Graduate Student Fellowships

Each year a six-member faculty committee elected by the CLST affiliate faculty membership awards two graduate student fellowships.[1] These fellowships support research and writing related to the applicant’s doctoral dissertation. During the eight-month academic award year, the fulltime fellowship cannot be combined with other fellowships or teaching positions, nor may it be rolled over to the next academic year. In short, the fellowship must be the sole source of financial support during the academic year for which it is awarded.  The stipend is based on the same scale as the TA/TF allocations. These rates for the coming year have not yet been announced, but they have in previous years tended to be close to $20,000, with tuition remission added on.

Based on committee discussions, each applicant receives individual feedback on their application with suggestions for improvement. Thus, even applicants who are not awarded fellowships in one competition can still benefit from applying because they can use the feedback to strengthen their applications for the next year’s competition and other similar types of extra-mural interdisciplinary fellowships and grants.

In early December every year, CLST offers a professional development workshop on the preparation of cultural studies fellowship and grant applications, with specific reference to the program’s upcoming fellowship competition. At a public event coupled with the workshop, former fellowship awardees will showcase the work they accomplished during their respective fellowship years to serve as models for new applicants.

Fellowship Application

Students in the University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences graduate programs working toward or having received the PhD certificate in Cultural Studies are invited to apply for the 2018-2019 fellowship competition. The program’s two fellowships are awarded to advanced PhD students at or past the stage of comprehensive examinations.

Applications must be converted to a PDF file format and submitted electronically by uploading them to this site. The pdf application package will consist of, in order:

  • Cultural Studies Fellowship application form;
  • Statement of purpose (three to five pages, double-spaced, one side only, 12-point font)
  • One writing sample, related to the dissertation topic, in English of 10 to 20 pages (double spaced, one side only, 12-point font, more than 20 pages will not be accepted);
  • Current curriculum vitae;
  • List of up to six Cultural Studies courses completed (come by the Cultural Studies office for a Master List);
  • Graduate transcripts in English.

The statement of purpose should include a paragraph that situates the student's work in two respects: across disciplines and within the diversity of cultural studies.  The statement should also:

  1. Establish the significance of the planned work for the field of cultural studies and the applicant’s home discipline;
  2. Specify the scope of the objects of study and methods the applicant will employ in studying them;
  3. Identify the requisite skills, background, and knowledge the applicant has to accomplish the work;
  4. Demonstrate the viability of both the dissertation and the work plan for the fellowship year; and
  5. Present well-formed plans for disseminating the results of the dissertation work
  6. N.B. Students who will use the fellowship to pursue research outside Pittsburgh must indicate where they would be studying and why.
  • Three confidential letters of reference by professors acquainted with the applicant’s prior academic work must be sent separately by the referee (electronic submission via email is preferred).

Applicants should keep in mind that the writing sample and statement of purpose will be read by a committee of informed non-specialists from as many as seven disciplines. They thus should avoid discipline-specific jargon, and not assume committee members’ prior knowledge of technical issues or theoretical constructs.

Application deadline is 4:00 pm, Friday, January 18, 2019. No applications will be accepted after this date.

Should the uploading of application materials fail, as a backup you may deliver or send them hard copy by the deadline to:

      Briar Somerville, CLST Graduate Secretary
      Cultural Studies Program
      401 Cathedral of Learning

For more information contact:

    Ron Zboray, Director, at 412-624-6969 or

Related Links

Application Forms


[1] The fellowship committee for 2018-2019 consists of Waverly Duck SOC (Chair), Julie Beaulieu GSWS, Cailtin Bruce COMMRCChristine Hoenig CLASSScott Kiesling LING, and Allison Langmead LIS & HAA. This year's fellowships were awarded to Sam Allen (COMMRC) and Maria Lis Baiocchi (ANTH).