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Diversity Fellowships

Cornell University Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences Cornell University

College of Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts at Cornell University

Cornell University Doctoral/Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowships

The Cornell diversity fellowships are designed to support the early development of scholars who show promise of distinguished research careers and who are from sectors of the population historically underrepresented on the professorial faculties of colleges and universities in the United States.  Eligible applicants might be from underrepresented minority groups, have faced economic hardship, be first-generation college graduates, or work on topics related to these areas.  This list is not meant to be exhaustive.  Applications should include a brief statement of the grounds of eligibility.

The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Those who expect to complete their degrees in 2014-15 may apply for two-year postdoctoral fellowships.  Postdoctoral fellows teach one course per year, above the entry level, in fields related to their research.

All fellows will also attend a weekly research seminar, in which they will be joined by an annually changing group of Cornell faculty who have similar scholarly interests.  The topic of the seminar will shift each year, to accord with the research agendas of its participants.  The seminar's main purpose is to help each fellow identify and begin work on a second major project.  In accord with these goals, funding will be available for conferences and for assistance with the publication costs of edited volumes containing the work of seminar members and perhaps co-edited by some of the fellows.

Theme for 2015-16: Conformity and Its Discontents

Communities and individuals often find themselves governed but also circumscribed and at times trapped by the existence of prevailing beliefs, norms and practices. At the same time, these prevailing norms can be stabilizing, even comforting. Encounters with diverse peoples, places and practices can reinforce the need to conform but can also generate discomfort. The seminar will explore interdisciplinary approaches to the notion of conformity and its discontents. What are the norms in the places, practices and epistemologies we study? What norms govern our own work? What and who constitutes the discontented? Does diversity challenge existing norms? Does it construct its own normativity? These are just a few of the questions to be explored.


Fellows are required to be in residence each semester.  In order to receive postdoctoral fellowships, they must show proof of completion of the Ph.D., in the form of a letter from the granting institution’s Registrar or a copy of the diploma, prior to the beginning of the Fall term of the first year of the postdoc. 

Award Details

The postdoctoral fellowship award for 2015-16 includes a salary of $56,000, full Cornell University employee benefits, a research/travel fund of $3,000, and a one-time $4,000 moving allowance.

Application Deadline

Application details will be posted in October. Review of applications will begin November 22, 2014. Awards will be announced in late December prior to the holiday.

Cornell is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator.

2014-2015 Seminar Director:


Leslie A. Adelson

Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German Studies and a graduate field member of Comparative Literature; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Jewish Studies. 

Research Focus: Minority discourses and migrant cultures in postwar Germany, especially those concerning Jews and Turks, and on interdisciplinary German cultural studies.  

More Cornell Faculty Seminar Members