Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships

Applications for a 2021–2022 IDF at the IAS are now closed and will reopen in Fall 2021 for next year.


Applicants for the Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship are required to include a letter of support from the center or institute’s director in their application. The IAS will review applications and notify applicants whether or not their applications will be supported by the IAS. The IAS will provide a letter of support to the DGS of those students whose applications will be supported in advance of the Graduate School’s deadline.

Required materials for IAS consideration (due to the IAS FIRST):

  1. Application form
  2. Curriculum vitae (2 pp.)
  3. Research project proposal (100-word abstract and 2-page proposal)
  4. Letter(s) of support from IAS faculty mentor(s) — see below for eligibility
  5. Letter of support from adviser/co-advisers (may be co-authored)
  6. Unofficial U of M graduate transcript, with explanation of incompletes
  7. Proof of IRB/IACUC approval, if applicable

Please see the Graduate School’s instructions for these materials and link to the application form. Materials to apply for a letter of support from the IAS are identical to what is required by the Graduate School in a final application, with the exception of the letter of endorsement from the IAS.

Application process

All materials will be submitted via email to [email protected] by Monday, October 19, 2020. The subject line should read “IDF Application: Student Name.” All materials should be saved as a single PDF and sent as an email attachment.

You have two options for submitting materials. The student’s DGS or other departmental staff may compile and send all of the materials directly to the IAS. Or, the student may send the proposal, CV, transcript, and IRB/IACUC (if applicable) to the IAS, and ask the DGS to send the letters of support from the faculty mentor and advisors separately. Faculty mentors and advisors may also send letters to the IAS directly. If the application is being sent in two parts, please indicate this in the body of the email. In either case, all materials should be submitted into a single PDF per email and sent via attachment.

An information session about IDFs (October 6, 2020) featuring representatives from six of the University's IDF-sponsoring centers and institutes: Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World (Juliette Cherbuliez), Institute for Advanced Study (Jennifer Gunn and Susannah Smith), Institute on the Environment (Cathy Jordan), Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (Karen Brown), Life Course Center and the Minnesota Population Center (Lindsey Fabian).

Faculty Mentor

You are asked to identify a faculty mentor with whom you will work during the fellowship. Faculty who are eligible to serve as IAS mentors include current or former IAS faculty fellows; participants in current or former IAS research/creative collaboratives; IAS advisory board members; and other faculty members who have been active in the IAS, subject to the approval of IAS Director Jennifer Gunn.

Click here for a list of all IAS-affiliated faculty who may serve as mentors. To request approval for a faculty mentor who does not fit into one of these categories, please contact Susannah Smith. Please note that faculty fellows for 2021-22 will not be selected until after the deadline for IDF applications.

Click here to watch a video interview with 2018-2019 IDF recipient Joseph Whitson as he talks about his IDF experience and his time in residence at the IAS.

In addition to the selection criteria listed by the Graduate School, the IAS review committee will consider how the student will benefit from residence in the IAS’s interdisciplinary intellectual community and how the IAS will benefit from the student’s residence.

For questions, please contact Susannah Smith.