Frequently Asked Questions about Applying to IHUM
Q. What kinds of interdisciplinary projects does IHUM support?
A. A strong proposal will explain the value of substantial study of another field to the writing of your dissertation. That study could take the form of course work, at Princeton or elsewhere; independent research; or other kinds of training, for example, in one of the arts or sciences. We are particularly interested in projects that find a way of addressing questions of theory and practice, taking seriously the contribution to understanding of doing what you write about—whether that is philosophy, or music, or biology, or dance. Because candidates accepted to the program receive an additional year of fellowship support (understood to begin as early as the spring of the third year), please provide as detailed an account as you can of what how you would use an extra year of interdisciplinary investigation and basic research.
Q. What should I submit as a writing sample?
A. The writing sample should ideally reflect your interdisciplinary interests, but most important is that you show us your best work. If you submit e.g. a course paper in which those interests are latent, your application essay should help us see how they will develop.
Q. Can I apply to the program if I am a graduate student in a department outside the humanities, intending to pursue humanistic interests?
A. No: the program is open only to students already enrolled in a PhD program in the humanities, but you are very welcome to attend our events and take our classes.
Q. When do students take the IHUM fellowship year?
A. The purpose of the fellowship year is to provide time for exploration, and exploration is best undertaken early in the dissertation process. The fellowship technically supports the fourth year of study, but students may want to begin their interdisciplinary researches as early as the second semester of the third year, or the following summer. One year of the student’s regular graduate fellowship is deferred until the sixth year, for six years total of full support.
Q. Are students in IHUM still eligible for other University fellowships, for example the fifth-year Honorific and Whiting Fellowships?
A. Yes. Because IHUM students ordinarily spend their fourth year of graduate study doing basic research in a new field, they are eligible to apply to the Graduate School to defer their nomination for Whitings and Honorifics to the fifth year, rather than the fourth, and therefor to hold the fellowships in their sixth year. Successful applications will demonstrate a plan of study equivalent to another year of coursework. Applications are made in April of the 3rd year.
Q. Can students in IHUM simultaneously hold fellowships from other programs and centers at the University?
A. Generally speaking, no: participation in IHUM workshops and other events is a substantial commitment, and precludes holding other fellowships at the University (except the Whiting and Honorific fellowships).
Q. Does an IHUM fellowship provide support for tuition, travel, or other research expenses?
A. No: we offer an additional year of full fellowship support.
Q. Imaginative and resourceful as it is, my dissertation is not particularly interdisciplinary—but I am still curious about what IHUM is up to. How can I get involved?
A. Come to our conferences and workshops and introduce yourself. We hope to be a gathering place for anyone at the University interested in expanding the reach and repertory of the disciplines.