Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Prize Fellowships

Fellowship Information

The GPF program recognizes and supports post-generals graduate students with distinguished academic records (in any discipline) whose dissertation research centrally involves the critical study of human values. In addition to providing tangible support, a main purpose is to enable scholars working on topics in human values to engage with each other both informally and in the yearlong faculty-led course, Dissertation Seminar, where they present their work in progress and participate in workshops on career development and placement.

Graduate Prize Fellowships provide a stipend for twelve months. (In 2019-2020, the stipend is $37,000: and may be adjusted for next year.) The stipend replaces the student’s University fellowship stipend during the Graduate Prize Fellowship term.

Fellows are expected to make substantial progress towards completion of their dissertations and to participate regularly in the dissertation seminar. GPFs will be invited to participate fully in the intellectual community of the UCHV including seminars, colloquia and special events.

Selection Criteria

The principal considerations in the selection of fellows will be the promise of excellence in an applicant’s dissertation work, the applicant’s capacity to contribute constructively to the fellows’ group and the likelihood that participation in the program will help to shape and improve the applicant’s dissertation. Accordingly, preference is given to applicants who are in relatively early stages of work on their dissertations. Except in extraordinary cases, UCHV does not expect to support students who would be beyond their fifth year of enrollment during the fellowship year. Fellows are expected to be enrolled and in residence during the 2020-21 academic year; those who intend to do fieldwork or research away from Princeton for extended periods of time in 2020-21 are not eligible.

Application Instructions

Those wishing to apply should submit an online application on the Global Programs System (search Program Name: Rockefeller and Show: Scholarship).  The direct link to the Fellowship application will be announced on the homepage of the website and accesible here when it is open. 

Please log in to apply using your Princeton username and password. Applicants must provide the following supporting materials:

  • a current CV, which should include the length of the program in which the student is enrolled and their current year of enrollment;
  • a departmentally-approved dissertation prospectus with a descriptive title, together with a report of progress on research and writing to date and a plan for timely completion of the dissertation (if the applicant’s department does not require approval of a prospectus by the date of this application, please make note of the deadline for approval and submit a complete draft prospectus);
  • a dissertation chapter or other scholarly paper written in the past year (not to exceed 12,000 words, not counting references);
  • a research statement that: (1) includes a brief overview of the applicant’s dissertation written for non-specialists, with a description of how the project bears on a dimension of the critical study of human values; and (2) includes reflection as to the value of the fellowship for the applicant’s dissertation completion and future goals (not to exceed 1,500 words);
  • the names and contact information for two faculty referees (including the dissertation supervisor) who are familiar with the applicant’s work. Referees will be contacted directly with instructions for uploading letters of reference. Applicants should inform their referees of their intention to apply for the fellowship so that they have ample time to prepare letters; and
  • an unofficial graduate transcript.

The deadline for submission of all applicant materials is Friday, February 28, 2020 for fellowships beginning September 2020.  The names of the recipients of the Graduate Prize Fellowships will be announced in May 2020.

Note on teaching, RA and RGS work during tenure of a Graduate Prize Fellowship:
Graduate Prize Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their work time on their dissertations during the year in which they hold the fellowship.  Thus, in the past Graduate Prize Fellows were not permitted to take on teaching jobs (either as lecturers or assistants in instruction) or research assistantships during the year in which they hold the fellowship.

This policy was recently changed to allow such work in exceptional circumstances only. Graduate Prize Fellows may now request permission to do so for a specific and limited opportunity from the UCHV Director and the Director of Early-Career Research, who will decide jointly.  Whether permission is granted will depend, in any case, on (a) how much such work would interfere with the focus on dissertation work that is the purpose of the program; (b) in the case of teaching, whether the University Center and the student’s home department deem the teaching to be especially advantageous to the student’s degree completion and professional development; or (c) whether the University Center and the student’s home department deem the work to be especially advantageous to the student’s professional development, for example in view of an intended co-authored publication with the faculty supervisor. Please note that on the basis of the current policy, while some requests to undertake such work have been approved, other requests have been turned down, even when coming from the same student later in the same year.

Lastly, those seeking to hold both a LSR Graduate Prize Fellowship and a Resident Graduate Student (RGS) position in one of Princeton’s residential colleges should make their RGS position known to the University Center if awarded a Graduate Prize Fellowship.

Questions may be directed to UCHV Assistant Director Regin Davis, regin.davis@princeton.edu 

Click here to see this year's cohort of Graduate Prize Fellows.