Graduate Fellowships

In 2021-2022, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study is piloting a premium fellowship program to support six Notre Dame doctoral students with exceptional academic records whose research and career interests centrally involve interdisciplinary engagement with questions that have ethical upshots. Ph.D. students entering their 4th or 5th year in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters who are engaged in dissertation research are welcome to apply. Fellows will be members of the NDIAS for the 2021-2022 academic year, working alongside the residential faculty fellows selected for the 2021-2022 Resilience project.

Apply Now for a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship

The application period for 2021-2022 Distinguished Graduate Fellowships is now closed. The application period will open again in Spring 2022.


Graduate student asks about philosophy behind a poem

Ph.D. fellows will fully participate in the Institute's academic program, including:

  1. Joining the Institute’s two annual retreats designed to help fellows develop work that is accessible to broad audiences;
  2. Presenting in the bi-weekly Graduate Fellows Research Seminar, giving talks and workshopping research writing;
  3. Participating in the weekly Faculty Fellows Research Seminar;
  4. Participating in Institute dinners, conferences, and public engagement events;
  5. Engaging in research and career mentorship with Institute faculty, staff, and project partners.

Ph.D. fellows will be expected to be in residence at the Institute for the academic year and will be offered shared office space. While on fellowship, they should be free of departmental teaching and service obligations and will be expected to commit full-time to their dissertation research and participation in the Institute’s academic program.

Fellows may spend up to 20% of their time participating in a leadership externship arranged through the Institute. These projects include working on a grant writing team, working with our educational outreach program, collaborating with Institute leadership on special projects, or working on a project with a partner interdisciplinary center. If a particular teaching opportunity is relevant to the Fellow’s career plan during the fellowship, they may apply to the Institute for special permission to offer their course while on the fellowship.

Alongside active participation in Institute programming, Fellows are expected to give a research lecture, workshop a substantial piece of writing, meet regularly with their dissertation advisors, and make substantial progress on their dissertation during the fellowship period.

In 2021-2022, two of the Fellowships will be co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center (ND-TEC). NDIAS/ND-TEC Fellows have the same benefits and obligations as other fellows and will also participate in programs sponsored by ND-TEC and the Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab. ND-TEC fellows will be eligible for externship opportunities within ND-TEC and the Tech Ethics Lab. Their research and career interests should also align with ND-TEC’s mission.


Fellows will be given a stipend of $30,000 plus fringe benefits payable over 12 months, replacing their normal Notre Dame Ph.D. support for the year. (This stipend level continues only for the year of the fellowship.) Fellows are required to be in residence September through May of the fellowship year. 

Fellows will also be provided up to $1,000 in individual research support for expenses related to participation in the Institute’s many enrichment programs. Ph.D. students from other Notre Dame colleges and those who have already been awarded a Notebaert Premier Fellowship are not eligible for a stipend, but they are welcome to inquire about applying for the program if they are otherwise eligible for participation.


Fellows will be selected by a competitive application, referral, and interview process in March 2021. Applicants will be asked to submit the following materials on the NDIAS portal:

  1. A statement of interest (no more than two pages) that addresses (1) what knowledge or skills you would offer to the intellectual life of the NDIAS (and ND-TEC if applicable) and your interest in the 2021-2022 Resilience theme, (2) how investment in an interdisciplinary community would advance your research and career plans, and (3) a specific previous experience you have had engaging with a scholar from another discipline;
  2. Contact information for two references. At least one should be involved in advising your dissertation research. Your references do not need to submit letters at this time but should be able to comment on your suitability for the fellowship program when contacted;
  3. A one-page description of your dissertation research along with a draft table of contents for your dissertation by chapter. If applicable, note chapters that are fully or partially drafted;
  4. Your Curriculum Vitae;
  5. An unofficial graduate transcript;
  6. A letter signed by your DGS acknowledging your intent to apply to the program;
  7. A completed application form.

Selection Criteria

Ph.D. fellows will be selected by a panel composed of faculty and staff affiliated with the NDIAS and ND-TEC. After determining eligibility, the panel will weigh five criteria:

  1. Quality of Research Profile: Excellent performance in the Ph.D. program to-date and exceptional potential for the proposed research project;
  2. Interdisciplinary Potential: The Fellow’s research and career interests align with the mission of the fellowship program. We aim to compose a fellowship cohort with diverse methods and evidence sources. Particular fellows should be firmly rooted in a single discipline but able to identify ways that other methods or sources of evidence might benefit their work;
  3. Collaborative Commitment: The Fellow’s demonstrated commitment to contributing to research culture in an interdisciplinary institute. We particularly look for evidence of initiative, optimism, curiosity, intellectual humility, and the ability to draw others into research questions;
  4. Potential for Impact: The likelihood that this fellowship will accelerate and deepen the Fellow’s research and have an impact on our understanding of an ethically significant issue;
  5. Thematic Fit: The Fellow’s interests fit with the particular Resilience theme structuring the 2021-2022 Faculty Fellowship program.

Applications should be submitted to the NDIAS's online portal.

The application period for 2021-2022 Distinguished Graduate Fellowships is now closed. The application period will open again in Spring 2022.

Questions about the program may be directed to Maria Di Pasquale, Associate Director at

Apply Now for a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship