Section 1: Applicant Information

Applicant name
List your name in the fields provided. Note that information from these fields will be used to identify you when requests for reference letters are sent through the system, so be sure to complete and save this information prior to entering information for your references. You can save your application by clicking “Save Draft” at the bottom of each screen. The application form will also automatically save your information when you tab from one screen to the next using the “Previous” or “Next” buttons found on each page.

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

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.)


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, 2018.

  • All applicants must receive formal approval of their dissertation proposals by no later than March 31, 2018. Those who will receive approval after March 31, 2018 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, 2018.

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.

Library of Congress-specific fellowship.


Section 3: Research Proposal

Proposal Documents

  • To upload your documents, click the “Select a file” button beside the field. All documents must be in Adobe Portable Document (PDF) format, maximum size 2 MB each.
  • You can edit and replace your uploaded documents at any time prior to final submission of your application by clicking the “Select a file” button again and choosing another document for upload. This will overwrite the document currently on file.

All documents must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Text must be in Times New Roman, 12 pt font and double-spaced (excepting only footnotes or endnotes, which may be in 10 pt font and single-spaced). Minimum margins are one inch.
  • Each document should include the essay title (e.g. “Qualifications”). The title must appear on each page of the document, in either the header or the footer.
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer.
  • Pages must be numbered.
  • Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters, as they will not be accepted by the system: < > : ” / \ | ? * & ‘ , ; { } [ ] ( )

Eligibility Statement (maximum length: 1 page)

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.

  • 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; make interdisciplinary use of sources in a way not usually done in your field; and/or use the sources themselves in innovative, creative ways?

Dissertation Description (maximum length: 5 pages)

Provide a description of your dissertation and explain how your work will advance scholarship in your field(s).

Applicants are not expected to include bibliographies with their proposals. However, within the boundaries of the guidelines listed above the format of the document is left to your discretion, and you may include footnotes, endnotes, tables, images, etc. if you like.

Qualifications Statement (maximum length: 1 page)

Provide a brief statement describing your qualifications to do the proposed research. This is not intended to take the place of a C.V. (and a C.V. should not be included with this application), but should speak specifically 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:

  • post-secondary education – institutions, degrees and dates, major and minor fields;
  • level of competency in languages needed for your proposed research;
  • previous experience in research in primary source materials; 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 Sources and Schedule (no maximum length, but must follow the format below)

Identify the following about your research sources:

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

The schedule must be in chronological order. If you will be returning to a given repository, it should be listed twice. If the repository you intend to visit has user restrictions in place and you have been in contact with the staff to make arrangements for your use of the materials, you may make a brief note of this fact following your description.

The schedule must follow this format:

Repository name: Repository location
Month scheduled to visit: length of stay
Principal collection/materials/items #1
Principal collection/materials/items #2
Principal collection/materials/items #3…

Imperial War Museum: London, U.K.
June 2017: Two weeks
N. Appleyard Memoir
A. J. Longley Memoir
Collection of Letters to Lily Briggs, 1926-1965

There is no set page limit for this document, but applicants should not include information other than that shown in this basic outline. 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 a brief explanatory paragraph at the end of the document. Information about why you have chosen a given repository or collection, however, should be addressed in your Dissertation Description document and not in this schedule.

Applicants may include a timeline, and/or documentation related to communication with the archives they propose to visit, as an appendix to this document.

Library of Congress Statement (if applicable; maximum length: 1 page)

If you will be conducting research with materials at the Library of Congress for the full duration of your fellowship, and would like your application to also be considered for the CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon fellowship, provide a one-page essay explaining how you propose to use the new technologies, sophisticated analysis, and/or restoration methods in the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress to reveal content and properties of original sources to elicit new interpretations of those materials. How will your dissertation project benefit from the opportunity to interrogate primary sources in this fashion?

Click here for additional information regarding the Library of Congress fellowship opportunity.

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

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.

Provide a current transcript as well as transcripts for all graduate study you have undertaken, including coursework taken where no degree was granted (it is not necessary to provide information for your undergraduate studies). Transcripts for study not undertaken at your current institution must be combined into one file for upload into the system.

If your institution provides you with an electronic copy of your transcript, you may use this if it is not a protected document; otherwise you will need to scan and upload a copy of a paper transcript. Protected documents that cannot be opened by program staff will not be considered part of the application.

Transcripts must include your name, and the name of the issuing institution, as part of the original document (the applicant cannot add this information to a transcript). Transcripts that lack this information will not be accepted as eligible. Unofficial transcripts, including those printed through a university’s student portal, are acceptable as long as they include this information.

All documents must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Documents must not have any sort of protection (e.g. passwords, expiration dates, restricted print functionality, etc.). Many institutions issue transcripts in PDF format with protection that can make them difficult or impossible for CLIR staff and program reviewers to access. Please ensure that the document you are uploading is protection-free. CLIR will also accept scanned copies of paper transcripts, even if they have a watermark such as COPY, as long as they are legible.
  • Documents must include your name and the name of the issuing institution. This information must be indicated on the document as it comes provided by the institution; documents edited by an applicant to include this information after-the-fact will not be accepted for consideration.
  • Documents must be in Adobe Portable Document (PDF) format, maximum size 2 MB each.
  • Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters, as they will not be accepted by the system: < > : ” / \ | ? * & ‘ , ; { } [ ] ( )

If you have more than one additional transcript from institutions other than your current one, you must combine them into one file for upload into the system. Your most recent transcript should be placed first in the document, with successive transcripts in reverse chronological order. Do not upload transcripts for undergraduate study (unless this information is included on the same transcript as other graduate coursework in the same institution).

If you have undertaken graduate study at a non-U.S. institution and do not have a transcript but instead were issued a record of study or an official degree verification, you may supply this document in lieu of a transcript. If your transcript is not in English, the uploaded transcript must be accompanied by a certified English translation. The translation should be literal and complete.

Transcripts will not be accepted by mail. If CLIR finds an official paper transcript is deemed necessary for any reason, we will contact you to request one.


Section 5: Additional Information

Provide the dates (mm/yyyy) 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, 2018)

All requirements must be completed prior to the proposed fellowship start date. The dissertation proposal must be approved no later than March 31, 2018. If your dissertation proposal will be approved after March 31, 2018, you are not eligible to apply for a CLIR Mellon fellowship this year.

How long 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 2018. If you do not intend to begin research by September 1, 2018, 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.

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. An application is not considered complete unless three letters have been received by the application deadline of 5:00 pm Eastern timeon December 4, 2017, even if all other required applicant information has been provided and the application form has been submitted.

  • Be sure you’ve entered and saved your identifying information on the first page of the main application form prior to creating your first reference request. This will be used to identify you as the individual requesting the letter on the webpage where the letter will be submitted. (If you do not provide this information prior to creating a reference request, your letter writer will see your name shown on that webpage as “Untitled.”)
  • Enter the requested information for the person who will submit your reference.
  • After entering the information, you may either send an email request immediately or save the information in the system and return at a later time to send the email request (see below). To send the request, click to save the entry by selecting either “Save & Exit” or “Save & Add Another.” You will now be given an opportunity to add a personalized message to the standard request, should you wish to do so; this text will appear at the top of the message when it is sent to your reference provider. Click “Send” to then send the message.
  • If you would prefer not to send the reference request immediately for any reason, uncheck the “Send the recommendation request when I press Save (below)” checkbox and then click either “Save & Exit” or “Save & Add Another” as appropriate. When you are ready to send the request, return to this screen and click the “Resend Request” button associated with the person’s entry.
  • Should you enter an incorrect e-mail address or other information for a reference provider, you can return and update the information at any time prior to the person’s submission of a letter by editing the field in question and clicking “Save Changes.”

Once you have entered the information and saved it, unless the “Send the recommendation request when I press Save (below)” checkbox is unchecked, the reference provider will immediately be sent an automatic e-mail from the online application system notifying him/her that you have requested a reference letter. CLIR staff cannot recall these messages. Please be sure your reference provider is aware of your request prior to entering his/her information into the application system.

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” button found in the “Status” line under 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 him/her 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, his/her e-mail message containing the instructions for logging into the online system, you may resend the information at any time by returning to the system and resending the request (this can be done by clicking the “Resend Request” button under to the person’s entry). 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.
  • When a reference letter has been received, the Status line for that reference provider will change to read “This recommendation letter has been received.” Applicants can not view reference letters, which are held confidential between CLIR and the reference provider.
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