Dissertation Fellowship Program

The application deadline is February 1, 2024. 

Since 1978, more than 300 advanced graduate students from universities across North America and Europe have received dissertation fellowships from the McNeil Center. At least eight new fellows will be appointed for the 2024-2025 academic year for nine-month terms. Nine-month fellows will receive a stipend of $30,000, office space in the Center's home on the University of Pennsylvania's campus, and library privileges. Limited travel funds for research will also be available. Fellows are normally resident in Philadelphia during the terms of their appointments and are expected to participate in-person at the Center's seminars, brown bags, and other programs. The application deadline is February 1, 2024.

Doctoral candidates from any PhD-granting institution who are in the research or writing stage of the dissertation are eligible. Any project dealing with the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850 will be considered. Proposals dependent on the use of Philadelphia-area archives and libraries are particularly welcome. Applications are encouraged from students of all disciplines.

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. 

The McNeil Center actively seeks and welcomes people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, to apply. 


Nine-Month or One-Semester Fellowships

Questions can be directed to: mceas@sas.upenn.edu.

Awards may be made in the following categories, depending on the qualifications of the applicants and the availability of funding:

Barra Foundation

MCEAS Barra Dissertation Fellowships

Barra Dissertation Fellowships and Advisory Council Fellowships are open to candidates from any discipline working on topic within the McNeil Center's area of interest.

Richard S. Dunn

The Richard S. Dunn Fellowship

The Richard S. Dunn Fellowship acknowledges excellence in any aspect of Early American Studies.


The Barra Foundation Fellowship

The Barra Foundation Fellowship supports research related to art or material culture.

MCEAS Fellowships

Friends of the MCEAS Fellowships

Friends of the MCEAS Fellowships support research on any relevant topic, with a preference for projects dealing with Philadelphia or the Mid-Atlantic region.

MCEAS Consortium Fellowships

MCEAS Consortium Fellowships

MCEAS Consortium Fellowships are reserved for candidates from research universities that are members of the McNeil Center Consortium. Projects on any topic within the Center's areas of interest are eligible.


The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellowship in Early American Religious Studies

The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellowship in Early American Religious Studies is open to candidates in any discipline researching any aspect of religion in North America and the Atlantic world before 1850.

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Marguerite Bartlett Hamer Fellowships

Marguerite Bartlett Hamer Fellowships are awarded to advanced doctoral candidates from any relevant program at the University of Pennsylvania who meet the same rigorous standards as external candidates.

Society of the Cincinnati Fellowship

The Society of the Cincinnati Fellowship

The Society of the Cincinnati Fellowship supports research on the era of the American Revolution.



The Monticello-McNeil Fellowship

The Monticello-McNeil Fellowship, co-sponsored by the McNeil Center and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, facilitates scholarship on Thomas Jefferson and his times. Holders of this fellowship spend a portion of their fellowship term at the ICJS in Charlottesville, Virginia.