Application Process

Application Dossier:

For the 2022-25 fellowship competition, applicants were asked to submit the documents listed below, along with the online application form, to the application portal by the application deadline August 3, 2021 (11:59 p.m. EDT). Please note that at this time, we no longer accept applications.

1. Cover Letter: 1½ pages maximum, single-spaced, addressed to the search committee. The letter should include 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 submit 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 research statement 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 choose 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 (typically a 200-level course at Princeton). The other course should be a more advanced undergraduate seminar in your own discipline that would have broad appeal to juniors and/or seniors in your host department (300 or 400-level).

7. For Applicants with Ph.D. Degree: a document confirming your completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. This may be a formal Ph.D. certificate, an official transcript, 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 your "progress to degree." It is advisable that you request this document well before the August 3 application deadline.

Your Department Chair may write both the brief letter confirming your progress and, if you wish, also 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 dossier by the application deadline. Referees will be asked to upload their confidential letters to the online portal once your application has been submitted, and they will be contacted as outlined below.

Note to Chair or Director of Graduate Studies:  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 (at least 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, 2022. Should a finalist not be able to meet this deadline, a fellowship offer would have to be rescinded.

Reference Letters:

Applicants will be asked to name three referees on the online application form. Within 24 hours following an application’s submission, referees can expect to receive an automated email with the request to submit their recommendations, confidentially and securely, to the online application portal. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact referees well before submitting an application.

While the deadline for applicants was Tuesday, August 3, 2021 (11:59 p.m. EDT), referees may submit their letters to Princeton University's online application portal through Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

Letters will need to be uploaded in PDF format, and signed reference letters on institutional letterhead are preferred, if possible. Letters may be addressed to the search committee. We ask that references are not sent via email, and please note that we cannot consider more than three letters of recommendation.

Applicants may choose to use dossier services for the submission of reference letters, however, they should consult their dossier service for specific instructions. 

Additional Information and Timeline:

Applicants interested in more than one type of fellowship should submit just one application; the online application form allows applicants to indicate which fellowships they wish to be considered for, and they may also indicate their preferences in the cover letter.

We recommend that applicants allow sufficient time for the final review of their application dossier and potential browser or internet connectivity issues before submitting their application to the online portal, as exceptions to the application deadline cannot be offered. 

Updates to a dossier after its submission are not possible. 

We cannot accept application materials sent via email.

An application withdrawn after the application deadline of August 3, 2021 will be considered as submitted, which means the applicant will be ineligible to reapply in the following year. 

Finalists invited for interviews can expect to be contacted in mid- to late November, and virtual interviews will be held in the week of December 13th, 2021. All other applicants will be notified about the status of their application by the end of December 2021. The fellowship winners are to be announced on the Society of Fellows’ website in summer 2022.

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 fellowship or application related inquiries should please be sent to


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