Awards & Honors: Columbia Society of Fellows of the Humanities

The Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities, with grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the William R. Kenan Trust, will appoint a number of postdoctoral fellows in the humanities for the academic year 2018-2019. Fellows newly appointed for 2018-2019 must have received the PhD between 1 January 2016 and 1 July 2018. The Fellowship Stipend for 2018-2019 is $63,000. Medical benefits are provided, and subsidized housing is available. There is a $7,000 research allowance per annum.

This award is considered Prestigious by the National Research Council (NRC).

Deadline: October 2, 2017

Award Description

The Society seeks to enhance the role of the humanities in the University by exploring and clarifying the interrelationships within the humanities as well as their relationship to the natural and social sciences. The program is designed to strengthen the intellectual and academic qualifications of the Fellows: first, by affording them time and resources to develop independent scholarship within a broadening educational and professional context; second, by involving them in interdisciplinary programs of general education and in departmental courses, often of their own design; and third, by associating them individually and collectively with some of the finest teaching scholars in the University.

Terms of Fellowship Appointment

  • Fellows are appointed as Postdoctoral Research Scholars (Mellon Fellows) in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities and as Lecturers in appropriate departments at Columbia University (departments are listed in the “Application Materials (PDF)“).
  • The one-year Fellowship renews automatically for a second and a third year.  In the first year, Fellows teach one course per semester. At least one of these courses must be in the undergraduate (“Core”) education program: Contemporary Civilization, Literature Humanities, Music Humanities, Art Humanities, Asian Civilizations, Asian Humanities, or Global Cultures.
  • The second course may be a departmental course, the design of which will be determined jointly by the Fellow and the Fellow’s academic department.
  • In the second year, Fellows teach one course: either a Core course (if only one of the two first-year courses was in the Core) or a departmental course. This will leave one semester in the second year free of teaching responsibilities.
  • In the third year, Fellows again teach one course, either a Core course or a departmental course (to be decided jointly by the Fellow and the Fellow’s department), leaving one semester again free of teaching responsibilities.
  • Please note that all teaching–whether a Core class or a department one–is to be arranged by the Fellow through the Fellow’s home academic department. At least two of the three courses taught in the first two Fellowship years must be in the Core.
  • In addition to teaching and research, the duties of Fellows include planning a weekly Thursday Lecture Series, which is open for attendance to members of the University community, and participation in the intellectual life of the Society and of the department with which the Fellow is affiliated. The Society also cosponsors conferences and special events planned by Fellows around their special interests.
  • To aid in the research process, each Fellow is assigned to a private office with a phone, and access to campus Wi-Fi. The research allowance may be used to pay for research-related expenses such as conferences, professional memberships, and research materials.

Application Instructions

The application consists of the following:

  1. Online Application and TWO corresponding sets of hardcopy application materials. Complete and submit the Online Application. You may access the online application by clicking the “Go to Application” button on any Fellowship-related pages on this site or on the Website homepage. Please note that the Online Application must be submitted in order for the corresponding hardcopy submission to receive consideration. In addition to your personal information, the Online Application requires submission of Microsoft Word or PDF files containing your curriculum vitae, a research project proposal (no more than 1,500 words), a writing sample (no more than 3,500 words; footnotes and bibliography may be appended), and a two-page undergraduate course syllabus of your own design. Once your online application has been submitted, please prepare two collated, corresponding sets of hardcopy applications, placing at the front of each a copy of the printed Online Application Form.
  2. ONE $25.00 application processing fee. This fee must be paid online via Visa or MasterCard payment.
  3. TWO letters of recommendation. Recommenders will receive automated notification of your request and instructions for submitting their recommendations once you have submitted the online application form. Please be sure to follow up with your recommenders, as spam filters can interfere with the delivery of automated emails. You can check the status of recommendation submissions and re-send the automated notification to your recommenders by logging into your online application account.
  4. ONE stamped, self-addressed postcard, if you wish us to acknowledge receipt of your hardcopy application materials. On the postcard, please include the message: “Application to Columbia University Society of Fellows received.”

Applications must be postmarked by Monday, 2 October 2017. There are no exceptions or extensions to this deadline.


For questions or more information, view the Program FAQ or contact the Columbia Society of Fellows at