The Graduate School, on behalf of the Provost's Interdisciplinary Team, is pleased to announce that it will award a limited number (approximately 10) of one- and two-year Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships for 2011-12 to outstanding Graduate School students with interdisciplinary dissertation topics who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University's interdisciplinary research centers or institutes. The fellowship provides a unique study opportunity for our very best students with research and scholarly interests that complement those of the host center or institute and its faculty. Prospective fellows are asked to designate the host center or institute they believe is the best match with their dissertation topic, contingent upon a faculty member's willingness to work with the student during the fellowship year.
TERMS OF THE AWARD
Recipients of the 2011-12 fellowship will receive a stipend of $22,500 for the academic year beginning September 2011, plus full tuition. Eligible recipients are also covered by comprehensive health insurance, including subsidized dependent and dental care.
A select number of students will receive a two-year award. Award of fellowship funds for the second year will be contingent upon satisfactory degree progress and active participation in the host center or institute, as documented by the student's adviser, DGS and center/institute mentor. The stipend in 2012-13 will be determined by spring 2012.
Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellows must register in the Graduate School as full-time students each semester. Fellows may hold supplemental support up to the value of a 25-percent graduate assistantship from any source in each semester. Awards may not be deferred beyond the original award period.
The competition is open to Ph.D. students by application, with endorsement by the student's graduate program and college dean/associate dean. Successful applicants are likely to be students who will be in the second, third, or fourth year of their program in the 2011-12 academic year and who are making timely degree progress. Students who have passed the preliminary oral examination are eligible, as well as those who have not yet passed this exam. Students who have received a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship are not eligible.
Directors of Graduate Studies are responsible for assisting the student in preparing the application file and submitting the completed application to the Graduate School Fellowship Office by the specified deadline. The following information must be included in the student's application:
1. the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship application form
2. a three-page statement, written by the student, that:
describes the proposed interdisciplinary research or scholarly project
explains how the student's scholarship will benefit from residence at the center/institute at which the student proposes to study
if the application is for a two-year award, provides justification for two years of support
3. the student's c.v. that includes documentation of the student's involvement in, or contributions to, research, scholarly or creative activities (e.g., publications, abstracts, presentations at professional conferences or university seminars, exhibits)
4. a letter of support from the director of the research center or institute at which the student intends to study; in addition to supporting the student's application, the letter from the center/institute director must:
a. demonstrate how the student will benefit from an affiliation with the center/institute and how the center/institute will benefit from the student's participation
b. identify the resources the director will commit to the student in terms of:
study space funds for student travel to a professional conference (directors are encouraged to provide $2,500 for activities related to the student's professional development)
c. explain how the center/institute would be an appropriate host site for the student, e.g.:
the mix of disciplines represented among its faculty related to the student's interdisciplinary interests, the diversity of faculty research interests and methodologies
regular, events that feature faculty members' work opportunities for students to feature their work other support the center/institute might provide (financial support, mentoring, professional development opportunities)
5. letter(s) of support from the faculty member(s) at the selected research center or institute with whom the student plans to study
6. a letter of support from the student's academic adviser/co-advisers
7. a letter of support from the Director of Graduate Studies of the student's major program; the DGS's letter may focus principally on the overall academic quality of the student and the student's scholarly potential
8. transcripts from each college or university attended (photocopies are acceptable, including the University of Minnesota transcript)
9. an up-to-date copy of the official degree program form, if the student has filed it.
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with prospective mentors and host center/institute directors early in the application process to ensure that the student and research project are a good match for the host site.
REVIEW AND SELECTION
The review will be conducted by a committee of the Graduate School Fellowship Office.
Selection of recipients will be based on the following criteria:
• the importance of the research and the clarity with which it is conveyed to the non-specialist
• the potential for the student to make an unusually significant contribution to the field
• the degree to which the proposed or current research manifests the student's independence, originality, and resourcefulness
• the potential for the research project to incorporate methodologies from more than one discipline
• the synergy that can be created by the student and faculty member working together around the interdisciplinary topic or problem
• the comparative strength of the student's academic record
• the clarity, coherence and strength of the letters supporting the student's application
Special attention will be given to the interdisciplinary nature of the current or proposed dissertation research and the willingness of the particular center or institute and its faculty to host the student during the fellowship year.
The DGS and dean of the student's program will be notified of the outcome of the student's application in March.
Please direct questions about these awards to the Graduate School Fellowship Office at 612-625-7579 or firstname.lastname@example.org.