NOTE: The information below refers to a previous application cycle and is provided for reference only. Information about any future cycles of this program will be posted on this website when available.


The online application system

CLIR is not currently accepting applications for this program. Should a future cycle of these fellowships be offered, information about access to and use of the online application system will be posted at that time.

Section 1: Applicant Information

Applicant name
List your name in the fields provided.

Dissertation title
Provide your dissertation title. (It is permissible to use a working title.)

Section 2: Eligibility

Please acknowledge your eligibility for this fellowship program by answering the following questions.

I am currently enrolled at a graduate school in the U.S.

  • An applicant may be of any nationality but must be enrolled in a U.S. graduate school and be studying here, not on a campus abroad even if operated by a U.S. institution.
  • If you are not currently enrolled in a U.S. institution, and/or you will not be enrolled for the entire proposed duration of the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply for this fellowship.

My dissertation proposal will be approved by March 31, 2019.

  • All applicants must receive formal approval of their dissertation proposals by no later than March 31, 2019. Those who will receive approval after March 31, 2019 are not eligible to apply for a CLIR Mellon Fellowship in this cycle.
  • Applicants must also complete all other doctoral requirements (except the dissertation) prior to the proposed start date for their fellowship.
  • Applicants must be ready to begin research as early as June 1 and no later than September 1, 2019.

I will be conducting research on-site in libraries, archives or other repositories full-time during the entire proposed fellowship tenure.

  • This fellowship program does not provide support to those conducting research in archives intermittently throughout the year, or for periods of less than 9 full months. Only those who will be conducting hands-on research with original sources full-time throughout the entire fellowship period are eligible to apply for this fellowship.
  • Awards will not be granted to applicants who request support for intermittent research trips combined with the writing of their dissertations.

Section 3: Research Proposal

Please provide information about your research and qualifications as requested. Note that the Dissertation Description and the Research Schedule must be uploaded to the application using the relevant tabs on the left-hand menu bar. Responses to the other questions should be entered directly into the application in the text boxes provided.

Dissertation Description (max. 5 pages; upload via tab on the left)
Provide a description of your dissertation and explain how your work will advance scholarship in your field(s). Note that applicants are not expected to include bibliographies with their proposals. However, within the boundaries of the guidelines listed below, the format of the document is left to your discretion, and you may include footnotes, endnotes, tables, images, etc. if you like.

Guidelines for dissertation description document:

  • All documents must be in PDF format
  • 5 pages maximum
  • Pages must be numbered
  • Text should be 12 pt font and double-spaced (excepting footnotes or endnotes, which may be in 10 pt font and single-spaced)
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or the footer

Eligibility Statement (max. 300 words)
Explain why your research is uniquely suited to this fellowship program’s goals of encouraging more extensive and innovative uses of original sources by scholars by addressing the following questions.

  • Why is it imperative that you work onsite with original materials? Are surrogates (e.g. microfilm, digitized versions) available?
  • Will you use newly available or little studied original sources?
  • Will you make interdisciplinary use of sources in a way not usually done in your field?
  • How will you use the sources themselves in innovative, creative ways?

Qualifications Statement (max. 250 words)
Provide a brief statement describing your qualifications to do the proposed research as they relate to the requirements and goals of this fellowship program and your ability to conduct and complete the proposed research. Include as appropriate information about your:

  • previous experience in research with original source materials;
  • level of competency in languages needed for your proposed research;
  • post-secondary education; and
  • other relevant achievements and qualifications (e.g., academic honors and awards, previous fellowships, publications, teaching experience, special skills needed for the proposed dissertation).

Research Schedule
Identify the following about your research sources using the Excel spreadsheet provided below:

  • each original source repository you intend to use
  • the location of each
  • when you plan to visit and for how long
  • the principal collections, materials and/or items you will work with within each

The schedule should be in chronological order. If you will be returning to a given repository, it should be listed twice.

Click here to download the Research Schedule Excel spreadsheet >>

Once completed, upload the spreadsheet to your application via the tab on the left.

Additional Information
Should there be unusual circumstances about a given repository you feel the committee needs to know to properly evaluate your proposed research plan, you may include that information here (optional; max. 150 words).

Applicants may include documentation related to communication with the archives they propose to visit as an additional upload on the Research Schedule tab if desired (this is not required).

Indicate below the country or countries where you propose to conduct research during your fellowship.
This fellowship program supports scholars conducting research both in the United States and abroad. CLIR does not place any geographic restrictions on where fellows may conduct their research and through this program supports research projects that involve travel within the U.S. and/or to one or more countries outside the U.S.

Section 4: Academic Information

In addition to the questions below, all applicants are required to provide a current (within the past 6 months) transcript as well as transcripts for all graduate study undertaken, including coursework taken where no degree was granted. It is not necessary to provide information for your undergraduate studies. Transcripts should be uploaded via the “Transcripts” tab on the left.

Current institution
Provide the full formal name of the institution where you are currently enrolled and will be enrolled for the duration of this fellowship.

Date Ph.D. will be earned
List the date you expect to earn your degree. If you do not know the exact date, you may use the last day of the month in which you currently expect to receive your degree.

Field of study
Indicate your current field of study. If none of the fields in the list serve as an approximate match, you may select “Interdisciplinary Studies Involving Fields Above” and enter your field in the box below.

Section 5: Additional Information

Provide the dates you completed or achieved the following requirements:

  • Course requirements
  • Foreign language requirements
  • Qualifying or comprehensive exams
  • Official approval of your dissertation proposal (to occur no later than March 31, 2019)

All requirements must be completed prior to the proposed fellowship start date. The dissertation proposal must be approved no later than March 31, 2019. If your dissertation proposal will be approved after March 31, 2019, you are not eligible to apply for a CLIR Mellon fellowship this year.

How many months do you estimate it will take you to complete your dissertation research?
This may be longer than the amount of time for which fellowship support is requested. If you have already begun research, or plan to begin research prior to this fellowship’s start date, include those months in your total as well as any months you expect will be needed to complete your research after the proposed fellowship end date.

Indicate the number of months of fellowship support you are requesting.
You must propose to conduct research full-time for at least 9 months to be eligible to apply for a CLIR Mellon fellowship, as this is specifically a research and not a writing fellowship program. Fellowships will not be granted for terms shorter than 9 months or longer than 12.

When do you propose to begin your fellowship?
Fellowships must start in June, July, August, or September 2019. If you do not intend to begin research by September 1, 2019, you are not eligible to apply for a fellowship this year.

By when do you expect your dissertation will be completed?
CLIR realizes and expects that date will represent a good-faith estimate on your part, based on your currently planned schedule. If you do not yet have an exact date in mind, you may use the last day of the month in which you expect to complete your dissertation.

Other grants/fellowships
Provide information about other grants or fellowships you have received, or for which you have applied or intend to apply. (Application for, or receipt of, other fellowships will not affect your eligibility for this fellowship program.)

Contact Information
Provide the e-mail and street addresses CLIR should use to contact you regarding this application.


Section 6: References

Each applicant is required to provide three letters of recommendation as part of their application.

Please note: An application is not considered complete unless three letters have been received by the application deadline of December 4, 2018, even if all other required applicant information has been provided and the application form has been submitted.

  • Enter the requested information for the person who will submit your reference via the “References” tab on the left-hand menu bar.
  • After submitting your request, your reference provider will be sent an automatic email inviting them to provide their recommendation letter. Letters are uploaded into the system and are confidential.

Notifications are sent immediately, but final delivery is dependent upon the recipient’s e-mail system and may take as long as 24-48 hours. If your reference provider has not received the automatic notification within two days, you may wish to return to the system and resend the request (which can be done by clicking the “Resend request” option found in the menu accessed by clicking the three dots next to the person’s entry).

Your reference provider should follow the instructions in the e-mail to complete the reference letter online. Be sure to give your reference provider plenty of notice, allowing them adequate time to access the system, compose and upload a letter prior to the application deadline.

If your reference provider does not receive, or misplaces, their e-mail message containing the instructions for logging into the online system, you may resend the information. To resend a reference request, access the menu by clicking the three dots next to the person’s entry and select “Resend request.” If you believe that security settings at the reference provider’s institution may be preventing delivery of the automated message, contact us at to request that the email be sent manually.