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Dissertation Fellowships
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Dissertation Fellowships

Deadline: January 1

The American Society for Aesthetics will award up to one Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship each academic year. This fellowship is intended to support original and significant research in aesthetics by enabling the recipient to complete his or her dissertation in a timely manner. For the purpose of this fellowship, aesthetics is understood to include the philosophical study of art, criticism, each of the arts, and related phenomena.

Fellowships are open to doctoral candidates at institutions located in North America who reasonably anticipate completion of their dissertations during the fellowship year. Applicants must be members of the American Society for Aesthetics. The fellowship year for applications made by the January 1 deadline is August 15 to August 14 the following year.

The fellowship tenure may be carried out in residence at the fellow’s home institution or at another appropriate site for the research. The amount of the fellowship is $25,000, in addition to fees and dissertation-level tuition not exceeding $5000. The recipient shall not normally hold employment during the tenure of the fellowship and may not accept other awards that provide similar benefits, except that smaller local awards may be permitted at the discretion of the Society. These fellowships may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant, unless express permission in advance is given by the ASA.

Reapplications are permitted.

Application forms will be available at A complete application package, which must be entirely in English, comprises:

(1) not more than 300 words describing the applicant’s academic goals and disclosing other sources of funding,
(2) a dissertation prospectus of not more than 3000 words outlining the dissertation and explaining its significance,
(3) a dissertation plan of no more than 300 words that indicates what has been written and that sets out a timeline for completion,
(4) a curriculum vitae
(5) a complete set of unofficial graduate school transcripts,
(6) a writing sample in English, of up to 5000 words (total, including notes and references; not necessarily from the dissertation),
(7) two letters of reference, sent under separate cover, including at least one from a scholar who is both a member of the applicant’s supervisory committee and a member of the American Society for Aesthetics, and
(8) a letter on institutional stationery signed by the director of graduate studies, head of department, or dean to certify completion of all pre-dissertation requirements for the doctorate, including approval of the dissertation prospectus and
(9) a letter on institutional stationery signed by an administrator with authority to guarantee that if the institution assesses more than $5,000 in tuition and fees during the dissertation year, the institution will provide or waive the entire excess over $5,000.

The deadline for applications is midnight PST January 1. Applications should be submitted as a PDF to A public announcement of the award will be made no later than early May. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. The successful applicant will have demonstrated that he or she will complete their dissertation according to plan and that this dissertation has the potential to make an outstanding contribution to scholarship in aesthetics. Applications are adjudicated by the Society’s Dissertation Fellowships Committee, which represents diverse traditions and approaches in the field.
The committee’s decision is final. The committee may decide not to recommend any candidate for a fellowship.


Revised July 31, 2018

Previous Fellowship Winners
2020-21: David Collins, McGill University
2019-20: Kathryn Wojtkiewicz, Graduate Center, City University of New York
2018-19: Caitlin Dolan, University of California, Berkeley
2017-18: Madeleine Ransom, University of British Columbia
2016-17: Marilynn Johnson, Graduate Center, City University of New York
2015-16: David Johnson, Northwestern University

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