Long-term Visiting Academic Research Fellowships

Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship

Scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the doctorate are eligible to apply for a special year-long residential fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society to revise their dissertation for publication. Established as the Mellon Post-Dissertation Fellowship in 1998, the fellowship has been renamed in honor of John B. Hench, who retired in August 2007 as vice president for collections and programs after thirty-three years on the staff of the American Antiquarian Society. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, generous sponsor of this fellowship, has made a challenge grant to the Society, which is currently raising money to endow this fellowship.

The purpose of the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship is to provide the recipient with time and resources to extend research and/or to revise the dissertation for publication. Any topic relevant to the Society's library collections and programmatic scope--that is, American history and culture through 1876--is eligible.

Applicants may come from such fields as history, literature, American studies, political science, art history, music history, and others relating to America in the period of the Society's coverage. The Society welcomes applications from those who have advance book contracts, as well as those who have not yet made contact with a publisher. The twelve-month stipend for this fellowship is $40,000. The Society also offers up to $4,000 in health insurance reimbursement.

The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship offers splendid opportunities for collegiality with and mentoring from the staff, other visiting fellows, and the academic community in and near Worcester, Massachusetts. Recipients of other AAS long-term and short-term fellowships--academic scholars as well as creative and performing artists and writers--will be in residence for varying periods of time throughout the Hench Fellow's tenure.

The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship includes a manuscript review of the fellow’s work in progress. On behalf of the Hench fellow, the Society convenes a group of leading scholars to read the manuscript and provide feedback on areas where additional research is needed, as well as advice on how to reshape the dissertation for publication. This colloquium takes place during the fellow’s tenure at AAS.

The Society has self-catering accommodations that fellows may rent. Although fellows have priority, renting from the Society is not a requirement of those holding fellowships. When requested, the staff will do their best to suggest alternative accommodations in Worcester or environs.

List of current and previous Hench fellows

Books by Hench Fellows


Books by Hench Fellows

Bonds of Union by Bridget FordMahogany by Jennifer AndersonThe Medical Imagination by Sari Altschuler

The Many Panics of 1837 by Jessica LeplerAmerican Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 by Melissa HomesteadProphets, Publicists, and Parasites by Adam Gordon

Bridget Ford bookTimothy Marr bookCindy Lobel book

Renée Sentilles bookKyle Roberts bookDawn Peterson book

David Silverman bookApril Haynes bookAT. Cole Jones book

Whitney Martinko bookDaniel Rood bookRoberto Saba book

Application Procedure

The deadline for application for a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship is October 15, 2023.

The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow will be selected on the basis of the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the appropriateness of the project to the Society's collections and interests, and, above all, the likelihood that the revised dissertation will make a highly significant book. All application materials for the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship are to be submitted online.

You will need to attach the following materials to your application form:

  • A CV of no more than three (3) pages
  • A proposal of no more than six (6) double-spaced pages describing the project, its current status, its significance for scholarship, and your plans for revision. Be sure to provide an overview of the narrative and argument, locate the project in the relevant literature.
  • A selective bibliography of not more than one page providing, for purposes of context, a list of secondary sources relevant to the proposed project
  • A statement of previous support that you have received for this project, as well as a statement indicating whether you currently hold or expect to hold an academic appointment or equivalent during the fellowship year. If so, please indicate whether you expect to receive support from your institution during the tenure of the fellowship, and the terms of such support.
  • Two letters of recommendation are also required. You will be asked to provide the name, position, and institutional affiliation of two people submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf. Please ask your referees to speak to the research proposal at hand--if possible, please do not use general placement dossier letters. Referees should send letters of recommendation as an email attachment.

For further information about this fellowship, please contact Nan Wolverton, director of fellowships, at nwolverton@mwa.org or 508-471-2119.

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