IRH Fellowships

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

Fellowships are awarded across the humanities, at all 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 the Institute’s intellectual community. The Institute is a member of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and can serve as a residency site for ACLS fellows as part of the CHCI and American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) partnership. The Institute also welcomes scholars with other grants or funding to apply for non-stipendary Honorary Fellowships.

Institute fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday seminars and, schedule permitting, to make a seminar presentation. The weekly follow-up Tuesday lunch seminars and the many institute symposia, lectures, conferences, lectures, and workshops are available for Institute fellows as time and interest warrant. Fellows have access to all UW-Madison libraries and campus facilities, email/internet access, office space at the Institute (if available), photocopying, mailbox, and assistance from Institute 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 Susan Barribeau, the Humanities Librarian at the UW-Madison Memorial Library. The Wisconsin Historical Society is a national depository 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

*Please note: IRH will NOT be holding a Senior Fellowship competition this application cycle.*


Each year, The Institute for Research in the Humanities maintains an average of eight Senior Fellowships funded by the College of Letters and Science to 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 projects on race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity. UW-Madison tenured faculty members from outside the College of Letters and Science may apply for Senior Fellowships, and, if selected, need to provide written agreement from their dean or department chair guaranteeing their salary for the duration of the fellowship. Applicants from outside the College of Letters and Science are evaluated in the pool with applicants from Letters and Science.

Senior Fellows attend Institute seminars, present their work, sit on selection committees, advise the director, and are given the option to organize a Burdick-Vary Symposium or other comparable events.

Application is by individual or departmental nomination. Ordinarily, fellowships may not be deferred.


The Institute’s last competition for Open-Topic Senior Fellowships closed October 18, 2018, and was for a four-year term beginning the fall semester of 2019. 

The next competition for Senior Fellowships will not open until the summer of 2020. The next competition will be for four-year terms beginning the fall semester of 2021 and ending the spring semester 2025; there will have openings for both Senior Open-Topic and Senior Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Fellowship positions. Review past Call for Applications below for more information; requirements for the 2020 application will be similar.

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 and Science who are working on a project of significance for the humanities. UW-Madison faculty budgeted outside the College of Letters and 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 fellowships. 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 life of the interdisciplinary community at the Institute. Fellows with additional funding (e.g., sabbatical, other grants) are invited to remain at the Institute for the 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 and Science seeks to strengthen the opportunities for concentrated research by faculty in the humanities.

Resident Fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday afternoon seminars (3:30-5:00 PM) and to present their work at one of these meetings. A follow-up lunch discussion is held every Tuesday (Noon-1:00 PM) for those interested in further discussing the Monday seminar. Resident Fellows are also encouraged to attend other Institute 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 Institute seeks the most exciting research projects from candidates who can contribute to and benefit from the interdisciplinary dialogue in the humanities that the Institute fosters.


Applications were due Thursday, October 3, 2019. Notification of the awards will be in Late December 2019/Early January 2020. Review call for applications below for more information; next year’s requirements and due dates will be similar. Only applications submitted online through Interfolio were considered.


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 with 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. Some social science and science faculty may qualify for these fellowships (see below). UW-Madison faculty budgeted outside the College of Letters and 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 fellowships. REI Fellows receive their regular salary and are released from teaching and service duties for the semester of their fellowship so that they may undertake full-time research and participate in the intellectual life of the interdisciplinary community at the Institute. Fellows with additional funding (e.g., sabbatical, other grants) are invited to continue at the Institute for the entire 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 and Science seeks to strengthen the opportunities for concentrated research by faculty in the humanities.

REI Fellows are expected to attend the weekly Monday afternoon seminars (3:30-5:00 PM) and to present their work at one of these meetings. A follow-up lunch discussion is held every Tuesday (Noon-1:00 PM) for those interested in further discussing the Monday seminar. REI Fellows are also encouraged to attend other Institute 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. All REI Fellowship applications are also considered automatically for Resident Fellowships, without a separate application. The Institute seeks the most exciting research projects from candidates who can contribute to and benefit from the interdisciplinary dialogue in the humanities that the Institute fosters.


Applications were due Thursday, October 3, 2019. Notification of the awards will be in Late December 2019/Early January 2020. Review call for applications below for more information; next year’s requirements and due dates will be similar. Only applications submitted online through Interfolio were considered.


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 Institute offers 4-6 internal, one-semester dissertation fellowships for UW-Madison graduate students in the humanities. Applications are by departmental nomination only. Funds donated for this purpose, mostly by former members of the Institute, support these fellowships; frequency of awards depends upon the availability of funds. Dissertation fellows are expected to attend the weekly Institute seminars and to present their work at an Institute seminar. Informal and formal Institute exchanges, 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, 2-3 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.

  • William Coleman Dissertation Fellowship in History of Science. Open to graduate students in the Department of History’s History of Science, Medicine, and Technology degree program. Fellowship awarded as funds become available. Typically, 1 fellowship is awarded each year.


  • Madeleine Doran Dissertation Fellowship in English. Open to graduate students in the English Department. Fellowship awarded as funds become available. Typically, 1 fellowship is awarded each year.
      • Nominations are typically due to the IRH between mid-February and  March 1st in years in which competition is held, but the department holds its own internal deadline for nominees. Please contact the English department for more information.

UW-Madison Summer Humanities Research Fellowships

Funded by the College of Letters & Science and the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE), the Summer Humanities Research Fellowship program and workshop support tenured humanities faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in pursuing their “next big project.”

Over the course of the summer (projected as June 1-July 24 for 2020) these fellowships and accompanying workshop provide a cohort of scholars with support for their scholarly writing that helps move them along in the early stages of new book projects or articles. The workshop seeks to inspire participants to think programmatically about their research as well as how effectively to pursue external funding to support their scholarship and advance their career.

See the full call for applications here.

Applications for the summer of 2020 are due April 13, 2020.

External Fellowships

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Solmsen Fellowships

The Institute for Research in the Humanities is pleased to offer four Solmsen Fellowships for 2020-2021 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.

Solmsen Fellows are expected to be in residence throughout the academic year (except for short research trips, lectures, conferences, etc.) and may extend their residency through the following summer on a non-stipendary basis. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason. The award provides a stipend of $57,000, office space, support services, and access to all university facilities.

Applications were due Thursday, October 31, 2019. Notification of the awards will be in March 2020. Review call for applications below for more information; next year’s requirements and due dates will be similar. Only applications submitted online through Interfolio were considered.


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 is pleased to offer two Robert M. Kingdon Fellowships for 2020-2021 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.

Kingdon Fellows are expected to be in residence at the Institute throughout the academic year (except for short research trips, lectures, conferences, etc.) and may extend this residency through the following summer on a non-stipendary basis. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason. The award provides a stipend of $57,000, office space, support services, and access to all university facilities.

Applications were due Thursday, October 31, 2019. Notification of the awards will be in March 2020. Review call for applications below for more information; next year’s requirements and due dates will be similar. Only applications submitted online through Interfolio were considered.


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 Fellowship in Peninsular Spanish Poetry

The Institute for Research in the Humanities is pleased to offer one Ciplijauskaité Fellowship for 2020-2021 to be awarded to a scholar from outside the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thanks to a generous bequest by the late Biruté Ciplijauskaité, John Bascom Professor Emerita in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the IRH is able to offer this post-doctoral fellowship to a scholar working in peninsular Spanish poetry.

The Ciplijauskaité Fellow is expected to be in residence throughout the academic year (except for short research trips, lectures, conferences, etc.) and may extend their residency through the following summer on a non-stipendary basis. However, the fellowship may not be deferred for any reason. The award provides a stipend of $57,000, office space, support services, and access to all university facilities.

Applications are due Thursday, October 31, 2019 [Deadline EXTENDED] December 2, 2019. Notification of the award will occur March 2020. Review full call for applications below for more information. Only applications submitted online through Interfolio will be considered.


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 offers up to four external fellowships to humanities faculty from other campuses in the UW System with release time from teaching and service for 1-2 semesters. Funding comes from a combination of sources: the home institution, UW System grant fund allocations to the home institution, and UW-Madison’s contribution of about $5,000 per fellow to each home institution. UW System fellows are invited to present their work at an Institute seminar, schedule permitting, and are expected to attend the weekly Institute seminars. Fellows are provided with an Institute office (space permitting), support services, and access to all university facilities. Fellows with additional funding are invited to remain in residence at the Institute for the academic year and may extend their appointments through the summer. However, fellowships may not be deferred.

Applications and letters of recommendation are due on Monday, March 2, 2020. Notifications will be sent in April 2020. See the full call for applications below for more information.

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

The Institute serves as a stimulating 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, excellent library resources and a lively medium-sized city culture. The Institute is a member organization of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), which is working collaboratively with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada to provide opportunities for SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellows to spend time in residence at CHCI member organizations.

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 Institute for Research in the Humanities 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 Institute guarantees SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow Residents office space, a desktop computer (if desired), internet/network access, full library access, access to all campus facilities, and some staff support. Although the Institute is not responsible for housing, advice on locating suitable housing is available. Residents are expected to participate in the weekly Monday seminars and will be invited to make a seminar presentation. Involvement in the many formal and informal activities of the Institute and the Center for the Humanities is encouraged, as time and interest warrant.

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellows interested in a residency at the Institute for Research in the Humanities should contact the Director for information and 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 serves as a stimulating residency site for ACLS Fellows who seek a dynamic intellectual community, interdisciplinary dialogue, contact with campus faculty and programs related to their fields and interests, excellent library resources and a lively medium-sized city culture. The Institute is a member organization of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), which in 2011 re-launched a partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies(ACLS) that provides opportunities for ACLS Fellows to spend all or part of their fellowship terms in residence at selected CHCI member organizations.

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 (RDR) Fellowship, or the ACLS Fellowship programs. ACLS Fellow Residents can be in residence at the Institute for Research in the Humanities 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 ACLS Fellows interested in a residency fellowship to review the list of participating host sites and then contact host sites directly. ACLS Fellows and the host institution negotiate their own arrangements tailored to the needs, interests, and capabilities of both parties.

The Institute guarantees ACLS Fellow Residents office space, a desktop computer (if desired), internet/network access, full library access, access to all campus facilities, and some staff support. Although the Institute is not responsible for housing, advice on locating suitable housing is available. ACLS Residents are expected to participate in the weekly Monday seminars and will be invited to make a seminar presentation. Involvement in the many formal and informal activities of the Institute and the Center for the Humanities is encouraged, as time and interest warrant.

ACLS Fellows interested in a residency at the Institute for Research in the Humanities should contact the Director for information and 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 Institute offers one external, non-stipendary fellowship each year to faculty members from Madison Area Technical College with sabbaticals or research leave. MATC fellows are invited to present their work at an Institute seminar, schedule permitting, and are expected to attend the weekly Institute seminars. Fellows are provided with an Institute office (space permitting), support services, and access to all university facilities. Applications accepted at Director’s discretion.

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

Honorary Fellowships

The Institute provides a limited number of non-stipendary, honorary fellowships to scholars with a completed Ph.D. who have other sources of support and plan to do research at UW-Madison for any length of time, from six weeks to one year. Fellows in residence during the academic year are invited to present their work, schedule permitting, and are expected to attend weekly Institute seminars. Fellows are provided with support services and access to all university facilities. If space is available, fellows are eligible for an office. Honorary fellowship applications for both academic year 2020-2021 and summer term 2020 fellowships are due by March 2, 2020.