Number of Awards: 1

Deadline to Apply: The deadline for application for a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship to be held during the 2025-2026 academic year is October 15, 2024.

Decisions made by: Semifinalists will be selected by the end of December 2024. A finalist will be selected by February 1st, 2025.

Award: $40,000 stipend

Fellowship Description: Established as the Mellon Post-Dissertation Fellowship in 1998, the fellowship has been renamed in honor of John B. Hench, who retired in August 2007 as vice president for collections and programs after thirty-three years on the staff of the American Antiquarian Society. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, generous sponsor of this fellowship, has made a challenge grant to the Society, which is currently raising money to endow this fellowship.

The purpose of the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship is to provide the recipient with time and resources to extend research and/or to revise the dissertation for publication. Any topic relevant to the Society's library collections and programmatic scope--that is, American history and culture through 1876--is eligible.

Applicants may come from such fields as history, literature, American studies, political science, art history, music history, and others relating to America in the period of the Society's coverage. The Society welcomes applications from those who have advance book contracts, as well as those who have not yet made contact with a publisher.

The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship offers splendid opportunities for collegiality with and mentoring from the staff, other visiting fellows, and the academic community in and near Worcester, Massachusetts. Recipients of other AAS long-term and short-term fellowships--academic scholars as well as creative and performing artists and writers--will be in residence for varying periods of time throughout the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow's tenure.

The Society has self-catering accommodations that fellows may rent. Although fellows have priority, renting from the Society is not a requirement of those holding fellowships. When requested, the staff will do their best to suggest alternative accommodations in Worcester or environs.

Scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the doctorate are eligible to apply for this special year-long residential fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society to revise their dissertation for publication.

Additionally, applicants who file (or intend to file) their dissertation prior to July 1, 2025 are eligible to apply.

The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow will be selected on the basis of the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the appropriateness of the project to the Society's collections and interests, and, above all, the likelihood that the revised dissertation will make a highly significant book.

Application Procedure: Please attach a single PDF document containing the elements listed below.

  • A CV of no more than three (3) pages
  • A proposal of no more than six (6) double-spaced pages describing the project, its current status, its significance for scholarship, and your plans for revision. Be sure to provide an overview of the narrative and argument, locate the project in the relevant literature.
  • A selective bibliography of not more than one page providing, for purposes of context, a list of secondary sources relevant to the proposed project
  • A statement of previous support that you have received for this project, as well as a statement indicating whether you currently hold or expect to hold an academic appointment or equivalent during the fellowship year. If so, please indicate whether you expect to receive support from your institution during the tenure of the fellowship, and the terms of such support.
  • Please supply names and contact information for two references (referees should be able to speak to the research proposal at hand)

NOTE: If you are selected as a semifinalist, you will be asked to submit an excerpt of your dissertation manuscript, totaling no more than 75 pages to serve as your writing sample. This section must include the introduction to your dissertation.