Holstein Dissertation Fellowship



The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside is pleased to announce that applications are open for the inaugural (2018-19) cohort of Holstein Dissertation Fellows.

The Holstein Dissertation Fellowship is an annual, non-stipendiary program that brings together a small cohort of doctoral candidates working in the area of queer and transgender studies in religion for networking, writing support, and mentoring at UC Riverside and in the surrounding Southern California area. Fellows will travel as a group to UCR on three separate weekends during the academic year; the fellowship will pay all expenses for transportation, accommodations, and meals during each trip. Typical cohorts will be between three and five Fellows, depending on available funding; the inaugural cohort may be larger if needed in order to accommodate initial interest among those who expect to receive the Ph.D. in 2019.

Applications are invited from Ph.D. students in any field, both within and outside the U.S., whose dissertation research focuses on queer and/or transgender studies in religion. Doctoral degree tracks other than the Ph.D. may be considered on a case-by-case basis, and applications from doctoral students attending UC Riverside are welcome. Fellows must have advanced to candidacy (C.Phil.) or their institution’s equivalent, and must have had their dissertation project formally approved by their institution, by June 30 of the year in which the fellowship begins (June 30, 2018 for the inaugural cohort). At the time of application, applicants must expect to complete the Ph.D. no sooner than spring of the fellowship year. Fellowships are intended, in other words, for those who will be doctoral candidates for at least a significant majority and ideally all of their fellowship year.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, a CV, a dissertation abstract, and one letter of recommendation from a member of your dissertation committee. Your cover letter should explain your background in queer and/or transgender studies, religious studies, and queer and/or transgender studies in religion; briefly introduce your dissertation project; explain your current progress on the project and your expected timeline for completion, with particular attention to the work you plan to do during the fellowship year; and identify one or more faculty members at UCR or in Southern California with whom you would like to work in a mentoring relationship during the weekend visits to UCR (please indicate order of preference if you nominate more than one potential mentor). Nominated mentors should be scholars with whom you do not ordinarily have the opportunity to work. Send all application materials as email attachments to melissa.wilcox@ucr.edu by April 2, 2018. Applications will be reviewed by a committee; selection criteria include but are not limited to the quality of the applicant’s work, the depth of the project’s connection to queer and/or transgender studies in religion, and the applicant’s length of time to degree completion (all other factors being equal, those who will be ineligible for later cohorts due to completion of the Ph.D. will receive priority consideration). There are no guarantees as to the availability of nominated mentors, but every effort will be made to match accepted Fellows with mentors whose own work is close to the Fellow’s dissertation topic.

The Holstein Dissertation Fellowship is funded by the Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies at UCR, which was created through the generosity of Robert and Loretta Holstein and their family and friends.

For questions regarding the program or the application process, please contact Melissa M. Wilcox, Professor and Holstein Family and Community Chair in Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of California Riverside, Riverside CA 92506; melissa.wilcox@ucr.edu; +1-951-827-7969.