HAR would like to bring this petition to reinstate the SSRC’s Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program to the attention of our readers. The IDRF is a tremendous source of support for international research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, and it is also a vital source of support for international students pursuing doctoral degrees at US institutions (where other fellowship opportunities often require US citizenship).
The fields of anthropology and the history of anthropology have benefited heavily from this program, and the IDRF supports a huge amount of scholars across different disciplines (for example, in 2019 there were 70 fellows). More information about the program can be found on the SSRC website.
The full text of the SSRC’s announcement regarding the end of this program can be found here, below:
An Announcement from the SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program
After an extraordinary 25-year run supporting graduate students conducting research across the globe, the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program is coming to a close. The 2022 IDRF cohort, to be announced this spring, will be the program’s final class of fellows. We are immensely grateful to IDRF’s selection committee members, evaluators, and fellows, whose dedicated work over the past two and a half decades has ensured the program’s success and cemented its enduring legacy.
Since its inception in 1997, in partnership with the Mellon Foundation, the International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program has funded more than 1,600 emerging scholars pursuing research that advances knowledge about non-US cultures, histories, politics, and societies around the world, as well as about US Indigenous communities. IDRF fellows have had a meaningful impact on the landscape of higher education, making significant achievements in scholarship, teaching, and beyond.
Few of the Mellon Foundation’s grantmaking commitments have extended for as long as its quarter of a century of support for IDRF, and during that time, IDRF accomplished many of the goals it had set for itself. “The Mellon Foundation is privileged to have supported the invaluable mission of IDRF, and the work of many cohorts of graduate students. Over the last 25 years, the program has demonstrated to the academy and beyond the indispensable value of immersive international research to first-rate scholarly production,” said Phil Harper, program director for Higher Learning at the Mellon Foundation.
Although the IDRF program is coming to an end, promoting global research and collaboration remains a key commitment of the Council’s work. “Global scholarship has been central to the mission of the SSRC, and over the last 25 years the International Dissertation Research Fellowship has been critical to fulfilling that mission,” said SSRC president Anna Harvey. “Going forward, we will continue to develop new opportunities to support social and behavioral science around the world, including directly funding the work of researchers in the global South.”
While the program will not hold any further fellowship competitions, its current fellows, as well as members of the soon-to-be announced 2022 cohort, will continue to receive the support of the Council through their fellowship terms. We thank the Mellon Foundation for their many years of past support and look forward to future partnerships.