Graduate Student Fellowships

Each year a six-member faculty committee elected by the CLST affiliate faculty membership awards at least one student fellowship.[1] These fellowships support research and writing related to the applicant’s doctoral dissertation. During the eight-month academic award year, the fulltime fellowship cannot be combined with other fellowships or teaching positions, nor may it be rolled over to the next academic year. In short, the fellowship must be the sole source of financial support during the academic year for which it is awarded.  

Based on committee discussions, each applicant receives individual feedback on their application with suggestions for improvement. Thus, even applicants who are not awarded fellowships in one competition can still benefit from applying because they can use the feedback to strengthen their applications for the next year’s competition and other similar types of extra-mural interdisciplinary fellowships and grants.

In early December every year, CLST offers a professional development workshop on the preparation of cultural studies fellowship and grant applications, with specific reference to the program’s upcoming fellowship competition. At a public event coupled with the workshop, former fellowship awardees will showcase the work they accomplished during their respective fellowship years to serve as models for new applicants.

Fellowship Application

The University of Pittsburgh’s Program for Cultural Studies announces its graduate fellowship competition for 2021- 2022. Students who have passed their doctoral comprehensive exams in Dietrich School graduate programs are invited to apply for one of two year-long nonteaching fellowships. The fellowship stipend is based on the same scale as the TA/TF allocations, the rates of which for the coming year have not yet been announced.

Applications must be assembled in a single pdf file and consist of, in this order:

1. Cultural Studies Application form (this sheet, completed with requested information);

2. Statement of purpose (3 to 5 pages, double spaced, one side only, 12-point font)*

3. One writing sample, related to the dissertation topic, in English of 10 to 20 pages (one side only; 12 pt. font; more than 20 pages will not be accepted);

4. Current curriculum vitae;

5. List of up to 6 Cultural Studies courses completed (see for course database);

6. Graduate transcripts in English.

Three letters of recommendation must be e-mailed separately as a pdf by recommendation writers by the deadline. * The statement of purpose should include a paragraph that situates the student's work in two respects: across disciplines and within the diversity of cultural studies. The statement should also:

1) establish the significance of the planned work for the field of cultural studies and the applicant’s home discipline;

2) specify the scope of the objects of study and methods the applicant will employ in studying them;

3) identify the requisite skills, background, and knowledge the applicant has to accomplish the work;

4) demonstrate the viability of both the dissertation and the work plan for the fellowship year; and

5) present well-formed plans for disseminating the results of the dissertation work.

N.B. Students who will use the fellowship to pursue research outside Pittsburgh must indicate where they would be studying and why. Applicants should keep in mind that the writing sample and statement of purpose will be read by a committee of informed non-specialists from as many as seven disciplines. Applicants should thus avoid discipline-specific jargon, and not assume committee members’ prior knowledge of technical issues or theoretical concepts.

Application deadline is 4 P.M., Friday, January 22, 2021. No applications will be accepted after the deadline. Send to Lorri Keeling-Oliver, CLST Graduate Administrator,

For more information contact:

    Ron Zboray, Director, at 412-624-6969 or

Related Links

Application Forms


[1] The 2021 fellowship committee consists of Caitlin Bruce (COMMRC, Chair), Michelle Granshaw (THEA), Randall Halle (GER), Lina Insana (FRIT), David Pettersen (FMST) and Jennifer Waldron (ENGL). Last year's fellowship was awarded to Shelby Brewster (THEA).