Applications Due: Friday, January 15, 2021, no later than 5:00pm


Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must be officially advanced to candidacy (level III) before February 18, 2021.
  • Dissertation Fellowships are intended for students who expect to complete the dissertation during 2021-2022 award year; the applicant’s likelihood of completing the dissertation during this period may be taken into consideration in the selection process.
  • Students must be registered or on an approved leave of absence during the 2020-2021 academic year to be eligible to apply.
  • Students who have previously received a dissertation fellowship of more than $10,000 from the Graduate Center are not eligible.
  • All applicants will automatically be considered for all relevant dissertation awards, with the exception of those listed as special focus awards in the award description section.  Students wishing to be considered for a special focus award should check off the award(s) for which they are eligible on the online portion of the application.
  • Students must use their Graduate Center email address to submit the application.


Combining Dissertation Fellowships with Other Awards

  • A student holding a five-year fellowship from the Graduate Center (e.g., Graduate Center Fellowship) may not hold a dissertation fellowship concurrently with the five-year award.  A student with a five-year award may apply, but if selected for a dissertation fellowship the student will have to choose between the five-year fellowship funding and the dissertation fellowship funding.
  • Students who are in year five or beyond may apply, even if they have previously held a five year fellowship.
  • A student holding Graduate Center funding that is not part of a five-year award (such as a freestanding Graduate Assistantship A, B, or D or financial aid fellowship) may apply for the dissertation fellowships but, if offered an award, the total funding (combined Graduate Assistant salary and financial aid fellowships) may not exceed $50,000.


Terms of the Fellowship

  • Fellowship recipients are required to be registered during the award year.
  • Dissertation Fellowships of more than $10,000 may provide NYSHIP health insurance eligibility.
  • Students who qualify for the Ph.D. in time for an October 2021 degree are not eligible to receive funding.
  • If you are planning any travel as part of your research, the university requires you to have travel insurance.  Please see the International Travel Requirements Page for complete details.
  • Students must have met Human Subjects Research Protection guidelines and CUNY Research Compliance guidelines.



Please see the “instructions” section below for complete details about how to submit your application.  Each application must include the following:

Cover sheet (included in this packet and attached separately in email notification)


a. ) 9-page project description including a 150 word abstract (the abstract should be single-spaced at the top of page one).  The project description should include discussion of the background, relevant literature, methodology, data, projected results, and a time-line/description indicating expected progress.


b.) 1-page selected bibliography

The text describing the dissertation project should be double-spaced using a 12-point font with numbered pages and a 1-inch margin.  The abstract and bibliography can be single-spaced.

Students are advised to keep in mind that the review committees are interdisciplinary and grouped by cluster (sciences, social sciences, and humanities).


Two-page curriculum vitae.

Current Graduate Center transcript.  (Students may submit the unofficial student copy that can be printed from CUNYFirst.)


The application materials should be assembled AS A SINGLE DOCUMENT in pdf or word format in the following order:


  1. Application cover sheet (2021-22 GC Dissertation Fellowship Cover Sheet)
  2. Statement of applicability for special focus awards (if applicable, see award descriptions for details)
  3. 9-page proposal
  4. 1-page bibliography
  5. 2-page CV
  6. Graduate Center Transcript (unofficial student copy is sufficient)


One letter of reference to be submitted electronically by your adviser (see instructions page).


If you have questions, please contact Rachel Sponzo at




The completed application must be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday, January 15, 2021. The applications are to be submitted as per the following instructions. Your adviser must submit a letter of recommendation by the same deadline, January 15, 2021.


Instructions for submitting your application:


  1. Combine your cover sheet, proposal (including abstract and bibliography), curriculum vitae, and transcript, into a SINGLE file (either as a pdf document or a word document).
  • Use the following format when naming your document:

Last Name, First Name, Program


    1.  Email the single application file to:
    2.  Complete the online section of the application through the following form:

Graduate Center Dissertation Fellowship Competition


* You must use your Graduate Center email address when you submit both parts of the application. All award notifications will also be sent to your Graduate Center email.


Instructions for Faculty Recommenders


  1. Prepare your reference letter as a regular word or pdf document, on letterhead.
  • Please use the following format when naming your document:

Student Last Name, First Name

2. Email your letter as an attachment to


If you have any questions please contact