The Global Religion Research Initiative (GRRI) of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society (CSRS) at the University of Notre Dame (IN, USA) will be awarding up to 24 one-year doctoral dissertation fellowships in the social sciences over three years to advance the study of global religion. Each fellowship will provide $28,000 ($23,000 in salary and $5,000 for travel and minor research funding). Eight (8) fellowships on average will be awarded each year over three academic years (2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020). The next round of applications are for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Global Religion Research Initiative is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust of Nassau, Bahamas.
These doctoral dissertation fellowships are intended to promote among promising, young North American scholars the social scientific study of contemporary religions around the globe, especially religions in the “global south,” beyond the North Atlantic world (i.e., not the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe). They also intend to help better integrate the study of religion into mainstream social sciences.
The dissertation fellowships seek to support the “writing year” of graduate students’ dissertation work — not the earlier phase of project design or data collection and analysis (see the Project Launch program for research funding for new projects, nor dissertations near completion and defending, nor (actual or de facto) post-doctoral periods (the GRRI also offers postdoctoral fellowships). Applicants should time their applications over the three years of the GRRI program to best fit their dissertation’s “writing year.” The funding period for the Round 2 competition will be the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. Applications must be ABD by the time funds are distributed. Please see the calendar on the About page for more details about the timing of the GRRI competitions.
Eligible applicants are graduate students (a) currently enrolled in good standing in U.S. and Canadian social science doctoral programs (b) who are one year away from the “writing year” of their dissertations (anticipated defense in spring or summer 2019) and (c) whose work fits the selection criteria listed below.
“Social sciences” here includes sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, and psychology; dissertations in religious studies departments are eligible if their methodologies are fundamentally social scientific. Prospective applicants in other departments (e.g., areas studies) should inquire with GRRI staff about their possible eligibility (at email@example.com).
All appropriate social science methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, are eligible. (Quantitative studies must go beyond merely identifying statistically significant variables to naming, describing, and testing the causal mechanisms believed to explain those associations; ethnographic studies must include enough mixed-methods evidence to contextualize their findings).
Studies using traditional methods in the humanities — analyzing texts, telling purely historical narratives, interpretive studies of works of art and performance — are not eligible. Potentially fundable proposals may involve innovative interdisciplinary work with the natural sciences (e.g., psychology and neurology, anthropology and cognitive science) but at their heart must fundamentally speak to the mainstream of social sciences.
Please note that dissertation fellowship awards will be distributed to award recipients’ institutions. All funding will be awarded as salary and research supporting funding for fellowship recipients; no money will be paid as indirects or overhead, for tuition, fees, or for health insurance premiums to universities or colleges.
Global Religion Dissertation Fellowship proposals will be judged by a panel of expert reviewers. Successful proposals will involve dissertations that are:
For a more elaborate list of evaluation criteria, click here. (Note: Depending on the volume of applications received for this fellowship, the GRRI may not be able to provide applicants specific ratings or feedback from the evaluation process.)
Applications must include the following materials to be considered for funding:
All application materials must be submitted in English. Applicants are responsible to submit all required materials by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated for possible funding. Each researcher may not submit proposals to more than two GRRI programs in any given year.
The Round 2 application deadline was October 16, 2017. The Round 3 application period will open in August 2018.