The Center for Culture, Society and Religion invites applications for Graduate Student Research Awards for the 2024-2025 academic year. These awards are for Princeton University doctoral students whose work engages some manifestation of religion—historical, literary, comparative, empirical, philosophical, social, or cultural. Applications are sought from across humanities and social science departments, and students who will be regularly enrolled or DCE during 2024-2025 are eligible. Awards are subject to Graduate School rules and approval. Awards require active participation in either the weekly interdisciplinary “Culture, Society and Religion Workshop” or the “Religion and the Public Conversation Media Team,” either of which presumes a time-commitment of approximately one half-course each semester. Award recipients are also required to attend at least one Center-sponsored event during the academic year. Selection criteria include: overall scholarly merit of the project, clarity and persuasiveness of the proposal, evidence of the applicant’s academic distinction, and likelihood that the applicant will contribute effectively to and benefit from participation in the relevant workshop.

Graduate Student Research Awards are for $7,000 and are intended to support the student’s participation in the academic-year workshop. Up to 50% of the award may be received during the summer preceding the fellowship year, with the remainder distributed during the academic year and/or the following summer. These awards are intended to supplement regular University fellowships.

Dissertation Completion Awards
Students who have reached Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status in 2024-2025 who apply for CCSR Graduate Research Awards will additionally be considered for a small number of Dissertation Completion Awards. These awards include the full amount of DCE costs for the academic year and a stipend equal to 10 months of the University Fellowship.

How do I decide between applying for the CSR Workshop and the RPC Media Team? 

CSR Workshop

Culture, Society, and Religion weekly workshops center around the close reading of and commentary on student work. Everyone is required to submit a draft paper or dissertation chapter, and everyone comments. Since it’s an interdisciplinary conversation among scholars who approach religion from different departmental perspectives, students learn to present work that is within their discipline, but readable for non-specialists. They learn what jargon needs unfolding, what effective academic writing looks like in different fields, and how to give useful feedback. Importantly, each semester students must meet the deadline to submit a chapter they know others will be reading. More about the CSR Workshop. 

RPC Media Team

How can the study of religion contribute to addressing current social and political concerns? The purpose of the media team is to think about and practice public-facing scholarship in various modes. Students practice engaging audiences outside their specialist academic fields and receive training in media production (storytelling, video editing, podcasting, etc.). Media Team fellows expand their portfolio of skills as well as concrete public-facing media products. They have the opportunity to present their dissertation research in a more creative avenue and to receive critical feedback from their peers. Media Team fellows will also collaborate on long-term team projects. The Media Team is especially appropriate for students who have already participated in the CSR Workshop and who are preparing for the job market. More about the Media Team.

Students can participate in the CSR workshop and/or Media Team in repeat years. Students who have received a CCSR Graduate Student Research Award in the past will be given preference for the Media Team. Qualified applicants to the Media Team who are not accepted to the Media Team will automatically be considered for the CSR Workshop. Still have questions? Attend an upcoming info session

Application Information

To apply, use the online Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE) and follow the directions below:

Search “Graduate Research” opportunities for “Culture, Society and Religion Workshop Graduate Student Research Award” -OR- "Religion and Public Conversation Media Team Graduate Student Research Award".
Under “Project Title” please enter your title of your dissertation or proposed research project.
Under “Start” and “End Date,” please enter the first and last days of class, Sept. 3, 2024 and April 25, 2025.
Under “Recommenders” please enter names of two (ONLY two) professors. Once you submit your application, these two professors will receive an email asking them to upload their recommendation letters to the SAFE website.
Under “Anticipated Expenses,” add one expense (category “Other”) for $7000.  (If you are granted a Dissertation Completion Award, you will instead receive the full amount equivalent to the University fellowship.)
Under the “Documents” section of this application, please upload the following materials: 1) your research proposal (five double-spaced pages maximum) including a short paragraph on how you will contribute to and benefit from the CSR Workshop -OR- including a short paragraph on why you chose to apply to the RPC Media Team, 2) writing sample (one of your dissertation chapters or other graduate paper), 3) a c.v.*, and 4) a transcript.

* Please indicate in your c.v.: a) your current year of enrollment and b) your enrollment (or DCE) status as of Fall 2024. EXAMPLE: Current status: Enrolled, G5; Fall 2024 status: DCE1.  

The deadline for the submission of the online application is Monday, February 26, 2024. Letters of recommendation will be accepted until March 4, 2024. It is YOUR responsibility to notify your professors of this deadline and allow ample time for them to complete their letters and upload them to SAFE. No extensions past this date can be granted.