Call for Applications: R.D. Mullen Fellowships
Named for the founder of our journal, Richard “Dale” Mullen (1915-1998), the Mullen fellowships are awarded by Science Fiction Studies to support archival research in science fiction.
We have four categories of awards:
- Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Amount: Up to $2500
Number: 1 award is available each year
Qualifications: Candidates must have received their PhD degree 2 years or less from the date of applying. Also eligible are those who have essentially completed but not yet defended the dissertation. Applicants who hold (or are contracted to begin) a tenure-track position are not eligible. The relation between the new research and the topic of the dissertation should be clarified in the proposal. The Committee understands that the two are likely to be related, but the additional research needed for the post-doctoral project should be explained.
- PhD Research Fellowship
Amount: Up to $2000
Number: 3 awards are available each year
Qualifications: Research must be in support of a dissertation topic that requires archival research. The proposal should make it clear that applicants have familiarized themselves in some detail with the resources available at the library or archive they propose to use. Projects with an overall sf emphasis, other things being equal, will receive priority over projects with a more tangential relationship to the field.
- MA Thesis Research Fellowship
Amount: Up to $1000
Number: 2 awards are available each year
Qualifications: For students in an MA program in a humanities department that does not award the PhD, in support of MA thesis research. (Non-thesis-track MA students are not eligible.) The award is for travel in support of archival research on the MA thesis topic; the proposal should specify which materials are unique to the archive and/or essential to the project. This is not an award in support of conference travel. Among the two letters of recommendation, one must be from the MA thesis adviser, confirming that the thesis proposal has been accepted and the committee formed.
- Collaborative Undergraduate Research Award
Amount: Up to $500
Number: 1 award is available each year
Qualifications: For upper-division students (most likely senior majors in English or related humanities fields) to conduct archival research and write a term paper. This award can cover local travel to archives as well as funding for such expenses as copying. A faculty mentor (who will co-sign the proposal) will guide the student through the proposal process, the research process, and evaluate the subsequent paper. The work could be done as additional to regular upper-division class or in the context of a tutorial, Directed Independent Study, or BA thesis. The final report would be dual, chiefly written by the student but with a brief final statement by the faculty mentor describing the outcome.
All projects must centrally investigate science fiction, of any nation, culture, medium or era.
Proposals should concisely but clearly
- Define the project,
- Include a statement describing the relationship of this project to science fiction as a genre and to sf criticism as a practice,
- Specify the relevant sf holdings of the archive(s) to be consulted, and
- Offer a research plan that is practical for the time-frame proposed.
Applications may propose research in—but need not limit themselves to—specialized sf archives such as the Eaton Collection at UC Riverside, the Maison d’Ailleurs in Switzerland, the Judith Merril Collection in Toronto, or the SF Foundation Collection in Liverpool. Proposals for work in general archives with relevant sf holdings—authors’ papers, for example—are also welcome.
For possible research locations, applicants may wish to consult the partial list of sf archives compiled in SFS 37.2 (July 2010): 161-90. This list is also available online at: <http://sfanthology.site.wesleyan.edu/files/2010/08/WASF-Teachers-Guide-2Archives.pdf>.
Applications should be written in English and should
- describe the proposed research and clarify the centrality of science fiction to the project’s overall design,
- show familiarity with the specific holdings and strengths of the archive in which the proposed research will be conducted to explain why archival research is essential to the project, and
- provide a work plan and budget.
Students who receive awards must acknowledge the support provided by SFS’s Mullen Fellowship program in any completed theses, dissertations or published work that makes use of research supported by this fellowship. After the research is conducted, each awardee shall provide SFS with a 500-word report on the results.
A complete application consists of
- a cover letter clearly identifying which fellowship or award is sought that addresses the three main questions identified above,
- a project description (approximately 500 words) with a specific plan of work,
- an updated curriculum vitae,
- an itemized budget, and
- two letters of reference, including one from the faculty supervisor (a letter of collaborative support from a faculty member is required for the undergraduate awards).
Successful candidates will be reimbursed for expenses incurred conducting research, up to the amount of the award, once they complete the research and submit relevant receipts.
Applications should be submitted electronically to the chair of the evaluation committee, Sherryl Vint, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due April 2, 2018 and awards will be announced in May.
The selection committee for 2018 consists of SFS Advisory Board members Barry Grant and Elizabeth Ginway and SFS editors Istvan Csicsery-Ronay and Sherryl Vint.