Graduate Resources: External Professional Opportunities, Funding, and Awards


Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)                                                                                                                                                    
ATHE includes 17 focus groups across areas of scholarship and artistic practice and many focus groups have emerging scholars panels for early career graduate students.
International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR)                                                                                                                                                  
IFTR is comprised of continuing working groups focusing on research areas and methodological approaches and also has a New Scholars Forum.
Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC)                                                                                                                                                                  
MATC includes four symposia (Theatre History, Production/Practice, Pedagogy, and Playwriting) as well as a Graduate Emerging Scholar panel.
Performance Studies International (PSI)                                                                                                                                                                        
PSI includes continuing working groups that engage with research areas ranging from Performance in Historical Paradigms to Performance and Science.
Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC)                                                                                                                                                                 
SETC includes a job fair as well as auditioning opportunities.


Summer and Training Opportunities

In an intensive six-week course of study, faculty members and graduate students from around the world, in the humanities and social sciences, explore recent developments in critical theory.
The Institute was designed to provide a shared space of critical inquiry that brings the participants' work-in-progress to the attention of a network of influential scholars.
The Meisner True Acting Institute offers workshops and training for acting and teaching the Meisner Technique.

Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA)

Each year MICHA assembles for two weeks of intensive summer study and exchange in Michael Chekhov's Technique. Approximately 80 artists gather together each year to take part in practical classes. You can register for week one, week two, or for both weeks. Artists new to the Chekhov work are welcome to attend. Classes are organized into tracks: Fundamentals, Continuing, Advanced and Directing. Other classes are organized by theme.
SITI offers workshops, master classes, and summer intensives.
The Summer Institute in Performance Studies is an intensive week-long summer institute, sponsored by the Center for Global Culture and Communication, that involves IPTD and Performance Studies graduate students and a select number of students from other (non-Northwestern) doctoral programs. Each year, the institute director, a member of the IPTD or Performance Studies associate faculty, selects a theme and invites faculty members from within and outside Northwestern to teach small seminars.

External Awards in Support of Conference Travel, Publishing, and Dissertation Research

The Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize is an annual award for the best essay written and published in English in a refereed scholarly journal. The essay can be on any subject in theater research, broadly construed.
The Helen Krich Chinoy Dissertation Fellowship is intended to assist Ph.D. candidates with the expenses of travel to national and international collections to conduct research projects connected with their dissertations.
The purpose of the grants is to encourage students to become active members of the Society by helping them to meet the expenses of attending the ASTR annual meeting in November. ASTR conference registration fees will be waived for grant recipients.
Every other year, this award supports either research or travel to present research at an ATDS sponsored panel.
The Outstanding Article Award acknowledges scholarship marked by methodological sophistication, complex and critical engagement with dramatic texts and performances, focused inquiries, and possible directions for future scholarship in a particular area.
The Multi-Country Research Fellowship supports advanced regional or trans-regional research in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences for U.S. doctoral candidates. Preference will be given to candidates examining comparative and/or cross-regional research.
The New Scholars' Prize is awarded to the best essay, judged on originality, coherence and rigour. The first prize would enable the winner(s) to attend the IFTR conference. It covers the following costs: conference registration, economy travel and student accommodation (or equivalent) for the duration of the conference
The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship program is designed to support emerging scholars as they pursue bold and innovative research in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. The program will make awards to doctoral students who show promise of leading their fields in important new directions. The fellowships are designed to intervene at the formative stage of dissertation development, before writing is advanced, and provide time and support for emerging scholars’ innovative approaches to dissertation research – practical, trans- or interdisciplinary, collaborative, critical, or methodological. The program seeks to expand the range of research methodologies, formats, and areas of inquiry traditionally considered suitable for the dissertation, with a particular focus on supporting scholars who can build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable academy
The award is presented to an individual whose work around cultural performance in some way carries a connection to Conquergood’s own practice. The award of $2,500 (USD) is granted to assist with travel costs to attend the annual PSi conference in-person. The recipient also receives full conference registration and a 1-year membership to PSi.
The Enrichment Bursary is to support new and unaffiliated artists/scholars/activists particularly those from under-represented groups to attend the PSi conference and make a contribution.  The Enrichment Bursary covers the costs of attending the annual PSi conference in-person, including accommodation and registration fee, but not travel expenses (airfare etc.).
The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) offers nine 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 on non-US topics.
The purposes of this fellowship program are to help junior scholars in the humanities and related social sciences gain skill and creativity in developing knowledge from original sources, enable dissertation writers to do research wherever relevant sources may be, rather than just where financial support is available, encourage more extensive and innovative uses of original sources in libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and related repositories in the U.S. and abroad, and capture insights into how scholarly resources can be developed for access most helpfully in the future.


Dissertation Completion Fellowships



Archival Collection Grants and Fellowships

The American Antiquarian Society specializes in printed & manuscript archives and books focusing on North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. They offer short-term fellowships for ABD PhD students engaged in dissertation research who have need of the Society’s collections
  • Short-term Visiting Academic Fellowships: $2,000 for a period of 1-2 months, during the period of June 1 to May 31st

  • Short-Term Virtual Academic Fellowships: $3,000 plus an image reproduction allowance of $500

The Gilder Lehrman Institute provides annual short-term research fellowships for $3,000 each to doctoral candidates in the field of American history. Fellows must complete their research within 1 year of notification of the award.
The Ransom Center awards research fellowships for projects requiring substantial on-site use of the Center's collections, which support exploration of all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history. They provide dissertation fellowships of $2,000 for graduate students whose in-progress doctoral dissertations require the use of the Society’s collections.
Harvard Theatre Collection (Houghton Library)
The Houghton Library Visiting Fellowship Program supports projects that require in-depth research in the Houghton Library’s holdings, as well as providing access to other libraries at Harvard. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $4,500 with an expectation the fellow will be in residence at Houghton for at least 4 weeks in the fellowship year.
Houghton offers the following fellowships specifically for research on the Performing Arts:
  • Beatrice, Benjamin, and Richard Bader Fellowship in the Visual Arts of the Theatre

  • Maryette Charlton Fellowship for the Performing Arts for scholarly research on gender & sexuality

  • Robert Gould Shaw Fellowship for the Harvard Theatre Collection

  • John M. Ward Fellowship in Dance & Music for the Theatre

The Historical Society of Philadelphia & Library Company of Philadelphia jointly award one-month fellowships for archival research in residence in one or both collections each year. All fellowships come with a stipend of $2,500.
The Huntington Library offers fellowships for research in residence using the Library’s holdings & art collections over 14 intersecting collection strengths.
  • Short-term fellowships: $3,500 per month for a fellowship between 1-5 months in duration. Open to scholars in any field where The Huntingdon’s collections are strong. PhD applicants must be admitted to candidacy.

  • Travel grants: $3,500, plus reimbursed airfare for a one-month fellowship conducting research in a library or archive abroad in any of the fields in which Huntingdon collections are strong. Must be ABD by the application deadline.

  • Exchange Fellowships for Study Abroad: 9 one-month fellowships for conducting research at one of the nine following UK institutions, to encourage projects that draw both on The Huntingdon’s collections & in archives across the world: Corpus Christi, Jesus, Linacre, Lincoln, and New Colleges, Oxford; Trinity Hall, Cambridge; Trinity College Dublin/Marsh’s Library; the University of Durham; and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library at the University of Manchester. Stipends vary; The Huntingdon will reimburse for round-trip airfare. Room & board provided by the host institution in the UK. Must be ABD by the application deadline.

The Library Company offers both dissertation and short-term fellowships for archival research in their collections, and the collections of the Historical Society of Philadelphia.
  • Dissertation Fellowships: for a full academic year ($30,000) or one semester ($15,000) for research in residence at the Library Company & the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

  • Short-term fellowships: $2,500 for a period of 4 weeks, for research in either or both the Library Company & Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collections

This resource features a range of opportunities and advice for applying to grants with a strong focus on LGBTQA+ archives and funding opportunities.
The Massachusetts Historical Society holds extensive collections related to American history, especially manuscript & newspaper collections related to the 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-centuries. They provide short-term fellowships open to graduate students to support research in the Society’s collections.
  • Short-Term Fellowships: $3,000 each for conducting research with the Society's collections; open to advanced graduate students

  • Suzanne and Caleb Loring Fellowship: offered jointly with the Boston Athenaeum, this fellowship provides a stipend of $6,000 for at least 4 weeks of research at both institutions; specifically for research on the American Civil War, its origins, and consequences

The Newberry Library offers fellowships to support researchers with a specific need for the Newberry collection. Most short-term fellowships are for 1 month, and come with a stipend of $3,000; the American Trust for the British Library-Newberry Library Transatlantic Fellowship comes with a stipend of $5,000, and preference is given to graduate students. Graduate students must be ABD by the application deadline in order to apply.
The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium is a collaboration of 31 repositories & cultural agencies across New England, offering fellowships for conducting research at multiple participating institutions.  Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $5,000 for a minimum of 8 weeks of research, at no fewer than 3 NERFC member institutions.
Smith College’s Special Collections provides fellowships for research in their collections, including the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History, the Mortimer Rare Book Collection, & the Smith College Archives.
  • Extended term fellowships: $2,500 each for research visits that extend beyond 2 weeks

  • Short-term fellowships: $1,000 each for research visits up to 2 weeks in length

The Winterthur Museum provides fellowships for conducting research in their library & museum, housing over 20,000 American and European imprints, an extensive manuscript collection, and an object collection of more than 90,000 objects focusing on North American history.

  • Dissertation Fellowship: $2,500/month for 4-8months, for doctoral candidates conducting research or writing a dissertation

  • Short-term Fellowship: $2,500 per month, for a fellowship period ranging from 2-6 weeks

  • Remote Fellowship (must contact Winterthur staff before applying)