IDF Fellowship

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships for 2014-15
Graduate School Application Deadline: 12 Noon, Thursday, November 14, 2013*  

*Several interdisciplinary centers/institutes have preliminary review processes to select which students will receive a letter of support from the director.  Some internal deadlines are shown below.    


This list of internal deadlines (below) is not exhaustive; all applicants must check with their center/institute to determine the internal process and/or deadlines:

  • Advanced Study, Institute for: Internal deadline October 18, 2013 (more information)
  • Early Modern History, Center for: Internal deadline is October 18, 2013
  • Environment, Institute on the: Internal Deadline is October 25, 2013 (more information)
  • Medieval Studies,  Center for: Internal deadline is October 18, 2013
  • Minnesota Population Center: Internal Deadline October 18, 2013
  • Study of Global Change, Interdisciplinary Center for the: Internal Deadline October 28, 2013 (more information)

NOTE: Applicants should contact centers/institutes directly to verify receipt of center/institute internal deadline requirements.



The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF), administered on behalf of the Provost's Interdisciplinary Team, provides a unique opportunity for outstanding doctoral students doing interdisciplinary research, who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes.  Applicants designate the host center or institute they believe is the best match with their dissertation topic, contingent upon endorsement by the the host center or institute.  Applicants should check with mentors and directors early to ensure a good match.

The award includes a stipend of $22,500 for the academic year, plus tuition and subsidized health insurance for the academic year.  Summer health insurance will be provided if the Fellow remains eligible.


The competition is open to Ph.D. students, by application, with endorsement from the student’s graduate program and faculty in the host center or institute.  Successful applicants are likely to be students who are in at least the second year of their program at the time of application, and who are making timely degree progress.

Students who have previously accepted a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship or an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship are not eligible. 

Application Procedure:

  1. Start Application
    • Create a username and password. 
      • If you are applying to multiple fellowship competitions, you will need to create a new user login for each application.
  2. Send Letter Requests - To ensure that letter writers have sufficient time prior to the deadline:
    • Complete sections 1-3 of the electronic application (Applicant Information, Eligibility, and Recommenders), then select "SEND" options (in section 5) at the bottom of the application page.
    • Your letter writers will receive an email with instructions and a link.  
    • If your center/institute wishes to see support letters, you will need to inform your letter writers of the internal process/deadline.
    • You will receive notification when the letters are uploaded.
  3. Complete the Application
    • Complete section 4 of the electronic application. 
    • NOTE: You must first complete sections 1 & 2 in the application in order to view all required questions in section 4.
    • Section 4 (Application) - details your credentials and the proposed project, and includes all of your uploaded documentation.
  4. Revise your Application
    • You may continue to revise your entire application until the deadline. 
    • To resume/edit your application,  log-in with your username and password, then select the pencil icon (located on the far left).
    • Select SAVE/UPDATE at the bottom of the application page to register your changes.
    • Please note that your application is "submitted" each time you select "SAVE/UPDATE" or "SEND" at the bottom of the screen.  Submitted information will only be viewed after the application deadline.

The following is a summary of the information you will need to complete the electronic application. 
Log-in to the application for complete instructions.

Section 1:  Applicant Information 

  • Name, email address, student ID, program, host center or institute

Section 2: Eligibility Information

  • Confirm eligibility, indicate human/animal subjects use

Section 3: Letter Writers

Applicants should check with mentors and center/institute directors early to ensure a good match.  Applicants are responsible for determining if the center/institute has internal selection procedures, and for providing letters to centers/institutes, if required. 

  • Name and email address of:
    •  Director of the host center or institute
    • Mentor(s) from host center or institute
    • Adviser(s)
    • Director of Graduate Studies (of applicant's program)
  • Letter writers will receive an email with instructions.

Section 4: Application

  • (Working) Dissertation/Research Title
  • 100-word abstract of proposed research
  • Research proposal - Two-pages, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, no references are required, diagrams or pictures may be included on one appendix page.
    • Describe the proposed interdisciplinary research or scholarly project.
    • Explain how your scholarship will benefit from residence at the designated center/institute.
    • Describe the potential significance and contribution of your research to your field.
  • Curriculum Vitae
    • Two-pages, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, focus on publications, presentations, academic accomplishments & awards.
  • Education Statement
    • Electronic form, completed and uploaded.
  • Unofficial UMN graduate transcript (with explanation of any incompletes)
  • If applicable, IRB/IACUC documentation for human/animal subjects (see application)

Section 5: Save/Update or Request Letters

  • Electronic signature, copy of application and letter request options


Review and Selection

The review will be conducted by a University-wide faculty committee.  Selection of recipients will be based on the following criteria:

  • the interdisciplinary nature of the research project,

  • how affiliation with the host center or institute will benefit the student,

  • the willingness of the host center or institute and its faculty to host the student during the fellowship year,

  • the student's independence, originality, and the comparative strength of the academic record,

  • the potential contribution of the research to the field, and

  • the strength of the supporting letters .


The student will be notified of the outcome by mid-February.

Award Policy

Duplicate Awards - Recipients may not hold concurrently a second fellowship, scholarship, grant, or similar award that duplicates the benefits of the Fellowship.

Supplementation - Recipients may hold supplemental support up to the value of a 25-percent graduate assistantship from any source in each semester.

Terms of Award - Although recipients need not be in residence during the tenure of the fellowship, they must be registered for credit in the Graduate School both semesters of the academic year.


Please direct questions about these awards to the Graduate Fellowship Office at 612-625-7579 or


2014-15 Recipients
2013-14 Recipients
2012-13 Recipients
2011-12 Recipients