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AJS Dissertation Completion Fellowship Competition

The Dissertation Completion Fellowships encourage the timely completion of doctorates by the most promising graduate students in the field; create a cohort of fellows who will lead the field of Jewish Studies for decades to come; expose new audiences to Jewish Studies scholarship through fellows’ public lectures; and promote continued growth of academic Jewish Studies. The program provides resources to fellows, in the form of a stipend, as well as professional development opportunities, including a workshop and ongoing contact with mentors during the fellowship year. Only students who are in the final stages of writing their dissertations and who display clear evidence of their ability to defend their dissertations by the end of June of the fellowship year are eligible to apply for this program.

A unique feature of the program is its public engagement component. Each fellow is asked to give one public lecture or workshop at the end of their fellowship year in which they share their research with a general audience. The purpose of this public speaking component is to give fellows crucial experience in making their work accessible to an interested but non-expert public, and to help satisfy the great demand for engaging and sophisticated discussion of Jewish history, literature, religion, and culture.

Deadline: Friday, November 15, 2019

Questions? Contact Amy Weiss at 


  1. •    Applicants must be members of the AJS for the membership period running from September to December 2019.
  2. •    Applicants must be prepared to successfully defend their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure and no later than June 30, 2021.
  3. •    The applicant must be completing a dissertation in the field of Jewish Studies.
  4. •    Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation (obtained ABD status) by the application deadline.
  5. •    The program is restricted to graduate students who, at the time of application, have progressed no further than the sixth year of the degree program.  (This includes time for a master’s degree obtained en route to the PhD.) [1]
  6. •    The dissertation must be in English, although citations may be in other languages provided translations are included.
  7. •    Applicant must be willing to deliver one public lecture at the end of the fellowship year based on her/his research, to be arranged in cooperation with the AJS.
  8. •    Recipients of a Dissertation Completion Fellowship may not receive total grant support in excess of $40,000 during their fellowship year. In addition, they may not hold a full-time job or equivalent academic workload during the fellowship year.

[1] In special circumstances, an applicant in her/his seventh year of the degree program may petition to have her/his application considered.


All applications will be submitted using Interfolio. Using Interfolio for the Dissertation Completion Fellowship is free for applicants. If you do not already have an account with Interfolio, you will be able to create one free of charge.

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Completed applications must include:

  1. 1.    Application form (on Interfolio
  2. 2.    CV 
  3. 3.    Dissertation Proposal (no more than five pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font) 
  4. 4.    Dissertation Table of Contents 
  5. 5.    One-page timeline outlining schedule for completing and successfully defending the dissertation by June 30, 2021. You must explain when you will write and revise each chapter, along with when you have planned any remaining archival visits or field research necessary to complete the dissertation.
  6. 6.    Bibliography (no more than two pages) 
  7. 7.    Two completed dissertation chapters, including one that is neither the introduction, conclusion, nor literature review. Chapter should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 12-point font, or a representative excerpt from a longer chapter. The dissertation chapters and dissertation prospectus must be in English, although citations may be in other languages provided translations are included.
  8. 8.    Two letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant’s dissertation advisor. Request confidential letters of recommendation via the Dissertation Completion Fellowship Application on Interfolio
  9. 9.    AJS Status Confirmation Form from the applicant’s institution (preferably from the applicant’s department chair or dean). The provided form asks the institutional representative to attest to the ABD status of the applicant, the viability of the proposed timeline for completion, and to confirm that the institution will not offer doctoral funding in years subsequent to the fellowship year. The dissertation advisor may not complete this form. Please request the completion of the Status Confirmation Form by sending a request for a confidential letter of recommendation from your department chair or dean via Interfolio. In your Interfolio e-mail request, attach the form and instruct the university representative to fill it out and upload it as an attachment via the link provided in the confidential letter request.