Dissertation Fellowships


The Nanovic Institute currently awards fellowships to support graduate students writing dissertations on topics within European studies. Both the Paul G. Tobin Dissertation Fellowship and the Dominica and Frank Annese Fellowship in Graduate Studies fund graduate students over the course of the following academic year as they conduct research and write their dissertations. These awards allow students to devote full attention to their project for an entire academic year.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021 (for the 2021-22 academic year).

Maximum Award

$22,000. Funds are paid as a monthly stipend through the student’s academic department.

Number of Awards

Up to four. This year the institute may award two (2) Tobin Fellowships and two (2) Annese Fellowships.


Applicants must be currently enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, must be in satisfactory academic standing with at least a 3.0 GPA, must be finishing at least their fourth year at the time of application, and must not be enrolled beyond their sixteenth semester. Only students with approved dissertation topics may apply, and applicants must have completed all pre-dissertation requirements (or be scheduled to complete them by the end of the academic year). Preference will be given to dissertation projects that demonstrate relevance for contemporary European studies. The Annese Fellowship recipient needs to be in the College of Arts and Letters.

Questions or Issues?

Please contact Anna Dolezal Student Programs Assistant Manager at adolezal@nd.edu.

Application Guidelines

Please complete the online form and upload your materials as prompted. Directors of Graduate Studies, academic advisors, and faculty supplying approval or letters of recommendation will be notified by the system to complete their portion of the application.

A complete application consists of the following distinct parts:

Student Portion (due by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline day)

• a completed online application form
• a cover letter of application
• a current curriculum vitae
• a dissertation prospectus with bibliography (In Word or pdf format only, not to exceed 15 pages without bibliography, 11 point sans serif font, 1.5 line spacing, no kerning, one-inch margins)
• a list of funding sought or obtained for this time period

Faculty Portion (due within 48 hours of the grant deadline)

• a letter of qualification from the DGS
• two letters of faculty recommendation

Cover letters should be addressed to the Graduate Dissertation Fellowship Committee and should express the applicant’s intent to apply for a fellowship. Applicants should also clearly communicate their project’s working title, their academic department, and their contact information (mailing address and email).

The letter from the departmental Director of Graduate Studies should confirm successful completion of all pre-dissertation requirements, including acceptance of the dissertation prospectus. Applicants who have not completed their pre-dissertation requirements by the deadline may still apply, but they must produce this letter of qualification no later than the final day of the spring term in order to maintain eligibility.

The dissertation prospectus should both accurately describe the dissertation project and clearly demonstrate its impact on contemporary European Studies. The list of funding obtained should state the names and amounts of any grants already obtained, as well as the names of other funding sources—internal and external—to which the applicant has applied or intends to apply, including expected decision dates.

One letter of recommendation must be from the applicant’s principal dissertation advisor. It should express the advisor’s support for the proposal and explicitly state that the student is on course to finish the dissertation in a timely manner. The second letter of recommendation should be from a different faculty member who is familiar with the student’s academic work, preferably someone also familiar with the dissertation project.

A complete student portion of the application must be submitted to the online application form no later than 11:59pm on the deadline day. Letters of recommendation may be submitted up to two business days past the grant deadline day (excluding weekends), and may be submitted to the Student Coordinator of the Nanovic Institute directly via email, if desired.

Failure to submit all required materials promptly may result in the application being excluded from consideration. Complete applications will be considered by a committee of the institute’s fellows and directors, and initial fellowship offers will be made within six weeks of the application deadline. The process may or may not close--at the institute's discretion--until all fellowships are filled, so some applicants may not have final decisions in hand until later than six weeks past the application deadline. Please note that application materials will not be returned.

Terms & Conditions

Fellowship recipients are expected to accept or decline their award in writing within one month of receiving their award letter. The Nanovic Institute does not defer fellowship funding for future use, but any recipient who declines the funding may reapply for the following year’s awards. The Nanovic Institute may or may not choose—at its discretion—to award declined fellowships to another applicant. Once accepted, fellowship recipients are expected to devote full attention to their dissertation and therefore may not accept other employment on- or off-campus for the fellowship year.

Throughout the year, fellowship recipients must periodically provide the Nanovic Institute with report letters detailing their dissertation work and the progress being made. The Nanovic Institute will forward these reports to the fellowship’s benefactors. Letters are required at the beginning, the midpoint, and the end of the fellowship year; full details about this requirement will be communicated at the time of award. Additionally, recipients may be asked to provide high-resolution photos and information for the purposes of publicizing their award and their research.

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