Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Faculty Fellowships are divided into the following categories:

Application Details Eligibility Letters of Reference Selection Process After Selection

Application Details

When is the application deadline?
Applications for 2022-2023 Faculty Fellowships at the NDIAS must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, September 27, 2021.

How will I know that I have successfully submitted my application?
You will receive a confirmation email from Interfolio stating that you have successfully submitted your application. If you have not received that email, please make sure that you have in fact submitted your application. Please note that after uploading all required documents in Interfolio, you will still need to complete the “Review and Submit" step (Step 4 of the process). Don’t forget to scroll down and click “Submit Delivery” at the bottom of the last application step.

Can I send my application in paper form?
No. Because of university guidelines and internal review processes, all applications for our Faculty Fellowships must be submitted using Interfolio. If you are having trouble completing your application, please contact Kristian Olsen at You can also contact Interfolio directly at

May I include a works cited or bibliography page with my research proposal?
Yes. Such a page will not count toward your 6-page proposal limit.

Do you accept supplementary materials such as musical scores, photographs, art works?
Yes. We can accept up to two additional pages of images, musical scores, drawings, or diagrams. These may include sound, graphic files, or other similar non-text materials. For image files, we recommend that you put all your files into a single PDF to upload as a single file.

To whom shall I address my cover letter?
Please address your cover letter to Professor Meghan Sullivan.

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I am a graduate student, am I eligible for a Faculty Fellowship?
If you are a graduate student at any university and will receive your Ph.D. prior to the beginning of the NDIAS Fellowship year (August 2022), then you are eligible for a Faculty Fellowship. If you are a graduate student, please indicate in your application your anticipated graduation date. Graduate students enrolled at the University of Notre Dame who are in the dissertation writing stage of their program should apply for an NDIAS Distinguished Graduate Fellowship.

May I apply for a fellowship for only one semester (or less)?
Yes. While preference is given to applicants who can join the Institute for the entire academic year, we realize that this is not a possibility for some candidates, especially for those in the sciences. If your circumstances require a Fellowship period of less than a year, please address this in your cover letter.

What are the residency requirements?
NDIAS Fellows are expected to remain in residence at or near the University during their Fellowship, to attend and participate in the presentation of Fellows’ research at the weekly seminars, and to participate in other periodic workshops and events hosted by the Institute. 

I live in Chicago (or somewhere close to South Bend). Would I need to relocate to South Bend in order to receive a Fellowship at the NDIAS?
If you live within driving distance of South Bend, you may not need to relocate, so long as you can attend the weekly seminars and institute events and fulfill your other fellowship obligations. If you are offered a Fellowship, we can discuss this option with you further.

I am not a Catholic. Am I eligible for a Fellowship?
Absolutely. We accept applications from scholars irrespective of their religious beliefs. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their fit with the NDIAS theme and mission as well as the strength of their research proposal and other application documents.

If I am not a United States citizen, am I eligible to apply?
Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply for a Fellowship at the NDIAS. If offered a Fellowship, the NDIAS and the University of Notre Dame will assist you in requesting the appropriate U.S. visa.

For international scholars, do you have an English proficiency expectation?
The NDIAS expects Fellows to have proficiency in English for academic purposes. The work of the Institute is conducted in English, and Fellows are expected to contribute in discussion during seminars and with other Fellows and faculty on campus. We do not require results from test scores on the English language; however, if offered a fellowship, the Institute may need to verify necessary language skills.

Do you accept applications or proposals for shared or group projects?
It may be possible for us to support joint projects, so long as the number of collaborators is small (2-3). Collaborators should apply separately and indicate in their cover letters that they are pursuing a joint project. 

I applied for an NDIAS Fellowship in a previous year. May I apply again?
Yes. Applicants who were not successful in the past may reapply in any following year. Keep in mind, however, that our research theme changes from year to year, so you’ll want to make it clear that your research project remains a good fit for the theme of the fellowship year to which you are reapplying.

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Letters of Reference

How do I submit a letter of reference for my application? 
Please request your letters of reference through the Interfolio system. If you are having trouble requesting letters in the system, please see this guide for help. Additional questions may be directed to Kristian Olsen at You can also contact Interfolio directly at

Do I need to complete my application before my letter writers can submit their references?
No. As soon as you enter their contact information into the Interfolio system and request a letter from them, they will receive instructions about how to upload their letters and be able to do so, even if other parts of your application are incomplete.

Do my letter writers need to upload their references before I can submit my application? 
No. Your letters will be automatically attached to your application as they are uploaded, even if you have already submitted your application.

How will I know if you have received the references from my letter writers?
Interfolio will notify you via email each time a new letter is submitted on your behalf.

My letter writer never received uploading instructions from Interfolio. How do I resend the request?
See this guide for resending a reference request. You may want to make sure the email address you entered for the letter writer is correct. You might also ask your letter writer to check his/her spam folder in case the email ended up there.

Can I submit more than two letters of reference?
Yes. Although you are only required to submit two letters, you are welcome to submit up to three. Younger scholars are especially encouraged, though not required, to submit three letters. The third letter can be submitted in Interfolio in the "Additional Documents" section of the application.

Can I submit a letter from someone at my home institution?
Yes, but we strongly advise you not to submit more than one such letter, if possible. We realize, however, that for some applications, especially those beginning their career, more than one home institution letter might be necessary.

Do my letters of reference need to be confidential?
Yes. We require confidential letters of reference. Submitting letters through the Interfolio system ensures that they are confidentially prepared.

My letter writer has already written me a general reference for use on the job market. Can I just use that?
We discourage it. Letters that are too broad or have been created for general use with job applications are often not very useful to our reviewers when making their recommendations and selections. The best letters explain why an applicant and his/her project is a good fit for our program and its annual theme.

When are letters of reference due?
Letters are due the same day the application closes: September 27, 2021.

Will you accept late letters?
Interfolio will automatically attach letters to your application even if they are submitted late. We will attempt to include late letters in the application file we provide to our reviewers; however, our review process moves quickly and begins shortly after the deadline, so we cannot guarantee that late letters will be seen by all reviewers in the process.

To whom shall my letter writers address their letters?
Letters may be addressed to Professor Meghan Sullivan.

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Selection Process

What criteria do you use to evaluate applications?
Applicants are selected on the basis of their fit with the NDIAS mission and fellowship theme, the strength and promise of the research project they propose, and the contribution they make to the diverse, collaborative, and interdisciplinary community the NDIAS aims to cultivate.

Who reviews the applications?
Applications are carefully reviewed by the NDIAS Director and staff, the NDIAS Advisory Board, subject-matter experts on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame, and, if necessary, faculty experts at outside institutions.

What is the acceptance rate of applications?
NDIAS fellowships are highly competitive, with past annual acceptance rates of less than 5%.

When will you contact applicants with offers of your fellowships?
We aim to contact finalists by January 31, 2022.

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After Selection

May my home institution collect indirect costs (F&A) from my fellowship salary?
No. NDIAS fellowships are funded with internal Notre Dame funds and not through an external grant. NDIAS fellowships include no funding for indirect costs (also known as facilities and administrative costs or “F&A”) and Notre Dame does not recover indirect costs (F&A) on these funds. During the term of their fellowships, NDIAS Fellows are in residence at the University of Notre Dame, live on campus, work in Notre Dame facilities, and interact with members of the Notre Dame academic community. Institutional support (including staff support, facilities, materials, housing, weekly seminars, preparation and execution of the Visiting Faculty Agreement, processing appointment and payments, etc.) is provided principally by Notre Dame.

If I am offered a fellowship, will I be able to bring my family with me?
Yes. Many of our Fellows have enjoyed their experience at the Institute in the company of their families. We offer fully furnished housing for our fellows arriving from outside the South Bend area. Institute staff will work with fellows with larger families to identify housing that accommodates their needs and their budgets.

What sort of travel allowance is available to those offered fellowships?
The NDIAS does not pay for the travel expenditures of our Fellows or their families. Because we provide a stipend, subsidized housing, private office, access to University research funding, and other university benefits, we do not fund travel to and from the Institute.

Do you offer deferments if I am unable to accept an offer this year for a fellowship?
No. We do not offer deferments. Because each annual pool of applicants is unique and highly competitive and due to the manner by which we select each class of fellows, deferment is not an option. If you are unable to accept the offer of a fellowship, another highly qualified applicant will be offered the fellowship opportunity.

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