Application Guidelines 

The School of Arts and Sciences announces the continuation of the Mellon Foundation postdoctoral teaching fellowship program in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences. (This program is separate from the Penn Humanities Forum Mellon Postdoctoral program). We hope to attract young scholars to Penn for research while also giving them the opportunity to teach in some of the best humanities and social science departments or programs in the nation. These postdoctoral fellows, who will serve a term of two years, will be departmentally or programmatically based and housed and will be expected to be on campus during the academic year (September – May) of the two years of their fellowship.

The fellows will teach one course a semester for the two years of their appointment at Penn. These courses should include a wide range of teaching experiences at Penn, with a preference for general education courses, including interdisciplinary courses.

Eligibility is limited to applicants who have received the Ph.D. within two years of the time they would begin their appointment at Penn, that is, no earlier than August, 2012. Penn Ph.D.'s are eligible. For the class of 2014-2016, we are seeking one fellow each in Sexuality and Queer Studies (with some knowledge of Transgender Studies) and South Asian classical or vernacular literatures, region and period open.  (Competence in at least two South Asian languages is preferred.)

Applicants will be asked to indicate their own preferences for a faculty mentor (with a list of three possibilities). The departments, programs, and the Dean’s Office will find the best fit between an applicant and a mentor on the basis of faculty willingness and research interests. A mentor will be asked to agree to serve and to “sponsor” the applicant in the competition. The quality of match between sponsor and applicant will be an important criterion in the choice of applicant.

The fellows will be provided with an office by their departments or programs; the Mellon funds will pay to provide them with a computer and printer. The chair and undergraduate chair of the department will work with each fellow on matters of teaching. However, as indicated above, each fellow will also be assigned a faculty mentor closely connected with the area of his or her research; that mentor will be responsible for ensuring that the fellow is connected to the research resources and community at Penn. The fellows will also be affiliated with the Penn Humanities Forum and be invited to take a place in all of its activities, including the weekly seminars and programs, and so will also be connected to a wider community of humanities scholarship at Penn.

The stipend for 2014-2016 is $52,451. The fellows will also have a $2,500 annual budget for research support during their appointment, to be used for research travel, conference travel, publication expenses, or stipends to student research assistants. They will receive single health, dental, and life insurance.

We are delighted that the Mellon Foundation has given us this opportunity to widen the intellectual community and support our best teaching programs in the School of Arts and Sciences.


Application process:

The completed application form, reference letters and supporting materials must be submitted through Interfolio no later than DECEMBER 1, 2013.

Supporting documents include:  Two (2) one-page undergraduate course descriptions; One (1) research proposal (ten (10) pages maximum); One (1) writing sample (twenty (20) pages maximum)


Apply for Fellowship in Sexuality and Queer Studies at:


Apply for Fellowship in South Asian literatures at: