Zhu Family Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities


The College of Arts & Sciences is pleased to offer the Zhu Family Graduate Fellowships for doctoral students in the humanities. The College awards four such fellowships annually.

Directors of Graduate Studies are invited to nominate humanities graduate students in their third or fourth year of graduate studies for a Zhu Family Fellowship, to be used the following year.  (Note: Zhu Fellowships cannot be banked.) A Zhu Fellowship does not replace, but adds to a Sage Fellowship. Candidates should be nominated on the basis of quality, originality, and promise of research, which will be the criteria for evaluation. In their Fellowship year, students will be relieved of teaching while still receiving their normal graduate stipend and health insurance benefits.

Participating Fields and Nominees per Field

The following is a list of humanities and humanistic social sciences fields admitting doctoral graduate students, together with the maximum number of Zhu nominees they are allowed to submit for consideration each year. That number is a function of the average annual size of the humanities doctoral graduate student cohort in that field, i.e., one nominee for approximately three members of the cohort. 

  • Africana Studies (1)
  • Anthropology (2)
  • Asian Literature, Religion and Culture (1)
  • Classics (2)
  • Comparative Literature (1)
  • English Language and Literature (3)
  • Germanic Studies (1)
  • Government (2)
  • History of Art, Archaeology, and Visual Studies (1)
  • History (3)
  • Linguistics (1)
  • Medieval Studies (1)
  • Music and Musicology (2)
  • Near Eastern Studies (1)
  • Performing and Media Arts (1)
  • Philosophy (2)
  • Romance Studies (2)
  • Science and Technology Studies (1)

Maximum number of nominees annually = 28.  

Nominating Procedure

Nomination packages must include:

  • a cover page with the nominee’s full name and NetID, home department and field, dissertation title, recommender’s name and email address.
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a 1-2 page dissertation description (max. 600 words)
  • a scholarly writing sample (max. 30 pages)
  • a letter of recommendation by the dissertation advisor (max. 3 pages) that focuses on the quality, originality, and promise of research

Each department/program DGS should send the completed nominations (each candidate as a separate pdf) to humctr@cornell.edu by March 8, 2024.

Selection Process

The Directors of Graduate Studies from half of the 18 participating fields (alternating each year) read and select their (unranked) top 6 candidates from all fields other than those of which they are members.   

The Senior Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and the Director of the Society for the Humanities then facilitate a meeting of these DGSs, at which they, the DGSs, on the basis of the cumulative rankings and their deliberation, determine the four recipients.

The recipients and the DGSs will be notified of the outcome by March 28, 2024 so that they can plan accordingly for AY2024-25.



  • John Eagle, music
  • Andre Nascimento, romance studies
  • Chijioke Onah, literatures in English
  • Sarah LaVoy-Brunette, medieval studies


  • Alexia Alkadi-Barbaro, government
  • Dusti Bridge,  anthropology
  • Du Fei, history
  • Jason Ludwig, science and technology studies