Fund Details
MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships (IDRF)
Award Amount
Up to $18 000
Competition Type

Brief Description:

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale announces the availability of dissertation research fellowships to support Ph.D. students who will be engaged in international research on their doctoral dissertations during the summer and/or the academic year. 

Important information: From 2022 on, there will be only one competition a year, with a May deadline, and decisions announced in June. 



You can find information regarding policies related to COVID-19 and MacMillan Travel Grants here.  

MacMillan Center Fellowship Info Sessions: 

Beginning January 2022, it will return to holding the IDF competition once a year, as it did before 2017. From 2022 on, there will be only one competition a year, with a May deadline, and decisions announced in June. The amount of money budgeted for these fellowships will remain constant, the only difference is that it will be distributed in one award competition rather than two.   

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale announces the availability of dissertation research fellowships to support Ph.D. students who will be engaged in international research on their doctoral dissertations during the summer and/or the academic year. Proposals will be accepted from registered Ph.D. students who have completed all pre-dissertation requirements before the planned travel.


May 1, 2024 – for dissertation research start date during Summer 2024* and Academic Year 2024-2025
* funds will be available starting July 15, 2024

MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships can provide up to $18,000 for the academic year and may be combined with other external or internal awards, subject to the Graduate School’s policies on holding multiple awards. Each Yale Ph.D. student who meets the eligibility criteria will receive one international dissertation research fellowship for research to be conducted outside of the United States. The amount of such grants will vary depending on demonstrated need, as well as the MacMillan funds available for grants in any year.

Yale Ph.D. students in the Graduate School’s Ph.D. granting departments and programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences (including programs based in Forestry & Environmental Studies, Law, Nursing, and Public Health that have substantial humanities or social science dimensions) are eligible to apply. Students in the Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering & Applied Sciences divisions are ineligible for this fellowship.
Fellowship can contribute to the cost of travel, research, and housing expenses. It should not be used to cover personal expenses (such as groceries). Also, these funds can not be utilized to purchase equipment or data sets, to hire survey firms, or to pay organizations to conduct field experiments or evaluations on the researcher’s behalf. Fellowships are intended for students to “get their hands dirty” in the field, archives, libraries, etc.

MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships can be used to supplement the support from other Yale and external sources (including Yale stipend and UDF). An applicant’s total budget and funds available (including pending applications) must be specified during the application process. Applicants are encouraged (and expected) to obtain support from other sources, bearing in mind that any given student is only eligible to receive the MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships once during the course of their Ph.D. program.

A written report of the experience must be submitted at the completion of the research period. Recipients may be asked to offer a seminar or presentation of their field project results when they return to the Yale campus. Any publication or public presentations resulting from their projects must acknowledge the support of The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale and any specific fund identified by the MacMillan Center in an award letter.

The MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships are made possible by the generous support of several MacMillan Center endowed funds, some of which are listed below. Please do not indicate the source in your proposal as that will be determined by the administration.

Mun Yew Chung Memorial Fund to support doctoral students each year in their research and writing on China.

John C. Cobb III and Albert C. Martin Fund to support a Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies fellowship.

Harold K. Hochschild Fellowship and the George N. and Mary Lindsay Research Fund to support dissertation research in contemporary African affairs.

Henry Hart Rice Advanced Research Fellowships to support projects that involve at least a full academic year abroad.

Application Information:

COVID-19 Update:

To accommodate these unprecedented circumstances, The MacMillan Center has also relaxed the restrictions on how the fellowship funds can be used. Students will be allowed to use funds to pay for survey firms’ contracts (up to $5,000), data sets, data entry, books and journal subscriptions, fees associated with online access to archives and libraries, and fees for digitizing documents. The student’s advisor has confirmed that these resources are absolutely necessary for the research. All surveys have to receive IRB approval before they can be carried out. Students paying survey companies, translating agencies, etc., must submit quotes in time of application and produce receipts upon completion of the project. 

These requests will be approved on the case-by-case basis, and must be verified with Anja Koirala / Julia Muravnik before they are incurred.


A complete application will consist of the following materials

Copy of approved dissertation prospectus; NOTE: Students whose prospectus has not been approved but will be approved before the start date are allowed to apply.  (If prospectus is not yet submitted, please upload a most recent version of it). Keep in mind that in this case the award will be finalized only after the prospectus is approved. 

  1. Project Proposal: a summary description of the project, indicating the nature of the proposed research (not to exceed one single-spaced page);
  2. Research Timetable: what will be accomplished during the fellowship period; 
  3. Budget: the total estimated project expenses and all sources of income including support requested from other sources;
  4. Language Evaluation from your language instructor regarding your level of proficiency in relevant language(s). This is not required for travel to English-speaking countries. If you are currently not enrolled in a language course you can submit a Language Evaluation Personal Statement instead. The statement should list all applicable language classes taken and/or knowledge of language. Please note this is only necessary for applicants who will NOT be submitting a language evaluation letter from an instructor.
  5. Yale transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable). In order to obtain one please go to and print it as a PDF file.
  6. One letter of recommendation. Letter from the dissertation adviser that underscores the international research dimensions of the project.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to see that the complete application, including the letter of recommendation and transcripts, reaches us by the deadline; applications will not be considered without this information.

Notifications of awards will be made by June 1, 2024.

All applicants are required to inform the MacMillan Center Fellowships Office in writing of all changes in financial status or plans after the date of the application (e.g. receipt or rejection of awards requested from other sources.) Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your fellowship. The MacMillan Center reserves the right to adjust your fellowship based on other financial support received.

Post-award revisions of more than 5% of the total project budget listed on this application are not allowed.

Special Eligibility Requirements:

Applications will be considered from registered Ph.D. students who have completed all pre-dissertation requirements before the application deadline. The dissertation prospectus has to be approved prior to the departure date.
NOTE: Students whose prospectus has not been approved but will be approved soon are allowed to apply.  The award will be finalized only after the prospectus is approved. 

Students may not apply to both the MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowship and the MacMillan Center Pre-Dissertation Grant competitions at the same time. If two applications are received, one will be discarded. The fellowship competition does not consider requests for awards of $500 or less.

Restrictions to Use of Award:

Fellowships may not be used for projects less than 6 weeks in duration.

Recipients may not teach or hold other employment during the fellowship period.

Any given student is eligible to receive MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowship only once during the course of their Ph.D. program.

If your research will require IRB approval or exemption, as determined by the Human Subjects Committee guidelines, you will need to submit an IRB application to the Human Subjects Committee for review. Your Fellowships award check will not be released to you until you have been granted either IRB approval or exemption. You may not start the Human Subjects component of your research until approval or exemption has been granted. Guidelines on how to determine whether you need to apply for IRB review, and how and when to apply for IRB review are provided through the fellowship application process. Please also see the "Student Projects" section of the IRB website for further details

Links to Additional Information:

 The Macmillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships cover expenses related to dissertation filed research conducted outside the United States.


Please note that not all expenses can be charged to the MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships. Below is a list of unallowable expenses that are excluded from the MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships.

Unallowable Expenses

·  Personal expenses, such as food, toiletries, etc.
·  Expenses related to attending conferences 
·  Survey firms’ contracts, data sets, etc. 
·  Gifts and tokens to surveys participants and informants
·  Research assistants and any expenses related to them 
·  Translators, interpreters (may be allowed in special cases)
·  Business meals, networking with faculty members and students
·  Gifts to hosts, community, donations to charity 
·  Additional health insurance coverage (uch as mental health counseling, dental/eye coverage) that goes beyond ISOS already provided by Yale unless the students travel to their home country. 
·  Equipment that will become will become the student’s personal property, such as, cameras, recorders, computers, etc.
·  U.S. visa fees 
·  Ticket change fees, extra luggage fees 
·  Books and journals (allowed only if not available at a library or online resources)
·  Lab equipment, lab tests, camping gear etc. (in special cases it is allowed, but the amount cannot be more than one-fifth of the proposed budget)
·  Software (allowed in special cases)
·  Charges inside the United States (excluding airport shuttle) 
·  Taxes 

·  Tuition for language courses (allowed in special cases when a required language is not offered at Yale)

Multiple Awards
MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships can be used to supplement the support you may receive from other Yale and external funding sources. It is expected that a student who has won and accepted a fellowship award will notify the Fellowships Office if other fellowship applications are still pending. If a student is offered multiple awards for the same project, the student should notify the Fellowships Office and the other appropriate offices to ensure that awards are distributed equitably.
You may receive the International Dissertation Research Fellowship and a Yale stipend at the same time, provided that you have necessary approvals from your department’s registrar and financial officer.

Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, most fellowship monies are considered taxable income. Certain fellowships are "qualified," in which case specific portions of the funds awarded may be deductible. Fellowship recipients are advised to consult an accountant regarding the declaration of fellowship funds and to review carefully Chapter I of the IRS Publication 970 - Tax Benefits for Education. While CIPE cannot offer tax advice, the IRS Tax Office on Court Street offers free tax advice.

Academic Standing
Fellowship recipients must be in good academic standing at the time the fellowship is awarded.

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Anja Koirala at

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          Citizenship Status
          • U.S. citizens are eligible
          • Non-U.S. citizens are eligible
            Current FAS Graduate School Discipline
            • GS A&S Humanities - American Studies
            • GS A&S Humanities - Classics
            • GS A&S Humanities - Comparative Literature
            • GS A&S Humanities - East Asian Languages and Literatures
            • GS A&S Humanities - English Lang & Lit
            • GS A&S Humanities - Film Studies
            • GS A&S Humanities - French
            • GS A&S Humanities - Germanic Languages and Literatures
            • GS A&S Humanities - History
            • GS A&S Humanities - History of Art
            • GS A&S Humanities - History of Medicine and Science
            • GS A&S Humanities - Italian Lang & Lit
            • GS A&S Humanities - Medieval Studies
            • GS A&S Humanities - Music
            • GS A&S Humanities - Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
            • GS A&S Humanities - Philosophy
            • GS A&S Humanities - Religious Studies
            • GS A&S Humanities - Renaissance Studies
            • GS A&S Humanities - Slavic Languages and Literatures
            • GS A&S Humanities - Spanish and Portuguese
            • GS A&S Social Science - African American Studies
            • GS A&S Social Science - African Studies
            • GS A&S Social Science - Anthropology
            • GS A&S Social Science - Archaeological Studies
            • GS A&S Social Science - East Asian Studies
            • GS A&S Social Science - Economics
            • GS A&S Social Science - European and Russian Studies
            • GS A&S Social Science - International and Development Economics
            • GS A&S Social Science - International Relations
            • GS A&S Social Science - Linguistics
            • GS A&S Social Science - Management
            • GS A&S Social Science - Political Science
            • GS A&S Social Science - Psychology
            • GS A&S Social Science - Sociology
            • GS A&S Social Science - Statistics
              Current Professional School Discipline
              • EPH - Global Health
              • FES - Ph.D
              • Law - JD
              • Law - J.S.D
              • SOM (PhD) - Accounting
              • SOM (PhD) - Finance
              • SOM (PhD) – Marketing
              • YSM - Ph.D
                Begin Accepting Applications Date:
                Deadline Date (EST Time Zone) :
                5/01/2024 1:00 PM