Deadline: November 4, 2020

Applications for the SSRC Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) 2021 are now open. The Fellowship offers six to twelve months of support to graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are enrolled in PhD programs in the United States and conducting dissertation research about non-US or US Indigenous cultures and societies.

The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program especially welcomes applications from underrepresented institutions. Sixty fellowships are awarded annually. The fellowship includes participation in an SSRC-funded interdisciplinary workshop upon the completion of IDRF-funded research.


  • Fellowship amounts vary depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $23,000.


  • Open to graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences—regardless of citizenship—enrolled in PhD programs in the United States. 
  • Applicants must complete all PhD requirements except on-site research by the time the fellowship begins or by December 2021, whichever comes first.
  • Applicants from select disciplines within the humanities (Art History, Architectural History, Classics, Drama/Theater, Film Studies, Literature, Musicology, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Theory, and Religion) may request three or more months of funding for international on-site dissertation research in combination with site-specific research in the United States, for a total of six to twelve months of funding. 
  • All other applicants (for example, those in Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology, among others) must request six to twelve months of on-site, site-specific dissertation research with a minimum of six months of research outside of the United States.
  • Research within the United States must be site-specific (e.g., at a particular archive) and cannot be at the applicant’s home institution unless that institution has necessary site-specific research holdings. Please note that the IDRF program supports research only and may not be used for dissertation write-up or data analysis.
  • Applicants who have completed significant funded dissertation research in one country by the start of their proposed IDRF research may be ineligible to apply to the IDRF to extend research time in the same country. Eligibility will be at the discretion of the IDRF program, depending on completed research time and funding.


The deadline for application for the 2021 Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship is November 4, 2020.

Click here to apply

For more information, see FAQs and visit Mellon IDRF.

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