Zuckerman Dissertation Fellowship

Note: This is a final-year dissertation write-up fellowship. Applicants should intend to defend by the end of the award period, or shortly thereafter.

The Zuckerman Dissertation Fellowship was established in 2010 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It acknowledges that Columbia University has been a leader in the academic study of science, as well as in the production of scientific knowledge across many fields. It is named in honor of Professor Harriet Zuckerman, who excelled in the teaching and training of graduate students in the field of Sociology of Science at Columbia. Following her retirement from Columbia in 1992, Professor Zuckerman worked tirelessly to support doctoral education in the humanities as senior vice president at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in its Higher Education and Scholarship program.

The Mellon Foundation recognizes three academic departments within the Humanities and Social Sciences at Columbia for their contributions to scientific knowledge, for the development of policy, and for enabling our society and those around the globe to make wise choices about the development and use of science: 1) the Department of Sociology, which created the field of Sociology of Science through its work on the social organization and structure of science; 2) the Department of Philosophy, for which the philosophy of science has been a strong focus for decades; and 3) the Department of History, which has a strong emphasis in the history of science, technology, medicine, and public health.

The selection committee solicits applications that address core concerns in the history, philosophy, and/or sociology of science. The committee also encourages the submission of proposals that traverse the commonly understood boundaries among these disciplines.

The Zuckerman Dissertation Fellow is chosen by a committee consisting of the dean of the Graduate School and faculty representatives from the departments of History, Philosophy, and Sociology.


To be eligible, students must be enrolled in the doctoral program in the departments of History, Philosophy, or Sociology and completing dissertations that address core concerns in the history, philosophy, and/or sociology of science; must have been awarded the MPhil degree prior to the fellowship deadline; must not be beyond their seventh year of study at the time of the award; and must have completed all research for the dissertation before September 1 of the award year. Preference will be given to candidates who, in the judgment of the selection committee, can realistically expect to defend the dissertation before the end of their tenure as fellows.

The Award

The award is for one dissertation fellowship for the 2024-25 academic year. The 2024-25 award includes a stipend of $35,354, full-time matriculation and facilities tuition, and health fees. The award also includes summer support in the amount of $5,000 for the summer prior and immediately following the dissertation award period as well as a $1,000 research allowance. The total value of the award for 2024-25 is $46,354.

Terms of the Award

The terms of the Zuckerman Fellowship prohibit the grantee from holding teaching assignments or any other position concurrently. Zuckerman recipients are not eligible for other GSAS fellowships, including Core Preceptorships, after holding a Zuckerman Fellowship. As with other fellowships in GSAS, students may not hold a Zuckerman Fellowship beyond their seventh year of study, nor can it be deferred. 

How to Apply

Deadline: March 1, 2024, 1:00 pm ET

Only completed applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. Please read the directions and information carefully for the online application. The applicant must upload all items electronically with the exception of the letters of recommendation, which are uploaded by the recommenders or emailed to [email protected].  

If you are applying to more than one fellowship through this application portal, you will need to upload all items for each fellowship application, and recommenders will have to submit a separate letter for each fellowship application. 

Applications must include the following items:

  • Completed GSAS online application form
  • An up-to-date GSAS transcript (official PDF transcript from the Registrar’s Office).
    Note: The GSAS Fellowship application does not accept encrypted files for upload. Official Columbia transcript PDFs are encrypted; you may order a paper copy through SSOL or print the official transcript PDF you receive from Parchment, then scan and upload it.
  • A curriculum vitae (three pages maximum) 
  • A project proposal. The project proposal is a description of the dissertation project, with a working title, not to exceed 1,500 words. Margins should not be smaller than one inch and the font should not be smaller than 10 points. When writing the description, bear in mind that committee members are from various disciplines. Without sacrificing substance, please ensure that presentation of your project is accessible to readers who are not experts in your subject. If you intend to submit images, there is a two-page limit. 
  • A detailed timetable for completion of the dissertation (two pages maximum)
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your dissertation sponsor. Each recommender should describe the ways in which s/he considers your proposal to be exceptional and should endorse, with a fair degree of specificity, the timetable for completion. It would be most helpful if each recommender could comment on drafts of chapters already written. GSAS prefers that recommenders submit their letters of recommendation electronically to expedite processing. When the applicant enters the name and email of recommenders, the recommenders will automatically receive an email containing upload information and instructions. Applicants can resend a request by clicking on the "Send Reminder" button. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that recommenders are given ample time to submit recommendations by the deadline, and to notify recommenders if applying for more than one fellowship.

Previous Recipients

For a list of previous recipients of the Zuckerman Fellowship, see Award and Prize Recipients.