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The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Religion & Ethics

The 2014 Newcombe competition is now closed! Fellows will be announced in spring 2014.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am a foreign citizen. Can I apply for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship?

A: Yes, foreign citizens may apply if they meet the following criteria:

  1. They are enrolled in a doctoral program at an American university located in the United States.
  2. They have completed all pre-dissertation requirements.

Q: I am a U.S. citizen studying abroad. Am I eligible to apply for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship?
A: No. Only students currently enrolled in a graduate program in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

Q: If I have applied previously, can I re-apply?
A: No. The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is a dissertation completion fellowship, intended for the final year of dissertation writing. An applicant is not eligible for a second year because there is only one year that is the year of completion. If you have not completed enough work on your dissertation to present a compelling case for it or to convince the selection committees that you will be able to finish within the 12-month tenure of the award, you should postpone your application for another year. Neither may you apply if you have already received funding from another national competition for the final year of dissertation writing.

Q: Who should apply for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship?
A: Ph.D. candidates may apply if all pre-dissertatin requirements are met, if ethical or religious values are central to their dissertations, and they can reasonably expect to complete their dissertations during tenure of the award.

Q: Can the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship be held concurrently with other dissertation completion fellowships?
A: No, applicants who have held a similar national award for the final year of dissertation writing, such as an ACLS, AAUW, Ford, MacArthur, Mellon, Pew, Spencer, or Whiting Fellowship, are not eligible. Any award supported by a national funder, even if it is subsequently allocated by a local institution, is considered to be a national award. It may be possible to combine some local awards with the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship upon approval by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Q: Is an applicant ineligible if s/he has held an ACLS, Mellon, or Ford award that was not a dissertation completion fellowship?
A:
No. If any previous award was not designated as a completion Fellowship, the applicant is eligible.

 Q: Can the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship be held concurrently with other smaller, local awards?
A: Sometimes, yes, but there are restrictions which must be discussed with the Newcombe Program Officer.

Q: What materials are required for a completed application?
A: The online application, unofficial doctoral transcripts, supplemental items (cover sheet, abstract, proposal, bibliography, timetable and C.V.), and three letters of recommendation.

Q: Who should I ask to be my recommenders?
A: You should ask the person who is directing your dissertation and two additional faculty recommenders. (A co-director may be listed as a faculty recommender.) The two faculty members may be from your own institution or department or a different institution or department.

Q: What if I need to change the name of one of my recommenders, but I have already submitted my application?
A: Once you have found an alternate recommender, email our tech-support team at tech-help@woodrow.org. In your email, provide all of the recommender information that is requested in the application (Title, first name, last name, institution, department, and email). For example:

Dear tech-help,

I am applying for the Newcombe Fellowship. My recommender, Professor Jonathan Smith (Jsmith@university.edu), who is in my application as recommender 1, will not be able to submit a letter on my behalf. As a replacement, I will instead be receiving a letter from Professor Janet Jones (Jjones@university.edu) Of XYZ institution, in the ABC department. Will you please help me to make this change in my application?

Thank you for your assistance,

Sally Smith, Ph.D. candidate, XYZ University

Q: Does it matter how I label the files that I submit for my application?
A:
Yes. Labeling the files correctly will ensure all of your documents are associated with your application. Please refer to this document for correct labeling. Please note that it is also in your best interest to communicate the importance of correct labeling to the Professors who are submitting Letters of Recommendation.

Q: Does it matter what I put in the subject line of the email I am sending with my submission?
A:
Yes. A correct subject line will ensure that your documents are quickly and accurately associated with your application. Please refer to this document for the correct subject line. Please note that it is also in your best interest to communicate the importance of a correct subject line to the Professors who are submitting Letters of Recommendation.

Q: How do I email my recommender the Request for Letter of Recommendation?
A:
Using this template, there are four options to send this information to your recommender:

  1. Where available, open the template, use highlight/copy/paste and insert the text in an email to your recommender.
  2. Print the template and hand-deliver the request.
  3. Do a right-click, save as, and save the file to your computer, then add it as an attachment to an email to your recommenders.
  4. Open the template, highlight the web address and copy/paste the address into an email as a link directly to the Request for Letter of Recommendation.

* Please note: In all of these options, the letter itself does not contain your personal information. You must provide that either on the request itself, or within the email that you send.

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