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U-M Faculty Fellowships

The application deadline is December 9, 2019 at 5pm.

The Institute for the Humanities, founded in 1987, promotes interdisciplinary research and discourse in the humanities and the arts. The central function of the institute is to form an intellectual community of faculty and graduate student fellows who spend an academic year in residence in the institute, pursuing their research and participating in a cross-disciplinary, weekly seminar. We seek applicants working in humanities research areas who demonstrate capacity to contribute to and gain from interdisciplinary exchange through the fellows seminar.

The institute has a faculty director and small staff who manage its programming and facilitates research by the resident fellows.  To the core community formed by the faculty and graduate student fellows, we add several distinguished visiting fellows who typically join us for anywhere from one week to a full term.

Faculty Fellowship
Faculty fellows are released from their usual teaching and service duties to pursue their research while continuing to receive their normal salary and benefits. Faculty fellows take up residence at the institute for the full academic year (September 1 - May 31), participate in the weekly fellows seminar, and present a lecture in our FellowSpeak series. The institute directly funds 50 percent of a faculty member's salary and benefits up to a cap of $65,000. The balance is funded by the faculty member's home school/college.

Policies Set by the College of LSA

  1. Applicants must hold a full-time, tenured/tenure-track appointment on one of the university's three campuses: Ann Arbor, Flint, or Dearborn.
  2. Faculty may not apply during the year in which their tenure will be decided.
  3. LSA Faculty must have returned from an academic leave to one year of active duty in order to qualify for a fellowship. They may apply during their year of active duty for the fellowship year following.
  4. Newly hired faculty must teach for two full-time consecutive years in order to take up a fellowship. That fellowship may occur in their third year of employment or thereafter.
  5. Faculty eligible for any college-funded leave who accept our fellowship offer will be expected to combine that support with institute support during the fellowship year. Other schools and colleges have generally followed LSA’s pattern.
  6. During a given year, faculty may not apply for a Humanities Institute Faculty Fellowship if they have applied either for a Michigan Humanities Award offered by OVPR and LSA or for a fellowship in the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies.
  7. Faculty who have already held a Humanities Institute Michigan Faculty Fellowship become eligible to re-apply six years after the end of their earlier award.
  8. The fellowship year does not count towards sabbatical equity
  9. Prospective applicants must consult with their chairs or deans about unit policies and expectations regarding leaves and fellowships before applying.
  10. Applicants must notify the head(s) of the unit(s) in which they hold funded appointments of their intention to apply for a Humanities Institute Faculty Fellowship.

Selection Criteria
The selection committee looks for applicants and projects that will benefit from and contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of the group of fellows and the work of the Fellows Seminar. It seeks to achieve variety and balance in the disciplines represented by the fellows.  

Projects are judged based on (A) promise and significance of the proposed research project; (B) the humanities and arts content of the project; (C) the quality, significance, and breadth of the applicant’s prior work.


  1. Faculty fellows must be in residence at the institute for the academic year (September 1 - May 31).
  2. Faculty fellows must attend and participate in the weekly two-hour fellows seminar.
  3. Faculty fellows are required to fulfill a student engagement component. A proposal must be submitted to and approved by the director after acceptance of the fellowship.
  4. Faculty fellows must participate/attend at least two institute-sponsored events per term.

Application Process and Deadline

The application process for faculty fellowships is changing beginning with the 2020-21 application cycle.  The application deadline will be December 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm.  New instructions for applying for the fellowship will be posted on or before October 1, 2019.  If you have already had a letter of recommendation forwarded to us, we will ensure it is included in your application package even though it was not submitted through the new system BUT we will ONLY accept fellowship applications through the new system.  Once the new system goes live on October 1 then all letters of recommendation must also be submitted through the new system.

Required Elements of the Application

  1. Humanities Institute Faculty Fellowship Application Cover Sheet
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Project description (no more than 1000 words)
  4. Writing sample (such as articles or chapters of books no more than 6000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography) or scholarly work sample (creative work such as audio/visual aids or portfolio placed on a website with the URL provided as a file)
  5. Acknowledgement of Application Form signed by the head(s) of the unit(s) in which you hold funded appointments.

In addition, two recommendation letters are required (one internal, one external to U-M).  Recommenders/referees will also be required to submit their letters through the new system by December 9, 2019 at 5pm.

The selection committee will consider only those applications that are complete and that adhere to the specified word and page limits.

March 2020 is the approximate notification date.