National Fellowship Program on American History, Politics, Public Policy and Foreign Relations 2017 - 2018, USA

Publish Date: Dec 23, 2016

Deadline: Feb 01, 2017

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation is pleased to announce that the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Centerat U.Va., will fall under the Foundation’s leadership beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year. National Fellowships support outstanding scholars at top institutions across the country who are completing dissertations in American history, politics, public policy and foreign relations. The Foundation is eager to welcome the National Fellows into its community of Jefferson Scholars and Fellows, and plans to leverage the interdisciplinary vibrancy of its existing programs to provide opportunities for National Fellows to engage with other world-class scholars at the University of Virginia.

Under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, the National Fellowship Program will:

  • Fund up to eight National Fellows per year to support one year of dissertation research and writing.
  • Award each Fellow a stipend of $25,000, with the exception of the Charles W. McCurdy Fellowship in Legal History, who receives a stipend of $32,000.
  • Pair each Fellow with a renowned senior scholar in his or her field. These senior scholars will serve as mentors, suggesting relevant literature to frame the Fellows’ work, offering critique of the Fellows’ writings, and providing general advice on research.
  • Provide Fellows with training in public engagement, from crafting op-eds and posting blogs to expressing their ideas through techniques employed by the digital humanities.
  • Host two annual conferences that frame the year of Fellowship, one in the fall and the second in the spring. Both conferences will be held at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and will provide an opportunity for Fellows to present their scholarship and receive feedback. All mentors attend the spring conference and comment on the Fellows’ work.

Note: Residency at the U.Va. School of Law is required for the Charles W. McCurdy Fellowship in Legal History and residency at the Hagley Libraryis required for the Jefferson Scholars/Hagley Library Dissertation Fellowship in Business and Politics. Residency at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is encouraged for all other Fellowships, but not required.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation encourages applicants from a broad range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, political science, policy studies, law, political economy, communications and media, and sociology. Applicants will be judged on the quality of their scholarship and on their potential to shed new light upon contemporary developments in American politics, foreign policy, and America and the World. 


An applicant must be a Ph.D. candidate who is expecting to complete his or her dissertation by the conclusion of the Fellowship year. This is not a post-doctoral fellowship. Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

Each Fellow is required to participate in two conferences, one in the fall and one in the spring. The conferences provide a forum for presenting research and findings to the scholarly community at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the University of Virginia. The spring conference in particuar provides an opportunity to receive feedback from mentors who are also in attendence. Expenses for both conferences are paid for by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Residence at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is strongly encouraged but not required for all Fellows, with the exception of the Jefferson Scholars/Hagley Library Dissertation Fellowship (which requires residence at the Hagley Library during the academic year) and the Charles W. McCurdy Fellowship (which requires residence at the U.Va. School of Law). With the exception of the Jefferson Scholars/Hagley Library Fellow and the McCurdy Fellow, Fellows who choose to be in residence will receive an additional stipend of $1,500 in lieu of costs associated with Fellows’ travel and lodging for the spring and fall conferences.

All Fellows, regardless of residency, are expected to participate in and contribute to the interdisciplinary community of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.


The application consists of the following materials and must conform with the stated word or page limits:

  • Applicant information sheet
  • Project description (1,200 words) - describe your dissertation or book, state the thesis, explain how it contributes to or revises existing scholarship, and how or why you decided on this particular topic
  • Op-ed or blog post (750 words) - a published or sample op-ed (like those featured in the New York Times) or a published or sample blog post (like those appearing on that applies a major finding from your research to a current public policy problem
  • Bibliography (3 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (2 pages)
  • Writing sample (40 pages maximum) - selected sample should consist of one chapter from your dissertation with a one-page introduction that situates the chapter in the broader project OR an accepted/published journal article
  • TWO letters of recommendation (one of which must be from your advisor). Letters of recommendation should be e-mailed to the Fellowship Review Board at


Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year will open on December 15, 2016. All application materials must be received by February 1, 2017. No application will be read until all materials have been received, including letters of recommendation. 

If you have questions about the National Fellowship Program, please e-mail

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