Research & Grants

Center Fellowship

Deadline: October 4th, 2019
Sample Applications

The Taft Center Fellowship provides the opportunity to complete and prepare for publication a significant scholarly project in a multi-disciplinary setting; affording a research assignment for the entire academic year. Projects may include a variety of scholarly activities, including producing articles and books for publication, as well as external grant seeking activities for major projects. Although research projects need not be interdisciplinary in nature, applicants must be committed to intellectual exchange beyond their discipline and the advancement of their research project; they must contribute to the intellectual community of the Taft Center. The program is designed to support faculty who will benefit from and contribute to multi-disciplinary interaction, not merely an isolated independent pursuit of one’s research agenda (see Faculty Release and Summer Fellowships for such support). Grantees are expected to maintain a regular, active presence at the center, including attending center-sponsored events and interacting regularly with their cohort.

Although no preference will be given to faculty rank, it is expected that applicants will have a demonstrated ability to complete significant research/creative projects before the time of their application, exclusive of degree theses/dissertations. The fellowship is not appropriate for projects that demand periods of time spent away from the Taft Center. Grantees are encouraged to treat the fellowship as an opportunity to develop external funding profiles to enhance their scholarly production.


Applications must be submitted in a timely fashion, allowing reviewers to submit support letters prior to the close of the deadline at 5 PM on the posted day. Support letters that arrive after the close of the posted deadline may not be considered by the committee.

A complete application must include the following:

  • A proposal (1400 word maximum) outlining the research project, including but not limited to the following:
    • A brief project narrative and schedule detailing the timeline to completion and publication; and
    • Context for understanding the project as a major publishable work that will result in significant contributions to the applicant's field and an explanation of how the proposed project fits within the applicant’s established record of research; and
    • Explanation of how the project may be moved forward through the specific experience of serving as a Taft Center Fellow and how the applicant might contribute to a multi-disciplinary intellectual environment; and
    • Reasonably expected outcomes, including publications, fellowships, performances, and/ or grant sought; and
    • Abbreviated (two-page) curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of support from the applicant's department head assessing the merits of the proposed project and the prospects for completion within the Center Fellowship year. The letter must commit the Department to a full-year research assignment, which releases the faculty member from teaching and administrative/ service duties.† Department Heads may support multiple applications.
  • A letter from two outside experts in the applicant's field, evaluating the merits of the proposal, the project’s significance and contributions to the field, and prospects for publication/performance upon completion.†

† Once the applicant submits their proposal, a prompt will be sent to both the external evaluators and the applicant’s supervisor (typically department head). Following the prompts in the notice email, letters of support may be uploaded to the application system. Letters of support will be treated confidentially. All letters must be uploaded to the system prior to the 5 PM on the day of the published deadline.


selection criteria

One goal of the fellowship selection process is to create a community of scholars in residence across the spectrum of Taft academic fields. Proposals will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • The committee will prioritize those projects that lead to significant scholarly production over the course of an academic year.
  • The quality of the applicant's work as a scholar or creative writer as evidenced by previous publications and research activity.
  • The potential contribution as an active Taft Center Fellow to the multi-disciplinary environment of the Center and the Center’s likely impact on the applicant.
  • The significance of the contribution that the proposed project will make to thought and knowledge in the field of the project.
  • The conceptualization, definition, organization, and description of the proposed project.
  • The current state of the research, the schedule to do the research, and the commitment to complete the project as a Center Fellow.
  • Evidence of productivity from any Taft grant.