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Grad Student Details and Application


The following eligibility requirements apply:

  1. Students must be seeking a terminal degree in a humanities program at Penn State (i.e., Master’s candidates on track toward the Ph.D. are not eligible);
  2. Proposed projects must be directly related to work on a degree-required dissertation;
  3. Students must be in residence for the duration of the grant period;
  4. Students may not teach or have other significant formal assigned duties during the semester of residence. The Humanities Institute covers one course-release in the amount of $5,000; the applicant’s primary department is expected to release the student from any other teaching that would have been performed in that semester. 
  5. Students in the College of the Liberal Arts are eligible for this award as well as for the Dissertation Semester Release through the Centers and Institute Release Program; accepting one will not render an applicant ineligible for the other at any time. (*See note below for more information.)
  6. Summer Residency Students must be enrolled for the summer, and must follow the STAP procedures found at

Students are eligible to apply at any point in their studies, though a strong preference will be given to students nearing the completion of their terminal degree. Proposals that are interdisciplinary in outlook, methodology, media, or scope are especially welcome. Students with projects in the social sciences are eligible to apply if their projects have important implications for the humanities. Students on Federal aid should be advised that their Federal package might be affected by the stipend award. 

*Please noteGraduate students may only receive one semester of residency from the Humanities Institute in the course of their studies at Penn State. The Humanities Institute, however, also participates in the Center & Institute Fellows Program in conjunction with departments in the College of the Liberal Arts. This program grants graduate student awardees additional affiliation with the Humanities Institute during the student’s humanities dissertation release semester. Students may have a residency semester PLUS a Dissertation Semester Release through the Center and institute Fellows Program with the HI, though not in the same academic year. To apply for this award, please follow the guidelines found here (Graduate Students in the College of the Liberal Arts may only accept one internal fellowship award from the College or its affiliated Centers, institutes, or programs in any given academic year. Students receiving multiple award offers will be asked to select one. Students are eligible to reapply or be nominated for other fellowship opportunities in subsequent years.)

Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated and recommendations made to the Director by members of the Institute’s Advisory Board. Awards will be announced by early March 2024 for Summer Residencies and April 2024 for Fall and Spring Residencies.

Final Report and Acknowledgements

Grant recipients will be asked to submit a report on their project no later than thirty days after the end of the residency period. In addition, recipients will be expected to enter the Graduate Exhibition in the Spring following their residencies (for more information, visit Appropriate acknowledgment of the Institute’s support must be given in all theses, dissertations, publications, and other activities related to the residency project.

Application Procedure and Requirements

Applications that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered.

All materials must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 5, 2024 for Summer Residencies and Monday, March 18, 2024 for Fall and Spring Residencies. All files for items 1-3 should be combined into a single PDF document. All applicants will receive an email receipt; please email if you do not hear back within one week.

  1. Cover page with applicant’s name, student ID number, department/program, contact information (including campus address), project title, expected date of defense and graduation, and preferred semester of residency (Summer 2024, Fall 2024 or Spring 2025). Please note: The Humanities Institute will honor semester preferences where possible, but may not be able to grant all requests. 
  2. Description of and rationale for the project and a timetable for completion (not to exceed four pages, double-spaced, 12 pt. font)
  3. Curriculum vitae (limit to three pages)
  4. Formal notice of approval from the graduate program director or officer (this need not take the form of a full-length, formal recommendation) AND a letter of recommendation from the student’s project advisor or director should be emailed to by the deadline, with a subject line that indicates the Graduate Scholar Program and the applicant’s name.


For more information on Humanities Institute Funding Opportunities, please contact us.

814-865-0495 (phone)
814-863-8349 (fax)

103 Ihlseng Cottage
University Park, PA 16802