Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

This fellowship encourages original and scientific study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences.

Sponsor: The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation


The Woodrow Wilson Foundation administers the Newcombe Fellowship competition at the request of and in consultation with the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, a private foundation created under the will of Philadelphia philanthropist Mrs. Newcombe, who died in 1979. In addition to the Newcombe Dissertation Fellowships, the Newcombe Foundation funds three college scholarship programs: for physically disabled students, for returning women students, and for minority or economically disadvantaged students attending a small number of colleges related to the Presbyterian church. Since the first round of competition in 1981, more than 1,000 Newcombe Fellows have been named. Fellows from early years of the program are now senior faculty members at major research universities and selective liberal arts colleges, curators and directors at significant scholarly archives, and leaders and policymakers at nonprofit organizations and in cabinet-level government agencies. In the past decade, national honors such as the MacArthur Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences have been accorded to more than a dozen Newcombe Fellows—a number that will continue to grow as more and more Fellows enter the most productive phases of their careers.


Applicants for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship must:

  1. Be candidates for Ph.D. or Th.D. degrees in doctoral programs at graduate schools in the United States. Candidates working on D. Min., law, and other professional degrees are not eligible.

  2. Be able to fulfill all pre-dissertation requirements by the application deadline, including approval of the dissertation proposal, and expect to submit completed dissertations by summer 2010.

  3. Be in the writing stage of the dissertation. Usually, this means that fieldwork or other research is complete and writing has begun by the time of the award.

  4. Have never held a similar national award for the final year of dissertation writing. Applicants who have won such awards as the ACLS, AAUW, Ford, MacArthur, Mellon, Pew, Spencer, or Whiting fellowship are not eligible.

  5. Plan to write on topics where ethical or religious values are a central concern.

  6. Have never applied for the Fellowship before.

Previous applicants may not apply. Please note that, in general, Newcombe Fellows may not accept other awards that provide similar benefits. Smaller local awards and/or those involving opportunities to teach may be permitted, at the discretion of the Newcombe Fellowships Director. Fellows' graduate schools are asked to remit tuition and fees. Fellows may undertake no more than six hours of paid work a week during the tenure of the Fellowship, and then only with the written permission of the director of the program. The Newcombe Fellowship selection process is highly competitive, and reapplications are not allowed. If you have not completed enough work on your dissertation to present a compelling case for it, or to convince the selection committees that you will be able to finish within the 12-month tenure of the award, you should postpone your application for another year.

How to Apply

For application information, visit the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Web site or contact them at:

Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation
35 Park Place
Princeton, New Jersey

Phone: 1-800-899-9963
Fax: 609-452-7828

Past Recipients

2008: Nosheen Ali, Patricia Arzaga, Elizabeth Barre, Andrew Blom,  Angus Burgin, Ezra Davidson, David Dick, Diana Finnegan, Lauren Fleming, Gregg Gardner, Daniel Groll, Hans Martin Hägglund, Joseph Hankins, James Hebbeler, Nicolas Howe, James Jessup, Adam Jortner, Jacob Klein, Daniel Koltonski, Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, Katherine Lemons, Fabiola Lopez-Duran, Kelby Mason, Masaki Matsubara, Ryan Skinner, Kabir Tambar, Farzin Vejdani, Keith Woodhouse, Jennifer Woodruff.