The application cycle for postdoctoral fellowships for 2018–2020 is now closed.

Please note that candidates who applied previously and wish to be considered again must submit a new application.


To apply for the 2018–2020 cohort, candidates must have received their Ph.D. no earlier than July 1, 2014 and must have completed their doctoral degree by July 1, 2018. Scholars who received their doctorates from the University of Southern California are not eligible to apply. Non U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for this program.

Applicants’ research and teaching must be in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. We adhere to the guidelines provided by the ACLS:

“the humanities and humanistic social sciences include but are not limited to American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art and architectural history; classics; economics; film; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology (excluding clinical or counseling psychology); religious studies; rhetoric, communication, and media studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies. Proposals in the social science fields listed above are eligible only if they employ predominantly humanistic approaches (e.g., economic history, law and literature, political philosophy, history of psychology).”

Proposals are welcome from applicants with interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary projects. Proposals may focus on any period and geographic region.

The Application

Applicants will be evaluated based on their academic accomplishments, the significance and intellectual merit of their research project, and their potential to contribute to the intellectual life of the Society of Fellows, their host department, and the community of scholars at USC. Up to five positions may be awarded each year.

Applicants should submit:

  • A finished and complete online application
  • A cover letter, which should indicate the applicant’s primary field of research and desired departmental affiliation. Scholars working across disciplines may indicate the various fields their research addresses and, if desired, additional possible departmental affiliations. In addition to the Society of Fellows, the University of Southern California is home to multiple institutes, centers, and programs in the humanities. You can see a list of those programs by visiting this page. If your research interests align with those of any of these programs, please indicate this on your cover letter. If the dissertation has not been completed, the letter should detail its progress, timeline to completion, and scheduled or proposed defense date should the fellowship be awarded.
  • A CV
  • A writing sample of one dissertation chapter or article
  • A research proposal describing the applicant’s plans for the period of the fellowship. This may include revising the dissertation for publication and/or plans for the candidate’s next academic project (up to three pages double-spaced).
  • A teaching statement
  • The names of three faculty members who can supply letters of reference directly to USC. Referees will be contacted by email and should submit letters of reference electronically. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the submitted email addresses for referees are accurate.

Please submit PDF files. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that all accompanying documents are properly uploaded and open correctly.

The application cycle for postdoctoral fellowships for 2018–2020 will open Monday, October 9th, 2017.

The deadline to submit an application is Monday, November 27, 2017, noon PST.


  • If you are using a third-party dossier service provider or your institution’s recommendation letter service, please use the “confidential letter upload” or “electronic delivery” option. For instance, some third-party dossier service providers assign a unique email address for every referee on your account; please enter this unique email address in the application site, and an email will be sent to the service provider with a request to upload a specific reference letter on your behalf.