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Field Research Fellowship Program

The International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship (IDRF) Program

Program Summary

The International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship (IDRF) Program provides support for social scientists and humanists to conduct dissertation field research in all areas and regions of the world. The program will award up to 50 fellowships in 2002.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides the funds for this program.

The fellowships will enable doctoral candidates of proven achievement and outstanding potential to use their knowledge of distinctive areas, cultures, languages, economies, polities and historical experiences, in combination with their disciplinary training, to address issues that transcend their disciplines or area specializations.

Fellows will participate in multidisciplinary workshops upon completion of field research. Workshops will highlight Fellows' research agendas and address themes that resonate across cultures and regions. They are intended to facilitate networks and cross-disciplinary exchanges, and to help Fellows engage in issues beyond their doctoral research.


The program is open to full-time graduate students in the social sciences and humanities -- regardless of citizenship -- enrolled in doctoral programs in the United States. The program invites proposals for field research on all areas or regions of the world, as well as for research that is comparative, cross-regional and/or cross-cultural. Applicants must have completed all PhD requirements except the fieldwork component by the time the fellowship begins or by December 2002, whichever comes first. Proposals that identify the US as a case for comparative inquiry are welcome; however, proposals that require no field research outside the United States are not eligible.

Criteria for Selection:

Applications will be assessed in terms of the probability that the proposed research can inform debates that go beyond the specific topic and place chosen for study. Applications should exhibit a grounding in the methods and theories of a particular discipline or subdiscipline, but must also be of demonstrable cross-disciplinary interest. Applications should specify why an extended period of field-based research is critical to the successful completion of the proposed doctoral dissertation. The research design of proposals should be realistic in scope, clearly formulated and responsive to theoretical and methodological concerns. Applicants should provide evidence of having attained an appropriate level of training and skill to undertake the proposed field research, including evidence of an adequate degree of language fluency


Standard fellowships will provide support for nine months in the field, including travel expenses, but they will not exceed $16,000. In some cases the candidate may propose less than nine months of field work, but no award will be given for less than six months of field work.


November 5, 2001. Please note that this is not a postmark deadline.

Application and for more information

For further information, please contact or consult the website at

IDRF Social Science Research Council
810 Seventh Ave.
New York, NY 10019
Visit the Grant website at

Asia Institute