Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

2019-20 Competition


About the IDF

The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF) provides a unique opportunity for outstanding Ph.D. students who are engaged in interdisciplinary research to study with faculty at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes during the fellowship year. Applicants designate the host center or institute they believe is the best match with their planned dissertation topic, contingent upon endorsement by the host center or institute. Applicants should check with mentors and directors early to ensure a good match.  All application materials are forwarded to the student’s graduate program for submission to the Graduate School.

The award includes a stipend of $25,000 for the academic year (September-May), tuition for up to 14 graduate credits each semester (fall & spring), and subsidized health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Plan. Summer health insurance will be provided if the Fellow remains eligible.


PROGRAM NOMINATION DEADLINE:  NOON, Friday, November 16, 2018, via the online application.

  • Potential applicants must submit all materials to the designated center or institute by October 22, 2018, to be considered for a letter of endorsement.
  • All letters, including the letter of endorsement from the center/institute director, should be sent to the applicant's program prior to the nomination deadline of November 16, 2018.
  • Programs are not limited in the number of nominations they may submit, however, only one nomination per student is allowed.


How do I apply?  (Instructions for Students)

What documentation is required?  (For Students and Programs)

Program Nomination Procedure and Nomination Form (For Programs)

Endorsement Instructions (For Center/Institute Directors)

Instructions for Letter Writers (For Faculty Mentors and Advisers)

Frequently Asked Questions

Selection & Notification Process:

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 (selection will favor research that integrates disciplines not currently represented in the student's graduate program)
  • the innovativeness of the proposed research
  • how affiliation with the host center/institute will benefit the student
  • the willingness and ability of the center/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
  • the strength of the supporting letters


Nominating programs and center/institute directors will be notified of the outcome by mid-February.