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Application Details


The RPWC Fellowship offers the successful student a service-free year of support to enable full-time work on their dissertation. The award will include tuition, health insurance, a stipend of $18,000, a research budget of $2,000, travel and affiliation with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.

During the fellowship year, students will be expected to dedicate themselves full-time to dissertation research and writing. The Queen’s supervisory arrangements will remain but the student will have a mentor in Vanderbilt, drawn from their area or research, to provide assistance, as necessary.

As part of their affiliation with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Fellows will be integrated into the Center's interdisciplinary scholarly community through participation in a weekly seminar, occasional seminars with visiting speakers, and special events. As the capstone of their fellowship experience, each Fellow will present a public lecture through the Warren Center in the spring semester.

The application process

Each application must include the items listed below.  Items 1 - 3 must be submitted in electronic format to with the word RPWC as part of the subject title.

1) An applicant cover sheet, available here.

2) The candidate's curriculum vitae.

3) A dissertation description of no more than five single-spaced pages, including an account of the dissertation's original contribution to the field.

4) Two letters of recommendation (including one from the Supervisor) that address the candidate's qualifications for the award and his or her ability to finish the dissertation during the fellowship year.   The letter writers may also wish to address how the candidates’ work would fit into an interdisciplinary graduate student seminar.  Letters should be sent directly by the recommenders to the address below.

5) A completed recommendation form from the Head of School, available here

Please send all application materials to:  Postgraduate Student Centre, First Floor, International and Postgraduate Student Centre, Queen’s University.

The selection process

From the set of applications received a selection panel in Queen’s will choose five applications to go forward to a selection committee at Vanderbilt University. One firm candidate and one reserve candidate will be chosen.

Frequently asked questions

Are all final year PhD students from Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences eligible to apply?

Yes, technically, all final year PhD students from Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences who are in good standing are eligible to apply. Students who are unsure of the compatibility of their research interests should spend some time checking out the activities of the Warren Center and the range of interdisciplinary activities they support so that they make a convincing case in their applications. 

Who do I contact if I have a query about my application?

Please talk over your planned application with your research supervisor since you will need his/her support in making the application.  As the most convincing applications will be sent to the Warren Center for final selection and to avoid compromising the application process, students should not approach the Center directly at the application stage.  Instead, please direct your queries to or Professor John Thompson