; applicants using such services should contact these for specific instructions.

While the deadline for applicants is August 6, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EST), referees may upload their letters of recommendation to the online portal through August 16, 2019.

Additional Information and Timeline:

Applicants interested in more than one type of fellowship should submit just one application, as the online form allows applicants to indicate which fellowships they would like to be considered for.

Exceptions to the application deadline cannot be granted, and edits or updates to a dossier after its submission are not possible. An application withdrawn after August 6, 2019, the application deadline, will be considered as submitted, which means the applicant will be ineligible to reapply in the following year.

Finalists invited to campus interviews can expect to be contacted in the second week of December. We plan to schedule campus interviews for the week of January 13, 2020. The Society of Fellows will reimburse the cost of travel and lodging associated with the interview.

All other applicants will be notified about the status of their application in early January 2020; names of fellowship winners are to be announced on the Society of Fellows’ website in summer 2020.

Applications are reviewed by faculty in the Society of Fellows and participating departments at Princeton. Please note that all application materials and the selection committee's evaluations remain confidential, and the committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications or interviews.

Any inquiries should be sent to

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