Postdoctoral Fellowship for Transregional Research - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Fellowship Details & Eligibility
What are the overall purposes of the Fellowship Program?
The Postdoctoral Fellowship for Transregional Research: Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections aims at promoting excellence in transregional research and interrogating boundaries that have long divided world geographies and academic communities. Fellowships will be awarded for projects that reconceptualize research on Asia as an interlinked historical and geographic formation stretching from the Middle East (including Turkey) through Eurasia, Central Asia, and South Asia to Southeast Asia and East Asia.
Specifically, the fellowships will reward work that promises to push the boundaries of current frameworks for transregional and transnational research. The grants will enable fellows to devote sustained attention to completing first books and/or formulating second projects and developing innovative teaching materials and resources. In addition, the fellows’ workshop will create networks and shared resources that will continue to support fellows well beyond the grant period.
By targeting junior scholars 1-7 years out of the PhD, these fellowships provide crucial support at a time when it may be easier for researchers to explore broader dimensions of and contexts for their work (including interdisciplinary perspectives) than during the dissertation itself. In addition, these fellowships will:
Enable researchers whose training has been primarily disciplinary to deepen engagements with regional scholarship (and vice versa) and to develop cross-regional or multi-site projects that depend on investments in language learning and gaining site-specific knowledge.
Provide occasions for bringing people from more literary, historical and social science branches of the humanities into stronger interactions with one another through the study of specific themes or sites (e.g. classicists, historians, anthropologists and sociologists engaged in Mediterranean studies).
Allow for bringing people with experience in specific transregional contexts together to undertake comparative research around transregional phenomena such as waterways, diasporas, aid relationships, or cultural flows.
What do you mean by “Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections”?
We view “Inter-Asia” in the context of flows, convergences and comparisons -
Flows - the exploration of historical and/or contemporary transnational/cross-national/trans-regional processes, structures, practices, and flows within and across the territorial and imaginative space of Asia;
Convergences - the responses of different Asian societies to common processes; and
Comparisons involving the investigation of particular topics across specific societies/polities across Asia, especially those that explore diverse and innovative units of comparison.
Through “Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections” we seek to reconceptualize Asia as a dynamic and interconnected formation and to move discussions beyond the territorial fixities of area-studies research without discounting the importance of contextually grounded, place-based knowledge. “Inter‐Asia” as a theme not only helps examine connections and continuums that transcend traditional area studies divides but also reexamines topics such as urban transformations, knowledge networks and migration as forms of “Asia‐making.” More broadly, through a focus on the “reregionalization” of Asia, the projects supported by the fellowship program will further the understanding of how globalization operates through various types of territorial and extraterritorial processes.
For examples, see workshops and conferences organized by the SSRC on this theme and a list of the 2012 Postdoctoral Transregional Research Fellows.
What countries are included in “Inter-Asia”?
All countries and regions stretching from West Asia to Eurasia to Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. We are interested in rethinking Asia as an interconnected historical, cultural and contemporary formation spanning the continent.
Do you accept comparative proposals that include one or more countries within Asia as well as countries/regions outside of Asia?
Yes. We encourage proposals that conduct innovative comparisons within and beyond Asia. Projects that address the ways in which global and inter-continental processes flow through and connect with Asian locations are also welcomed.
Is funding limited to particular topics or themes?
No. We encourage proposals on a diversity of themes – both historical and contemporary – however applicants will be asked to describe the ways in which their project contributes to the understanding of Inter-Asian contexts and connections.
Is funding limited to particular disciplines?
No. This fellowship competition is open to all disciplines across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Is this fellowship only open to scholars at particular stages in their academic careers?
Yes. Fellowship recipients must be in receipt of the PhD by June 30, 2013 and must be no more than 7 years out of a PhD program (e.g. all applicants must have received the PhD no earlier than January 1, 2006).
Are there affiliation requirements for this fellowship?
Yes. Fellows must be affiliated with a US-based institution for the duration of the fellowship term and applicants will be asked to describe the nature of their affiliation in the preliminary pre-proposal and to provide letter/s of affiliation if invited to submit a full proposal. While applicants and fellows need not be full-time employed at a US-based institution, and independent scholars can apply, the nature and strength of the affiliation will be taken into account. Applicants will be asked to describe both their primary home affiliation and secondary affiliation(s) (if any). Applicants will also be asked to detail the ways that the proposed research will serve to build upon larger, institutional infrastructures, or to create new structures where they did not previously exist and/or benefit from or contribute to the work of other scholars, or networks of researchers, within the affiliated institution(s).
Are there citizenship requirements for this fellowship?
What is the amount of the fellowship?
Fellowships will be awarded for up to $45,000.
What are considered eligible fellowship expenses?
Fellowships funds may be expended over the 15 month period from July 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014, and can be used for salary support, travel and living expenses in the field, data collection, language acquisition, research assistance, books and materials, and limited equipment and software.
Research funds may NOT be used for university overhead; for individual or institutional contributions to retirement plans, social security, or other insurance programs; for payments on loans, mortgages, or other personal indebtedness; the storage of personal/household effects; tuition for children's schooling or subsidies for publications.
Funds may be used for attending conferences with prior written approval from the SSRC, and only if the fellow is presenting on fellowship-related research and his/her attendance directly furthers the purposes of the fellowship-supported research project.
Do fellowship funds need to be expended in one continuous period?
No. Applicants will be asked to provide a draft research schedule/timeline in the preliminary pre-proposal phase, and to provide a final research schedule/timeline if invited to submit a full proposal. Applicants will be asked to describe the feasibility of meeting the fellowship objectives within the proposed timeframe, but fellowship funds do not need to be expended in one continuous period. Funds can be used, for example, for salary support and research assistance during the fall semester and for international travel support in a different semester or during the summer months.
Are there particular conditions tied to the fellowship?
Yes. Fellows will be required to attend a fellows' workshop in October 2013 for which they will be asked to prepare specific materials and presentations linked to their research. The SSRC will cover all costs associated with workshop attendance, and these expenses do not need to be included in individual project budgets.
In addition, fellows will be required to submit a final report no later than October 1, 2014 and will be required to acknowledge the fellowship support in any publications resulting from the fellowship.
How do I apply for a SSRC Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections Post-doctoral Research Fellowship?
Applicants are required to submit a preliminary pre-proposal by the deadline of March 29, 2013. This pre-proposal is comprised of two main sections – applicant details and project details. In addition, all prospective applicants will be required to submit a 2-3 page Curriculum Vitae and one letter of reference by this deadline.
All pre-proposals must be submitted online. Online application materials can be accessed on the project’s website. In addition, all reference letters must be submitted online. The online application form includes detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to request an online reference, as well as instructions for your letter writer on how to submit an online reference.
These pre-proposals will be evaluated by the Program’s Selection and Advisory Committee, and select applicants will be contacted before the end of April 2013 and invited to submit a full proposal by the deadline of May 30, 2013. At the full proposal stage, applicants will be expected to provide additional project details, including a 10-page narrative research proposal, a specific research plan/timeline and a project budget – including the total amount requested and a breakdown of the expenditure of funds. In addition, applicants that have passed onto this stage will be asked to submit letter(s) of affiliation as relevant.
Full proposals will not be submitted via an online applications system. Materials will be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants will be provided with detailed application instructions at both stages.
What does submitting a preliminary pre-proposal entail?
In the preliminary pre-proposal you will be asked to provide general details on your educational and professional background. In addition, you will be asked to provide details on your proposed research project, including a brief abstract, a proposed research schedule and an estimated budget. You will also be asked to address the following six questions.
Describe your research question/hypothesis. (LIMIT 350 WORDS)
How does your research build on existing scholarship? (LIMIT 350 WORDS)
How does your research contribute to an understanding of “Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections?” (LIMIT 350 WORDS)
What are your specific objectives, outputs, activities for the fellowship period? How do you propose to expend the fellowship funds, and what do you hope to achieve? (LIMIT 200 words)
Describe the feasibility of conducting the proposed research and working towards objective(s) outlined in Question 4. Describe your training and preparedness for this research (language and/or technical skills) as well as how previous research and/or collaborations will contribute to this project. (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Where will you be primarily affiliated during the fellowship term and why? If this has not been confirmed, please include details about prospective affiliation(s) and note that you will be asked to confirm this upon submitting a full proposal (if relevant). How will this affiliation benefit your proposed research project? How will this affiliation contribute to the work of other scholars, or networks of researchers, within the affiliated institution(s)? This question applies even if you are expecting to stay at your home/current institution. If you are proposing to conduct research overseas and will have a short-term, secondary affiliation, please describe that here as well. (LIMIT 200 words)
Who should I ask for a letter of reference?
Your reference letter writer should be someone who is most familiar with the proposed fellowship-supported research project. You do not necessarily need to request a letter from your dissertation committee chair or primary advisor; however it may be appropriate to request a letter from him/her depending on the nature of the proposed research.
When will award decisions be announced and what are the terms of the fellowships?
Award decisions will be announced in June 2013. Fellowship terms can begin as early as July 1, 2013, and fellowship funds can be expended over the 15-month period from July 1, 2013-September 30, 2014.