New Directions Fellowships
Serious interdisciplinary research often requires established scholar-teachers to pursue formal substantive and methodological training in addition to the PhD. New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities, broadly understood to include the arts, history, languages, area studies, and zones of such fields as anthropology and geography that bridge the humanities and social sciences, who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The program is intended to enable strong scholars in the humanities to work on problems that interest them most, at an appropriately advanced level of sophistication. In addition to facilitating the work of individual faculty members, these awards should benefit humanistic scholarship more generally by encouraging the highest standards in cross-disciplinary research.
The university and the recipient's department should understand that New Directions Fellowships are primarily for advanced training in pursuit of a specific research agenda. Unlike other fellowship awards, this program does not aim to facilitate short-term outcomes, such as completion of a book. Rather, New Directions Fellowships are meant to be viewed as longer-term investments in scholars' intellectual range and productivity.
The Foundation has awarded New Directions Fellowships since 2002. View a complete list of recipients.
Terms of the Awards
Candidates will be faculty members who were awarded doctorates within the last six to twelve years and whose research interests call for formal training in a discipline other than the one in which they are expert. Such training may consist of coursework or other programs of organized study. It may take place either at fellows' home institutions or elsewhere, as appropriate. Although it is anticipated that many fellows will seek to acquire deeper knowledge of other fields within the broadly defined sphere of the humanities evoked above, proposals to study disciplines farther afield will also be eligible. The principal criteria for selection are: (1) the overall significance of the research, (2) the case for the importance of extra-disciplinary training for furthering the research, (3) the likely ability of the candidate to derive satisfactory results from the training program proposed; and (4) a well-developed plan for acquiring the necessary training within a reasonable period of time.
Fellows will receive: (1) the equivalent of one academic year's salary; (2) two summers of additional support, each at the equivalent two-ninths of the previous academic year salary; and (3) tuition, course fees, or equivalent direct costs associated with the fellows' training programs. To permit flexibility in meeting individual scholars' needs, these funds may be expended over a period not to exceed three full academic years following the date of the award. The Foundation also expects the fellow's home institution to use such budgetary relief as the award may occasion for academic purposes, preferably in the fellow's department.
Selection Process and the Making of Grants
Institutions will be invited to participate in this program and will be asked to solicit proposals from eligible faculty members in the humanities wishing to further their research by engaging in programs of study in fields other than their own.
It is expected that institutions will communicate the particulars of both the program and the application process to faculty in all the relevant academic departments and programs. Following an internal competition to be overseen by a committee of senior faculty members in the relevant disciplines, each institution will forward the proposal it has selected to the Foundation. The Foundation convenes a panel of distinguished scholars which chooses 10-15 finalists to present to the Foundation's Trustees. Institutions and individual recipients will be notified and, if necessary, will work with Foundation staff to develop their final requests. Once the Trustees have given their final approval, grants will be awarded to, and administered by, the fellows' home institutions.