Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity

2020-21 Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity

Deadline: May 20, 2020

The University of Pennsylvania Office of the Provost is pleased to invite applications from Penn doctoral students for the 2020-2021 Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity. These awards will provide support for doctoral students in the humanities or social sciences, enrolled in a graduate or professional doctoral program at Penn, as they complete their dissertations. The fellowships are intended to support scholars-- who are not eligible for additional funding through their departments or schools-- from a wide range of backgrounds, who can contribute to the diversity of Penn and the broader higher education community. 

These residential fellowships will support graduate students in the final stages of dissertation research or writing at Penn for the academic year, September 2020 through August 2021. They offer an opportunity for scholars who plan an academic career to continue to take advantage of Penn programs and faculty expertise and afford access to libraries. Each scholar will be hosted by their department or school.  Recipients will be in the stage of either advanced dissertation research or writing. 

The Fellowship provides a stipend of $36,000, health insurance, library privileges and a research and travel fund up to $4,000.  The application deadline is May 20, 2020. Two fellowships will be awarded. Winners will be part of a cohort of five fellows, three from universities outside of Penn and two from Penn. Winners will be notified in early June.


Candidates for the fellowship must be and enrolled in a doctoral program in the humanities or social sciences at Penn. Candidates must have passed any qualifying examinations and be in an advanced stage of research and writing on an approved dissertation topic. Candidates must be students of exceptional academic merit, who also belong to a group underrepresented in higher education; come from a socially, culturally or educationally disadvantaged background or have faced other significant personal obstacles; and/or pursue academic research on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect disadvantaged or underrepresented sectors of society.


Applicants should submit:

  • A 2 page double-spaced personal statement describing the applicant’s dissertation project, and providing any other information the applicant would like to present. The statement should address: the dissertation’s aims, methodologies (how the student will conduct the research), originality and contribution to its field, and how the student and/or the dissertation contributes to understandings of diversity and inclusion. 

  • A letter from their graduate group chair and/or graduate dean certifying that they are in good standing, not eligible for additional departmental funding, and are at the dissertation stage of their studies. 

  • Current curriculum vitae 

  • A copy of their Penn graduate transcript.

  • Applications will be accepted as an attachments to an email sent to 

  • Address questions