FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please see below for information about application requirements and membership in the School of Social Science. 
Applicants may address further inquiries to ias.ss@onlineapplicationportal.com.

ELIGIBILITY

May I apply if my research project does not focus on the School's themeYES. In any given year, about half of successful applicants propose projects directly pertaining to the School's theme. Applications not relating to the theme are equally welcome.

My Ph.D. will be awarded after the application deadline but before the coming academic year begins. Am I eligible to apply? NO. Applicants must have their doctorate in hand no later than the application deadline.

Must I be affiliated with an academic institution? NO. Most applicants hold a position at an academic or research institution, but it is not required.

I am a humanities scholar. Am I eligible to apply? YES. 

I am not a citizen of the United States. Am I eligible to apply? YES. The Institute welcomes fellowship applications from scholars regardless of citizenship or national origin. As a US Department of State designated J1 Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the Institute issues paperwork for our foreign scholars to apply for J1 status; their legal spouses and dependent children can be sponsored on a J-2 Exchange Visitor Visa.

MORE VISA INFORMATION

Does the School of Social Science accept applications for Visiting status from scholars ineligible for membership? NO. While the School previously accepted applications for Visitors, we no longer do so. However, members' partners may be appointed as Visitors if they hold a PhD in an appropriate field.

If I have been a past Member in the School of Social Science, may I apply again? YES, but priority is given to applicants who have never been Members. 

LOGISTICS

What is the length of a membership? Memberships are for the full academic year, typically mid-September through May (precise dates of term are provided after acceptance). Exceptions may be made for scholars from institutions in the Global South whose academic calendars are not in sync with that of the School. Such scholars may apply for a single-term membership.

What does membership require? Members are expected to: 1) be present on campus from mid-September through mid-May, excluding the break between the fall and spring terms (mid-December to mid-January; 2) participate in a weekly, all-School seminar, which includes presenting one's own research to the group; 3) participate in the bi-monthly Theme Seminar if selected for the Theme group. 

Is residency mandatory? This is a residential program. Members rent campus housing, unless they live locally or have accommodations within 20 miles of the Institute. 

How much does campus housing cost? Rental rates for 2022–23 range from $1,085/month for a studio apartment to $2,085 for a 3-bedroom townhouse

May I teach a course at my home institution while I am a Member? NO. Members may not teach regular courses, remotely or in person, during the period of membership.

May I hold a concurrent, residential fellowship during my year as a Member? NO.

FUNDING

How are stipend amounts determined? The School seeks to provide 50% of base salary, with the expectation that the Member's home institution, sabbatical funding, and/or other grants will cover the remainder. Maximum stipend is $78,000. Factors affecting stipend calculation include base salary, availability of leave pay and other institutional support, and/or other grants/awards. 

If I am selected to be a Member but my institution will not provide financial support, what type of funding can I expect to receive from the Institute/School of Social Science? We may be able to provide more than half salary; it depends upon the individual circumstances. Candidates who are selected are contacted to discuss their funding and the School's support.

How is the stipend paid? Members can receive their pay directly from the IAS or by way of their home institution; taxes are withheld; no indirect costs or fringe benefits are built in, and our stipend awards do not allow for institutional overhead.

Is additional funding available? An allowance to help defray the cost of round-trip travel to/from the Institute is provided. All Members also receive a modest research fund, from which up to $800 of non-travel research expenses can be reimbursed. Supplemental assistance for child care for families with preschool-age children may also be available. If no health insurance is provided by your home institution, additional support may be available to help cover the cost of participating in the Institute's policy. 

Is health insurance available through the Institute? YES. Subsidized health care and child care are available to Members (some eligibility criteria apply). As noted above, support may be available to help with these expenses.

APPLICATION

General

Is the application online only? YES. Applicants must apply through the portal. 

May I apply to both the School of Historical Studies and the School of Social Science? YES. Please consider whether you should apply to Historical Studies as well—or instead. Scholars whose research projects pertain to the Schools' overlapping fields, such as politics, history, and anthropology, are encouraged to apply to both programs.

May I apply to both Historical Studies and Social Science with one application? NO. The application systems and selection processes are entirely separate.

I would like to complete different parts of the application at different times. Is that possible? YES. Once you begin the application, you can save your progress and work at your own pace. However, once you submit the application, it cannot be reopened or changed.

May I update my application after I have submitted it? NO. You may save your work and progress through the application at your own pace. Once you have submitted the application you will no longer have access to it, and School staff cannot make changes for you.

I received a promotion after the application deadline. May I add it, or will you make a note of it on my application? NO. Once your application has been submitted, the information cannot be updated.

I completed my application but did not submit it before the deadline. Is it possible to submit after the deadline? NO. Please read the instructions closely and be sure submit your application before the deadline. Once the deadline has passed, School staff cannot override the system and submit on your behalf.

I am not sure whether I submitted my application. How can I check? You will receive an email confirmation when you submit your application. Also, you may log in to the application system to see whether your application is "submitted" or "in progress." 

 

Supporting Materials

How do I submit my research statement, writing sample, and CV? The online application will guide through uploading your supporting materials.

May I provide my supporting documents via email? NO. All materials must be submitted within your online application. 

I have a writing sample that is only 10 pages. May I submit additional samples that will total 50 pages? NO. Only one sample will be read. Any additional writing samples will be discarded.

All of my writing samples are in a language other than English. May I submit one of them? NO. All supporting materials must be in English. If you do not have any writing samples in English, we suggest you have one translated into English and submit the translation.

Does the writing sample have to be a published piece? NO. It is preferable but not required.

An article of mine was published after I submitted my application. May I add it? NO. While you are working on the application, you can save your progress and come back to it whenever you like, but once you have submitted your application it cannot be changed.

May I change the writing sample I uploaded to my application? If you have saved but not yet submitted your application, you can replace any of the supporting documents. Once you have submitted your application it cannot be changed.

Are there any style guidelines for the research statement (e.g., font size, single or double space, etc.)? Please use 1-inch margins and 12-point type; 1 1/2 or double spacing is preferred but single space is acceptable.

Does the four-page maximum for the research statement include bibliography? NO. The four-page allowance is for content. In addition, in a separate document, you may upload a bibliography of up to two pages. Step-by-step instructions are provided in the application.

 

Recommendation Letters

Are letters of recommendation required or accepted? NO. In evaluating applications for Membership in the School, our focus is the quality of the project along with the applicant’s proven ability to undertake and complete it. We are also concerned with the fit of the project and approach with the nature of our School and (where relevant) with our annual theme. We believe our judgments are best made through careful study of the applicant’s project proposal, writing sample, and track record. While letters of recommendation have the potential to enhance this study, they also have the capacity to bias it. We are also alert to the uneven access of our applicants to distinguished scholars in their field for references, and to extreme variations in reference letter norms between the U.S. and other parts of the world.

 

Timeline and Notification

I have applied for the upcoming year. When should I expect to hear if I was selected to be a Member in the School of Social Science? Application results will most likely be communicated by mid-January, via email from ias.ss@onlineapplicationportal.com. Applicants who have not received an email by the end of January should contact the School of Social Science at ias.ss@onlineapplicationportal.com.

I was notified that I am an alternate. When can I expect to learn whether I will be invited to be a Member? The School will promptly contact you via email regarding any updates in your status. Exact time varies year to year, but all candidates can expect to be notified of the final outcome of their application by the end of February.

I was not selected as a Member. May I reapply? YES. Candidates who are not invited to be a Member are welcome to apply in any future cycle. In fact, Members commonly report having applied in previous years before being selected.

My application was not selected. Are reviewer comments available? NO. Due to the quantity of applications, we are unable to provide comments on individual submissions.

If I am unable to accept the School's invitation, may I defer to the next academic year? NO. Deferrals are not possible, but you are welcome to re-apply.