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 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 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 weekly follow-up Tuesday lunch seminar and 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

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.


The application portal for the senior fellowship competition is now open. This year, the IRH is holding a competition for three senior fellowships with four-year terms beginning in 2021-2022 (term: 2021-2025). There are two open-topic senior fellowships and one Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity (REI) Senior Fellowship available. Applications are due Thursday, October 1, 2020.

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. 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 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.


The application portal for the 2021-2022 resident faculty fellowship competition is now open. Applications are due Thursday, October 1, 2020. Notification of the awards will be sent in late December 2020 or early January 2021.


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. 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 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.


The application portal for the 2021-2022 Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Faculty Fellowship competition is open. Applications are due Thursday, October 1, 2020. Notification of the awards will be sent in late December 2020 or early January 2021.


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 4-6 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, 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 is awarded as funds become available. Typically, 1 fellowship is awarded each year.

  • 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.

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, 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 2020 call for applications here. [Link is for reference only; this competition is now closed.]

This competition has passed. Check back in Spring semester 2021 for next year’s competition details. Applications for the summer of 2020 were due April 13, 2020; 2021 deadlines will be similar.

External Fellowships and Residencies

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extreme slow-down at U.S. embassies in issuing visas, we encourage international scholars (i.e., non-U.S. citizens) living outside of the United States not to apply this year for Solmsen or Kingdon Fellowships for 2021-2022, but to wait until next year’s competition.

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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 2021-2022, 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 at the IRH throughout the academic year (except for short research trips, lectures, conferences, etc.) and may extend this residency through the following summer on a non-stipendiary 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.

The application portal for the 2021-2022 Solmsen Fellowship competition is now open. Applications are due Thursday, October 29, 2020. The final notification of the awards will be sent in March 2021.


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 2021-2022, 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 IRH throughout the academic year (except for short research trips, lectures, conferences, etc.) and may extend this residency through the following summer on a non-stipendiary 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.

The application portal for the 2021-2022 Kingdon Fellowship competition is now open. Applications are due Thursday, October 29, 2020. The final notification of the awards will be sent in March 2021.


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 Fellowships in Spanish Literature of the Iberian Peninsula

The Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to offer up to two Biruté Ciplijauskaité Fellowships for the 2021-2022 academic year, to be awarded to scholars 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 a Senior Fellow of IRH, these fellowships are available to scholars with a Ph.D. (at any stage of career), working in Spanish literature of the Iberian peninsula. We are especially interested in scholars working on poetry.

Ciplijauskaité Fellows 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-stipendiary 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.

The application portal for the 2021-2022 Ciplijauskaité Fellowship competition is now open. Applications are due Thursday, October 29, 2020. The final notification of the awards will be sent in March 2021.


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 release time from teaching and service for 1-2 semesters. Funding comes from a combination of sources: the home institutions, UW System grant fund allocations to the home institutions, 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 all university facilities. 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 application portal for the 2021-2022 UW System Fellowship competition is now open. Applications and letters of recommendation are due Friday, February 26, 2021. The final notification of the awards will be sent in April 2021. See the full call for applications below for more information.

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. The IRH is a member organization of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), which works 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 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 IRH guarantees SSHRC postdoctoral fellows office space, a desktop computer (if desired), internet/network access, full library access, access to all campus facilities, and some staff support. Although the IRH is not responsible for housing, advice on locating suitable housing is available. Residents are expected 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 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. The IRH 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 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. 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 IRH guarantees ACLS fellows office space, a desktop computer (if desired), internet/network access, full library access, access to all campus facilities, and some staff support. Although the IRH is not responsible for housing, advice on locating suitable housing is available. ACLS fellows are expected 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.

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 UW-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. Applications for both the academic year and summer term are accepted on a rolling basis.

Scholars interested in honorary 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.