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Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship

Each Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship is worth $35,000; a modest stipend of $2,000 will also be provided to each fellow for travel on behalf of their dissertation research.

Updated Spring 2021 Nomination Deadline:  Friday, April 16, 2021


Students enrolled in any of the College’s Doctor of Philosophy programs in the humanities and social sciences may be nominated. Students must be admitted to candidacy in their degree program, have passed comprehensive exams, and have received approval of their dissertation proposal. They must also meet additional criteria related to citizenship and financial need. Fellowships are for 2021-2022 and are not renewable. Please see the Memorandum Call for Nominations, and the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Dissertation Fellowships Administrative Guidelines for instructions and eligibility requirements.

Nomination Guidelines

The Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowships will be awarded by a competitive process and there is a two-stage evaluation process. Nominations forwarded to the College for the second stage of review must be made by the department chair or program director offering the degree program. A full description of the two-stage evaluation process is included in the Administrative Guidelines.

All of the forms below are in fillable PDF format.  Nominees should click the download icon or right click on the document link to save the file and then open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete.  

Nominations selected by units for submission to the College must include the following:

  1. Student’s Bilinski Fellowship Application Cover Sheet [pdf]  with the student’s full name, contact information, program information, dissertation abstract, student’s and graduate director’s signatures. By signing this form, the director of graduate studies certifies that the applicant has advanced to candidacy, passed all comprehensive exams, and successfully defended a dissertation proposal prior to the application deadline. This form can be filled out using Adobe and submitted electronically in the nomination packet.
  2. Student’s Fellowship Financial Disclosure Form [pdf]. This form can be filled out using Adobe and submitted electronically in the nomination packet.
  3. Student’s statement of professional goals (maximum one page, double spaced.)
  4. Student’s proposal describing the dissertation that includes the following sections: proposal narrative (2-3 pages, double spaced) and a timetable for completion (maximum one page, double spaced.)
  5. Student’s curriculum vitae containing information on previous education, teaching and research experience, professional publications, and awards or honors.
  6. Letter of recommendation from the student’s dissertation chair addressing the significance of the dissertation topic and the nominee’s ability to complete the dissertation in the time period allowed by the fellowship.
  7. Bilinski Fellow’s Agreement on Use of Fellowship Funds [pdf] signed by the student. This form can be filled out using Adobe and submitted electronically in the nomination packet.
  8. All nominees selected by units to move forward to the Office of the Dean must complete an online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filed no later than March 15, 2021

Nomination Timeline

Timeline Process or Procedure 
  • Dean’s office issues call for nominations.
  • Units establish process for Stage 1 of the evaluation process.
  • Units solicit nominees internally.
  • Units work with nominees, dissertation directors, and directors of graduate studies to assemble nomination packets.
  • Units evaluate nominations according to established process.
March 8
  • Unit nomination process should be completed. Units select no more than 8 nominations to forward to the College level.
  • Units notify all nominees of internal decisions and instruct those whose packets will move forward to the College level to complete the FAFSA.
March 15
  • Students whose nominations will be forwarded to the College level must have completed the FAFSA.
March - early April
  • In the case of multiple nominations, department chair or, where relevant, program director writes separate letter both ranking and explaining the unit’s ranking of the nominees.
  • Units ensure that nomination packets are complete.
April 16 
  • Units submit nomination packets electronically to the College. Electronic copies (single pdf, labeled with degree program, student’s last name, student’s first name) should be e-mailed to
  • In cases of multiple nominations, units submit letter explaining ranking of nominations and include letter with each nomination packet. (Letter should be included with each paper copy and attached to each electronic copy.)
May 14 
  • College notifies nominees and units of results.


Nomination Submission

Each nomination packet should be prepared and submitted separately. If there are multiple nominations from a single unit, a separate letter ranking the nominations and justifying the ranking must be submitted in addition to the individual nomination packets.

Nominations packets should be submitted via email to and must received by the Office of the Dean by Friday, April 16, 2021.  Electronic copies of the nomination packet should be submitted as a single, consolidated PDF, labeled with degree program, student’s last name, student’s first name.



Please contact Cynthia Davis ( or Elise Ahyi ( with any questions.

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