Predoctoral Fellows |
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Predoctoral Fellows


The University of Pennsylvania is pleased to invite applications for the 2021-22 Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity. These awards are designed to provide mentorship and access to Penn’s resources for doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences, enrolled in graduate or professional programs at universities other than Penn, as they complete their dissertations. The Fellowships are intended to support scholars from a range of backgrounds who can contribute to the diversity of Penn and the higher education community.

These residential Fellowships support graduate students in the final stages of dissertation research or writing at Penn for an academic year, normally September through August. They offer an opportunity for scholars who plan an academic career to take advantage of Penn programs and faculty expertise and afford access to libraries and the resources of the Philadelphia region. Each scholar will be selected and hosted by a department or school and assigned a faculty mentor.

The Fellowship provides a stipend of $37,000, health insurance, library privileges, and a $4,000 research and travel fund. Moving expenses, up to $4,000, are also covered. The application deadline was December 11, 2020.

This year, up to five Fellowships will be awarded.


Readings and Resources for Academics – A list created by Lindsey Cameron, Ph.D.  Professor Cameron is Assistant Professor of Management in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and also a member of the 2017-2018 Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity cohort.


Recipients of this fellowship must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and enrolled in a PhD program in the humanities or social sciences at an accredited university graduate or professional school other than Penn. Eligible applicants will have passed all doctoral qualifying examinations and be in an advanced stage of research and writing on an approved dissertation topic. Selected applicants will be of exceptional academic merit and will advance equity, diversity, and inclusion. Applicants are asked to disclose whether they belong to a group that is underrepresented in higher education, come from a disadvantaged background, have overcome significant personal obstacles, and/or pursue academic research on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect disadvantaged or underrepresented sectors of society.


Applicants should submit:

  • Two letters of recommendation, signed and on official letter head. One must come from the dissertation advisor, commenting on the student’s performance, potential, and expected time to degree. At least one of the letters must address the applicant’s contribution to diversity in higher education.
  • Graduate transcript(s).
  • Current curriculum vitae.

Applications will be accepted at

Questions can be addressed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty at

2020-2021 Penn Fellows

(Arts & Sciences)
Rutgers University
Dissertation: ‘They say that we are from Africa’: Race, Slavery, and Haratin Nationalists in 20th Century Morocco

(Arts & Sciences)
Harvard University
Dissertation: Undesirable Citizenry: Narratives of Movement, Mourning, and Migration in the U.S.

(Arts & Sciences)
University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation: Speculative Black Girl Ethics: Reading Practices, Visual Culture, and the Urgency of the Present

(Weitzman School of Design)
University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation: Life on the Border: Constructing the México/U.S. Borderland, 1961-1971

(Annenberg School for Communication)
Penn State University
Dissertation: Online Fight or Offline Flight?: Black and Asian Women’s Perceptions of and Responses to Cyber Aggression

2019-2020 Penn Fellows

Northwestern University
Dissertation: From the Cradle to the Grave: Tracing the Gendered and Sexual Consequences of Surveillance and Punishment in the Lives of Black Men

(Arts & Sciences)
Princeton University
Dissertation: Amazing Grief: The Politics of African American Mourning

(Arts & Sciences)
Duke University
Dissertation: Revolution in the Sheets: The Politics of Sexuality and Tolerance in the Mexican Left, 1971-2001

(Arts & Sciences)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Dissertation: Politics of Composure: Performing Asian/American Femininities

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Dissertation: Kneading our Daughters: Pedagogies of nation building and girls education in (Post)colonial Bahrain

2018-2019 Penn Fellows

(Annenberg School for Communication)
Northwestern University
Dissertation: Necessary Innovations: Local Computer Production in Brazil

(Arts & Sciences)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Dissertation: Do Ethnic and Pan-Ethnic Appeals Mobilize Political Behavior?

(Social Policy & Practice)
City University of New York-Graduate Center
Dissertation: Contested Development of Skid Row: Property, Carcerality, and Abolition 1970s-2015

(Annenberg School for Communication)
University of California Los Angeles
Dissertation: Scratchin’ and Survivin’: Agency and Resilience in the Black Sitcoms of Tandem Productions (1972-1975)

(Arts & Sciences)
University of Chicago
Dissertation: Black, Brown, or Asian?: How Caribbean Indians Negotiate Identify in New York City

2017-2018 Penn Fellows

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Dissertation: Precarious work and workers in the gig economy

Harvard University, Sociology
Dissertation: Privilege and Punishment: Unequal Experiences of Criminal Justice

(Arts & Sciences)
Princeton University, Comparative Literature
Dissertation: Noise and Variations: Decolonizing Sound in Post-1945 Caribbean Literature and Music

(Arts & Sciences)
George Mason University, American History
Dissertation: Because the Night: Nightlife and Remaking the Gay Male World, 1970-2000

Prairie View A&M; University, Educational Leadership
Dissertation: Recruitment experiences of top tier African American student athletes who choose to attend Historically White Institutions (HWIs) instead of Historically Black Institutions (HBIs)

2016-2017 Penn Fellows

Mariana Giusti-Rodriguez
Government, Cornell University
Dissertation: From Social Cleavages to Party Systems: The Impact of Social Network Structures on Party Building Processes in the Andes

Sandy Placido
American Studies, Harvard University
Dissertation: A Global Vision: Dr. Ana Livia Cordero and the Puerto Rican Liberation Struggle: 1931-1992

Kaya Williams
Anthropology, University of Chicago
Dissertation: ‘We Aspire to be Transformative’: Maintaining and Alternative within American Criminal Justice

2015-2016 Penn Fellows

Allison Harris
Political Science, The University of Chicago
Dissertation: Who’s on the Bench? The Political Implications of Judicial Selection Methods

Dominick Rolle
English Language and Literature, Emory University
Dissertation: Properties of Confinement in African Diasporic Autobiographies (1896-1977)

Celeste T.V. Sharpe
History and Art History, George Mason University
Dissertation: They Need You! Disability, Visual Culture, and the Poster Child, 1945-1980

2013-2014 Penn Fellows

Darius Bost
American Studies
Home School: University of Maryland, College Park
Dissertation: Without Witness: Racial Trauma and Contemporary Black Male Subjectivity

Solange Bumbaugh
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Home school: University of Chicago
Dissertation: Meroitic Worship of Isis as Seen through the Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus

Francisco Ramos
Educational Studies
Home school: Indiana University, Bloomington
Dissertation: Appropriating Policy, Practicing Identity: College Student Experiences of Intercultural Education in Veracruz, Mexico

2012-2013 Penn Fellows

Courtney Carter
Graduate School of Education
Home School: The University of Illinois at Chicago
Dissertation: An Investigation of Diversity Initiatives in HBCUs Given Their Race-Specific Mission

Nahir Otaño Gracia
Comparative Literature, School of Arts and Sciences
Home School: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dissertation: Arthur’s Heirs: Arthurian Texts in the Peripheries of Europe

Grace Sanders
Africana Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
Home School: University of Michigan
Dissertation: La Voix des Femmes: Haitian Women’s Rights, National Politics and Activism in Port-au-Prince and Montréal, 1934-1986