Eligibility Questions

  • I am a foreign citizen. Can I apply for the Newcombe Fellowship?

    Yes, foreign citizens may apply if they meet the following criteria:

    1. They are enrolled in a doctoral program at an American university located in the United States.

    2. They have completed all pre-dissertation requirements.

  • I am a U.S. citizen studying abroad. Am I eligible to apply for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship?

    No. Only students currently enrolled in a graduate program in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

  • If I have applied previously, can I re-apply?

    Understanding that dissertation completion timelines may change or extend for various reasons, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation and the Institute for Citizens & Scholars have revised their previous re-application policy. Prior applicants who did not receive the award when they first applied may now reapply if their revised timeline meets Newcombe Fellowship guidelines for completion and defense. Applicants who have already received funding from another national award for dissertation writing may not apply.

  • Who should apply for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship?

    Ph.D. candidates may apply if all pre-dissertation requirements are met, if ethical or religious values are central to their dissertations, and they can reasonably expect to complete their dissertations between April 1 and August 31, 2025.

  • How do I know if I have met all of the “pre-dissertation requirements” necessary to apply?

    The Fellowship is open to doctoral candidates, which means that a doctoral student has fulfilled all of the institutional and departmental criteria prior to writing the dissertation. The requirements for candidacy may vary between institutions and departments—some require a language exam, others do not; some may require a proposal defense, others may not. Candidacy is determined by each department’s individual criteria. A departmental administrator can tell you whether or not you have advanced to candidacy.

  • Can the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship be held concurrently with other dissertation completion fellowships?

    No, applicants who have held a similar national award for the final year of dissertation writing, such as an AAUW, Ford, NAEd/Spencer, Mellon/ACLS, or Mellon-CES fellowship, are not eligible. Any award supported by a national funder, even if it is subsequently allocated by a local institution, is considered to be a national award. In rare cases, with the written permission of the director of the Newcombe Fellowship program, the Newcombe award may be combined with another award that offers some benefit uniquely significant to the Fellow’s project (for instance, access to international archives), provided that the funding associated with the award in question does not exceed 75% of Newcombe Fellowship funding. The Newcombe Fellowship may be supplemented by funding associated with additional local/institutional awards, however no combination of additional awards may exceed 75% of the Newcombe stipend. Any supplemental funding must receive the written permission of the program director.

  • Can the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship be held concurrently with other smaller, local awards?

    Sometimes, yes, but there are restrictions which must be discussed with the Newcombe Program Officer.

  • Is this funding opportunity open to all doctoral applicants completing a dissertation?

    No. Eligibility is limited to candidates in the social sciences and humanities, working toward a Ph.D. Candidates must be enrolled in an American doctoral program, at a graduate school located in the United States. Candidates working on D.Min., JD, Psy.D., Ed.D. and other professional degrees such as business or business management are not eligible.

  • I am a graduate student interested in applying for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. I am also interested in applying to the WW Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies, but am wondering if applying to both affects eligibility?

    You may apply to both without affecting eligibility. Simply submit the two different online applications, with separate supplemental items, transcript, and recommendation letters.

Application Questions

  • What materials are required for a completed application?

    The online application, doctoral transcript, supplemental items (cover sheet, abstract, proposal, bibliography, timetable, statement of work, and C.V.), and two letters of recommendation. This document provides a template as well as additional, valuable information.

  • Is the purpose of the bibliography to demonstrate familiarity with the relevant literature in your field, or is it to show the major source bases for the research? In other words, should I be citing secondary sources, archival collections, or some combination of the two?

    The bibliography is primarily to show the source bases for your research, which is also why an explanatory note is optional in the bibliography. Use the sources that will best show the selection committees that you are prepared to complete the scholarship that you describe in your proposal.

  • What is the format for the timetable?

    The purpose of the timetable is to demonstrate to the selection committee that you are truly in your FINAL year of dissertation writing. The committee members will be looking to see that you have completed your research sufficiently and begun to write the dissertation. Use this template for the timetable, you may then use paragraph/narrative form, or bullet points, or a combination of the two for further explanation.

  • What if my doctoral department or concentration is not listed in the field of study list in the online application?

    The fields of study listed in the application reflect the fields in which the Newcombe competition has selection panels. If you do not see your precise field listed, choose the field most closely aligned with your work. For example, if you are in a classics department, decide whether your particular project should be read as art history, early world history, philosophy, or world literature.

  • Who should I ask to be my recommenders?

    Two letters of recommendation are required. You should ask the person who is directing your dissertation and at least one additional faculty recommender. (A co-director may be listed as a faculty recommender.) The faculty member(s) may be from your own institution or department or a different institution or department.

  • What if my recommender declines my request to submit a letter of recommendation?

    If a recommender declines your request to provide a recommendation, you will be notified via email by Tech-Help. You will then need to return to your application and replace the recommender.

  • What if I need to replace one of my recommenders?

    If the recommender in question has not submitted a letter, go to the Recommendation section of your application and use the trash icon to remove the recommender. You can then enter the contact information of the new recommender and click Send Invitation.

    If the recommender in question has already submitted a letter, no change is possible. Should one of your recommenders inform Tech-Help@citizensandscholars.org that they decline to provide a recommendation, you will receive an email from Tech-Help advising you to replace a specific recommender.

  • What if my recommender does not receive the automated request to submit a letter of recommendation?

    If your recommender has not received your request, please ask them to check their spam/junk folder in case it has been blocked by their IP address or by their personal email preferences. If they do not find it, you can return to the Recommendation section of your application and click the Resend Invitation button under the appropriate recommender.

  • Does it matter how I label the files that I submit for my application?

    Yes. Labeling the files correctly will ensure all of your documents are associated with your application. Please refer to this document for correct labeling. Please note that it is also in your best interest to communicate the importance of correct labeling to the Professors who are submitting Letters of Recommendation.