SSRC’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship Receives Grant Extension, Announces New Cohort

Mellon Foundation’s $4.6M Grant Funds Wide-Ranging, Worldwide Research Projects

The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program, for over 20 years a core component of the far-reaching work of the Social Science Research Council, has received a $4.6 million grant extension from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program’s funder since its inception. The grant will fund the 2019 and 2020 fellowship competitions, each of which will select 70 fellows who will conduct research projects that will take them across academic disciplines, cultures, and borders and into new knowledge and discoveries in the humanistic social sciences and humanities.

This grant will also fund related post-research workshops through June 2022, as well as focused IDRF outreach to institutions not frequently represented in the program, such as historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions.

IDRF has also announced its 2018 cohort of 70 fellows, whose research projects encompass anthropology, archaeology, area and cultural studies, art and architectural history, ethnomusicology, film studies, geography, history, linguistics, political science, sociology, women’s and gender studies, and more. The 41 women and 29 men represent 24 public and private universities across the country, from Harvard to the University of California, Santa Cruz, and from the University of Michigan to Middle Tennessee State.

IDRF is one of the few fellowships dedicated to supporting US-based scholars undertaking international research. In the tradition of the over 1,300 IDRF fellows that have preceded them, this new cohort will pursue research that will span the globe, with projects in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. Moreover, 29 percent of 2018 IDRF fellows will conduct research that crosses or combines two or more of these regions.

“From our beginnings nearly a century ago, the Council has been driven by its unflagging commitment to rigorous scholarship and research that expands social understanding and deepens knowledge globally and for the public good,” said SSRC president Alondra Nelson. “The IDRF fellows are central to that work and this 2018 cohort embodies this enduring cause, as well as the SSRC’s longstanding commitment to transnational research.”