Do I need to identify and contact a mentor before I apply?
Our fellows are paired with mentors outside of the fellows’ home discipline; the selection committee takes some pride in matching successful applicants with appropriate mentors on campus. While applicants should have a sense of the discipline or disciplines into which they need to extend their expertise, they are not asked to identify or contact a mentor.
To whom should I address my cover letter?
You should address your cover letter either to the Selection Committee or to Professor Joseph Loewenstein, Director of Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry.
Who’s on the Selection Committee?
The Selection Committee changes from year to year, but it includes senior faculty from the humanities and interpretive social sciences. You should not expect that your file will be reviewed by faculty from your home discipline, although they may be consulted: expect a reading from curious, rigorous faculty who may not have expertise in your field.
Is this postdoc for humanities PhD.s only? May fellows in other disciplines apply?
As the name implies, this is an interdisciplinary fellowship. Successful applicants will have a disciplinary home in the humanities or interpretive social sciences, though their disciplinary extensions may take in the arts, natural sciences, or “hard” social sciences.
When will I hear back about my application?
Each year the timeline is slightly different. The Selection Committee will aim to inform applicants about the current timeline by mid-February.
Are fellows eligible for research funds?
Yes. Each year, in addition to the annual salary, fellows are awarded a set amount of funds for research expenses and travel.
Do I have to report to someone regularly?
This is a residential fellowship and fellows are expected to meet regularly with their mentors, to participate in campus intellectual life, and to log plenty of office and library time. Fellows meet regularly with the MII Director, but there is no formal reporting system.
What’s the difference between MII and IPH?
Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry fellows are housed in the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities (IPH), an academic unit that offers an undergraduate major, two minors, and a graduate certificate. Courses offered by the MII fellows are often hosted by IPH.
What sorts of courses do postdocs teach? (Do I get to teach courses in my home discipline?)
Fellows may teach in their home disciplines, but are encouraged to teach across disciplines (through IPH) or in their “aspirational” discipline. The fellowship is meant to enable ambitious scholars in early career to develop disciplinary and methodological bona fides beyond the area of their primary doctoral training. Fellows sometimes offer courses pitched to first-year undergraduates, more advanced undergraduates courses, and a theory and methods course pitched to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
What should go into the proposal for the interdisciplinary seminar in theory and methods?
The Theory and Methods seminar is a course in critical theory and scholarly methods for advanced undergraduates and graduate students; it should be framed on behalf of students in a broad range of humanities disciplines. The course can have a thematic focus, but not one that would substantially narrow its utility or appeal to a range of potential students.
By “a short syllabus,” we mean a solid sketch, with a sense of what the core readings — and, perhaps, the central written work — would be. Applicants need not prepare a detailed syllabus, with all the attendant exhortations to students.
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