IRH Fellowships

The IRH awards some 40-45 stipendary and non-stipendary fellowships to internal and external applicants each year. The College of Letters & Science and generous gifts to the Institute fund these fellowships, which are open to applicants in any discipline or field whose project has clear significance for the humanities. Most IRH fellowships are not limited by theme or research area, with the exception of the external Solmsen Fellowship for projects on pre-1700 Europe, the external Kingdon Fellowship on Judeo-Christian religious traditions, the Biruté Ciplijauskaité Fellowship for Iberian Spanish Literature, and the internal Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Fellowships.

Fellowships are awarded across the humanities, at all faculty ranks and to independent scholars, based on the significance of proposed research, the record and potential of applicants, and the promise of interdisciplinary engagement in our intellectual community. The IRH is a member of American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Research University Consortium and can serve as a residency site for ACLS fellows such as the ACLS Emerging Voices Fellows. The IRH also welcomes scholars with other grants or funding to apply for non-stipendiary Honorary fellowships.

IRH fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday seminar and, schedule permitting, to make a seminar presentation. The many symposia, lectures, conferences, lectures, and workshops are available for fellows as time and interest warrant. Fellows have access to all UW-Madison libraries and campus facilities, email/internet, office space at IRH (if available), photocopying, mailbox, and assistance from IRH staff.

The UW-Madison Libraries offer a world-class library system with over 7.3 million printed volumes, many distinguished collections, and millions of resources in journals, databases, microfilms, government documents, etc. For more detailed information about the library collections, contact Nina Clements, the English Humanities Librarian at the UW-Madison Memorial Library. The Wisconsin Historical Society is a national repository of books and papers in American history and culture, a major resource for Americanists in the humanities.

Internal Fellowships

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UW–Madison Senior Fellowships

This year, the IRH is holding a competition for up to two open-topic senior fellowships with four-year terms beginning in 2024-2025 (term: 2024-2028).

Each year, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH) maintains an average of eight senior fellowships funded by the College of Letters & Science. These are for tenured faculty members in the College who are engaged in innovative research in the humanities. Seven of these senior fellowships are designated for any projects in the humanities, and one senior fellowship is awarded for a project on race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity.

Senior fellows attend IRH seminars, present their work, sit on selection committees, advise the director, and are given the opportunity to organize a Burdick-Vary Symposium or another comparable event.

Application is by individual or departmental nomination. Senior fellowships have a four-year term with four semesters of research leave to be taken in residence at the IRH during this period. Flexibility in how leave time is taken during the four years is allowed: e.g., 50% research leave/50% teaching each semester; one semester of research leave/one semester of teaching each year; one year of research leave/one year of full- time teaching; etc. However, the start date of the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason, so we urge fellows to arrange their fellowship in ways mutually agreeable to themselves and their departments. Senior fellows attend IRH seminars and meetings for the full academic year for the four-year term.


Applications were due on Thursday, September 28, 2023. The final notification of the awards were sent in late December 2023 or early January 2024.


Applications must be submitted through the “application form” link to Interfolio above. For help using Interfolio, or with issues with letters of recommendation or other files, please refer to the documents below.

UW–Madison Resident Faculty Fellowships

The Institute for Research in the Humanities holds an annual competition for up to six one-semester resident fellowships for UW–Madison faculty in the College of Letters & Science who are working on a project of significance for the humanities. UW–Madison faculty budgeted outside the College of Letters & Science may also apply for resident fellowships, contingent upon agreement from their deans or department chairs to continue their salary during the duration of the fellowship. Resident fellows receive their regular salary and are released from teaching and service duties for the semester of the fellowship so that they may undertake full-time research and participate in the intellectual community of the IRH. Fellows with additional funding (e.g., sabbatical, other grants) are invited to remain at the IRH for the full academic year. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason. These fellowships are prestigious appointments and represent one of the ways the College of Letters & Science seeks to strengthen the opportunities for concentrated research by faculty in the humanities.

Resident fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday afternoon seminar (3:30-5:00 PM) and to present their work at one of these meetings. Resident fellows are also encouraged to attend other IRH activities and events as time and interest permit.

Individual faculty members on the tenure-track or tenured at UW–Madison are encouraged to apply. Departmental nominations are accepted but do not necessarily increase the chances of success; departments should encourage all eligible faculty to apply without consideration of the number of applicants in each unit. The IRH seeks the most exciting research projects from candidates who can contribute to and benefit from the interdisciplinary dialogue in the humanities that the IRH fosters.


Applications were due on Thursday, September 28, 2023. The final notification of the awards were sent in late December 2023 or early January 2024.


Applications must be submitted through the “application form” link to Interfolio above. For help using Interfolio, or with issues with letters of recommendation or other files, please refer to the documents below.

UW–Madison Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Faculty Fellowships

The Institute for Research in the Humanities holds an annual competition for up to two one-semester fellowships for UW-Madison faculty in the College of Letters & Science who are working on projects that focus directly on race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity in any part of the world and historical period and that foster comparative study of these issues with a clear significance for the humanities. UW-Madison faculty budgeted outside the College of Letters & Science may also apply for REI fellowships, contingent upon agreement from their deans or department chairs to continue their salary during the duration of the fellowship. REI fellows receive their regular salary and are released from teaching and service duties for the semester of the fellowship so that they may undertake full-time research and participate in the intellectual community of the IRH. Fellows with additional funding (e.g., sabbatical, other grants) are invited to remain at the IRH for the full academic year. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason. These fellowships are prestigious appointments and represent one of the ways the College of Letters & Science seeks to strengthen the opportunities for concentrated research by faculty in the humanities.

REI fellows are expected to participate in the intellectual life of the IRH by attending the weekly Monday afternoon seminar (3:30-5:00 PM) and to present their work at one of these meetings. REI fellows are also encouraged to attend other IRH activities and events as time and interest permit.

Individual faculty members on the tenure-track or tenured at UW-Madison are encouraged to apply. Departmental nominations are accepted but do not necessarily increase the chances of success; departments should encourage all eligible faculty to apply without consideration of the number of applicants in each unit. The IRH seeks the most exciting research projects from candidates who can contribute to and benefit from the interdisciplinary dialogue in the humanities that the IRH fosters.


Applications were due on Thursday, September 28, 2023. The final notification of the awards were sent in late December 2023 or early January 2024.


Applications must be submitted through the “application form” link to Interfolio above. For help using Interfolio, or with issues with letters of recommendation or other files, please refer to the documents below.

UW–Madison Dissertation Fellowships

Each year, the IRH offers 2-5 one-semester dissertation fellowships for UW–Madison graduate students in the humanities. Applications are by departmental nomination only. Most of the funding for these fellowships has been donated by former members of the IRH. The frequency of awards depends upon the availability of funds. Dissertation fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday seminar, and may be invited to present their work at one of these meetings. Exchanges, both formal and informal, along with workshop and symposia, provide dissertation fellows with extended opportunities for engagement with faculty fellows across the humanities. Office space, photocopying, and some support services are available. Fellowships may not be deferred.


  • Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities. Open to graduate students in the humanities. Typically, 1-2 fellowships are awarded each year. IRH only accepts nominations directly from departments; please contact your department administrator, chair, and/or graduate coordinator for department-specific requirements and deadlines.
      • Nominees that have been forwarded by departments will be informed of the committee’s decision in late March/early April 2024. The IRH will be awarding one Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellowships for the 2024-2025 academic year.
      • Nominations were due on Friday, February 9, 2024. Each individual department held its own internal deadline for nominees. Nominee will be notified in late March/early April 2024.

  • Biruté Ciplijauskaité Dissertation Fellowship in Peninsular Spanish Literature and Culture. Open to graduate students in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese working in Peninsular Spanish literary and cultural studies. Typically, 1 fellowship will be awarded each year. The IRH only accepts nominations directly from departments; please contact your department administrator, chair, and/or graduate coordinator for department-specific requirements and deadlines.


  • Madeleine Doran Dissertation Fellowship in English. Open to graduate students in the English Department. Fellowship is awarded as funds become available. Typically, 1 fellowship is awarded each year. [The IRH will not offer a Madeleine Doran Dissertation Fellowship for the 2024-2025 academic year. The following information is for reference only.]

  • Robert J. Reinhold Dissertation Fellowship in Classics. Open to graduate students in the Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies Department. Fellowship is awarded as funds become available. Typically, 1 fellowship is awarded each year. [The IRH will not be offering a Robert J. Reinhold Dissertation Fellowship for the 2024-2025 academic year. The following information is for reference only.]

“The Humanities Respond to Global Challenges” Seed Program

“The Humanities Respond to Global Challenges” is a seed program to support up to two teams of five (5) UW-Madison faculty to develop new humanistic and descriptive social scientific projects that take a collaborative, multiple-PI, and cross-disciplinary approach to global challenges, both enduring and emerging. Potential topics may include peace and social justice; climate change, environmental justice, and sustainability; migration, immigration, and translation; democracy and authoritarianism; and the rise of AI and its effects on human culture, society, and politics. 


The deadline for the 2024 SHRF Seed Program competition is March 1, 2024, 5:00 pm CST. 

  • See the 2024 Call for Applications here.
  • For more information interested UW faculty can attend the Creating Interdisciplinary Collaborations Within & Beyond the Humanities Workshop on February 2, 2024 @ 11:00 am – 1:30 pm in Union South, Varsity Hall III. See the event page for more information, here.

Applications must be submitted in electronic form to IRH Associate Director Katie Apsey (apsey@wisc.edu). For questions related to the 2024 seed program, please contact IRH Director Steve Nadler (smnadler@wisc.edu) and Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities Grant Nelsestuen (nelsestuen@wisc.edu). 

External Fellowships and Residencies

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Solmsen Fellowships

The Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to offer four Solmsen Fellowships for the academic year 2024-2025, to be awarded to scholars from outside the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through a generous bequest from Friedrich and Lieselotte Solmsen, the Solmsen Fellowships sponsor scholars working in the humanities on European history, literature, philosophy, politics, religion, art and culture in the classical, medieval, and/or early modern periods before 1700. Projects on the relationship of pre-1700 Europe to other parts of the world are also welcome. The Solmsen Fellowship does not typically support editions or translations.

The award provides a stipend of $60,000, office space, limited support services, and access to university facilities (libraries). All IRH fellowships are residential. Solmsen Fellows are required to live in Madison, Wisconsin throughout the academic year to ensure their active participation in the intellectual and social life at IRH (alternatively, fellows must demonstrate to the Institute’s satisfaction the ability to be on campus daily and at short notice). Fellows may extend their residency through the summer on a non-stipendiary basis. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason.

The deadline for the 2024-2025 Solmsen Fellowship competition was Thursday, October 26, 2023. The final notification of the awards will be sent in Late February or Early March 2024.


Applications must be submitted through the “application form” link to Interfolio above. For help using Interfolio, or with issues with letters of recommendation or other files, please refer to the documents below.

Kingdon Fellowships

The Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to offer two Robert M. Kingdon Fellowships for the academic year 2024-2025, to be awarded to scholars from outside the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through a generous bequest from Robert M. Kingdon, the Kingdon Fellowship sponsors scholars working in the humanities in the historical, literary, artistic, and/or philosophical studies of Christian and/or Jewish religious traditions and their role in society. Projects may focus on any period from antiquity to the present, on any part of the world, and in any field(s) in the humanities. They may explore various forms of the Jewish and/or Christian traditions; the interaction of one or both of these with other religious traditions; and/or the relationship of one or both of these religions to other aspects of society within or outside of Europe. The Kingdon Fellowship does not typically support editions or translations.

The award provides a stipend of $60,000, office space, limited support services, and access to university facilities (libraries). All IRH fellowships are residential. Kingdon Fellows are required to live in Madison, Wisconsin throughout the academic year to ensure their active participation in the intellectual and social life at IRH (alternatively, fellows must demonstrate to the Institute’s satisfaction the ability to be on campus daily and at short notice). Fellows may extend their residency through the summer on a non-stipendiary basis. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason.

The deadline for the 2024-2025 Kingdon Fellowship competition was Thursday, October 26, 2023. The final notification of the awards will be sent in Late February or Early March 2024.


Applications must be submitted through the “application form” link to Interfolio above. For help using Interfolio, or with issues with letters of recommendation or other files, please refer to the documents below.

Biruté Ciplijauskaité Postdoctoral Fellowship in Peninsular Spanish Literature and Culture

The Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to announce that it will offer one Biruté Ciplijauskaité Fellowship for the 2024-2025 academic year, to be awarded to a scholar from outside the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The fellowship may be renewable for a second year. Thanks to a generous bequest by the late Biruté Ciplijauskaité, John Bascom Professor Emerita in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and a Senior Fellow of IRH, the fellowship is available to a scholar with a Ph.D. (at any stage of career), working in Spanish literary and cultural studies of the Iberian Peninsula. We are especially interested in scholars working on peninsular Spanish poetry. The Ciplijauskaité Fellowship does not typically support editions, anthologies, or translations.

The award provides a stipend of $60,000, office space, limited support services, and access to university facilities (libraries). All IRH fellowships are residential. Ciplijauskaité Fellows are required to live in Madison, Wisconsin throughout the academic year to ensure their active participation in the intellectual and social life at IRH (alternatively, fellows must demonstrate to the Institute’s satisfaction the ability to be on campus daily and at short notice). Fellows may extend their residency through the summer on a non-stipendiary basis. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason.

The deadline for the 2024-2025 Ciplijauskaité Fellowship competition was Thursday, October 26, 2023. The final notification of the awards will be sent in Late February or Early March 2024.


Applications must be submitted through the “application form” link to Interfolio above. For help using Interfolio, or with issues with letters of recommendation or other files, please refer to the documents below.

UW System Fellowships

Each year, the Institute for Research in the Humanities offers up to four fellowships each year to faculty at University of Wisconsin System campuses, with full release time from teaching and service for 1 semester. Funding comes from a combination of sources: the home institutions, UW System grant fund allocations of $7,500 to the home institution, and UW-Madison’s contribution of about $5,000 per fellow to each home institution. Fellows are provided with an IRH office (space permitting), support services, and access to UW-Madison facilities (libraries, databases). One-semester fellows with additional funding are invited to remain in residence at the IRH for the full academic year, and may extend their appointments through the summer. However, fellowships may not be deferred.

The deadline for the 2024-2025 UW-System Fellowship competition is Thursday, February 22, 2024. The final notification of the awards will be sent in late March / early April 2024.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow Residencies

The Institute for Research in the Humanities serves as a residency site for SSHRC postdoctoral fellows who seek a dynamic intellectual community, interdisciplinary dialogue, contact with campus faculty and programs related to their fields and interests, and excellent library resources.

Eligibility is limited to scholars who have received a SSHRC Fellowship through the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship program. SSHRC postdoctoral fellows can be in residence at the IRH for a semester term, the academic year, and/or the summer. Applications for IRH residency can be made at any point in the year. CHCI invites eligible SSHRC postdoctoral fellows interested in a residency to review the list of participating host sites and then contact host sites directly. SSHRC postdoctoral fellows and the host institution negotiate their own arrangements tailored to the needs, interests, and capabilities of both parties.

The residency provides office space, limited support services, and access to university facilities (libraries). All IRH fellowships are residential. SSHRC Residents are required to live in Madison, Wisconsin throughout the period of their fellowship to ensure their active participation in the intellectual and social life at IRH (alternatively, fellows must demonstrate to the Institute’s satisfaction the ability to be on campus daily and at short notice). Although the IRH is not responsible for housing, advice on locating suitable housing is available. Residents are required to attend the weekly Monday seminar, and (schedule permitting) may be invited to make a seminar presentation. Involvement in the many formal and informal activities of the IRH and the Center for the Humanities is encouraged, as time and interest warrant.

SSHRC postdoctoral fellows interested in a residency at the IRH should contact the Director for information and then submit the application form below, along with a copy of their SSHRC Fellowship award letter, their CV, and a copy of their project proposal as submitted to SSHRC.

Steven Nadler, IRH Director (smnadler@wisc.edu); 608-262-8151.

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellow Residencies

The Institute for Research in the Humanities serves as a residency site for American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellows who seek a dynamic intellectual community, interdisciplinary dialogue, contact with campus faculty and programs related to their fields and interests, and excellent library resources.

Eligibility is limited to scholars who have received a fellowship from the ACLS through the Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, the Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowship, or other ACLS Fellowship programs. ACLS fellows can be in residence at the IRH for a semester, the academic year, and/or the summer. Applications for IRH residency can be made at any point in the year.

The residency provides office space, limited support services, and access to university facilities (libraries). All IRH fellowships are residential. ACLS Residents are required to live in Madison, Wisconsin throughout the period of their fellowship to ensure their active participation in the intellectual and social life at IRH (alternatively, fellows must demonstrate to the Institute’s satisfaction the ability to be on campus daily and at short notice). Although the IRH is not responsible for housing, advice on locating suitable housing is available. ACLS fellows are required to attend the weekly Monday seminars, and (schedule permitting) may be invited to make a seminar presentation. Involvement in the many formal and informal activities of the IRH and the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities is encouraged, as time and interest warrant.

ACLS fellows interested in a residency at the IRH should contact the Director for information and then submit the application form below, along with a copy of their ACLS Fellowship award letter, their CV, and a copy of their project proposal as submitted to ACLS.

Steven Nadler, IRH Director (smnadler@wisc.edu); 608-262-8151

Madison Area Technical College (MATC) Fellowships

The IRH offers one external, non-stipendiary fellowship each year to a faculty member from Madison Area Technical College with sabbatical or research leave. MATC Fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday seminar, and (schedule permitting) may be invited to present their work at one of the seminars. Fellows are provided with an IRH office (space permitting), support services, and access to all university facilities.

Scholars interested in MATC Fellowships at the IRH should contact the Director for more information and then submit the application form below, along with their CV, a project proposal, and a recommendation letter.

Steven Nadler, IRH Director (smnadler@wisc.edu); 608-262-8151.

Honorary Fellowships

The IRH provides, by invitation of the director, a limited number of non-stipendiary honorary fellowships to scholars with a completed Ph.D. who have other sources of support and plan to do research at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The tenure of an honorary fellowship may anywhere from six weeks to one year. Honorary fellows are provided with support services and access to all university facilities. If space is available, they may also have access to an office in the IRH. All IRH fellowships are residential. Honorary Fellows are required to live in Madison, Wisconsin throughout the period of their fellowship to ensure their active participation in the intellectual and social life at IRH (alternatively, fellows must demonstrate to the Institute’s satisfaction the ability to be on campus daily and at short notice).

Scholars interested in honorary fellowships at the IRH should contact the Director for more information at least one semester before they would like to serve as a fellow and then submit the application form below along with their CV, a project proposal, and a recommendation letter. The proposal must state how a residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is essential for pursuit of the project, and in particular what resources at the university need to be accessed. Application deadlines are as follows: fall semester or academic year fellowships=May 31st deadline; spring semester fellowships=September 30th deadline; summer semester fellowships=February 28th deadline.

Steven Nadler, IRH Director (smnadler@wisc.edu); 608-262-8151.

Note: We are unable to accept applications for honorary fellowships from scholars who either (a) are not U.S. citizens, or (b) do not already have the appropriate J-1 visa in hand.