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Apply Now for the 2018-19 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

April 25, 2018

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy will offer a one-year doctoral dissertation fellowship of $5,000 for the academic year 2018–2019. This fellowship will be awarded to a scholar whose primary research focus is in the area of women’s philanthropy or gender differences in philanthropic behavior and giving.


The deadline to apply for the 2018 The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is April 30. The award will be announced in early June.

In recognition of a commitment to expand the field of scholars who conduct research in issues of gender differences in philanthropy, the WPI doubled the fellowship award to $5,000 in 2014.

“Fellowships to help emerging scholars complete their dissertation in a timely manner are rare in the academic community,” said Andrea Pactor, Associate Director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “The Women’s Philanthropy Institute’s doctoral dissertation fellowship is intended to do just that and at the same time build the field of study about gender and philanthropy.”


To be eligible for the fellowship, you must: 

  • Be a Ph.D. candidate at an accredited graduate school in the United States
  • Have completed coursework and defended your dissertation proposal successfully

Previous Fellowship Recipients

The doctoral dissertation fellowship contributes new research to expand the knowledge base about women’s philanthropy. The 2017 fellowship recipient, Lauren Dula of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, is exploring how the gender composition of grant-making nonprofit boards of directors and executive leadership shapes the organization’s performance.

Previous fellowship recipients also include Deborah Skolnick Einhorn (Brandeis University) for her dissertation “The Power of the Purse: Social Change in Jewish Women’s Philanthropy”; Laura Gee (University of California at San Diego) for her studies and analysis of how donors, especially women, choose among volunteering, fundraising, and monetary donations; Brent Pieper (Indiana University) for his dissertation on the effect of specific women’s philanthropy initiatives at higher education institutions on giving; Megan Springate (University of Maryland) for her dissertation on women’s holiday houses at the beginning of the 20th century; Elizabeth Dale (Indiana University) for her dissertation on the philanthropy of same-sex couples; and Amanda Koch (Indiana University, Bloomington) for her dissertation on the history of gospel rescue missions.

“Previous fellowship awards have demonstrated the interdisciplinary nature of the field of philanthropic studies with awards made in the fields of Near East and Judaic studies, anthropology, economics, history, higher education administration, philanthropic studies, and nonprofit management,” added Pactor.

Application details for the 2018 WPI Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship are available online

About the Women’s Philanthropy Institute

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute is part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. WPI increases understanding of women’s philanthropy through rigorous research and education, interpreting and sharing these insights broadly to improve philanthropy.

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