THE INSTITUTE ON THE FORMATION OF KNOWLEDGE 

2022-2023 THESIS AND DISSERTATION AWARDS

The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge provides financial support for faculty, graduate/undergraduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Each opportunity is described below. For more information, please email ifk-info@uchicago.edu.

FACULTY RESEARCH GRANTS

Two-year fellowships awarded to University of Chicago faculty engaged in research related to the formation of knowledge, and being completed in collaboration with resident graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other faculty. Fellowship includes $30,000 research funds from the Institute, participation in the Institute’s workshop series and other events, and submission of an article to KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge. See current fellow projects. 

FACULTY SEED GRANTS

One-year fellowships awarded to University of Chicago faculty pursuing first-step research related to the formation of knowledge. Fellowship includes $5,000 research funds from the Institute, participation in the Institute’s workshop series, and submission of a research summary at the end of their fellowship year. See current fellow projects. 

EXPERIMENTAL CAPSTONE TEACHING

Extra-service teaching honorarium of $10,000 to University of Chicago tenure-track faculty who design and teach a course for XCAP, The Experimental Capstone. XCAP is a capstone curriculum launched at the Institute in 2018. Learn more about XCAP.

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS

Two-year fellowships awarded to recent Ph.D. graduates and/or current postdocs with current research interests that straddle multiple departments and disciplines to investigate the influences beneath what is accepted as true at a given time and place. Postdocs will conduct individual research, collaborate with the UChicago academic community, teach graduate/undergraduate courses at the Institute, and participate in the Institute’s workshop series and other events. Meet our current postdocs. Application cycle closes January 5, 2023

DISSERTATION RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

One-year fellowships awarded to Ph.D. students in any UChicago School or Division whose work straddles multiple departments and disciplines. The 2021-22 Graduate Fellowship provides an office space (desk, bookshelf space, file cabinet) in IFK’s recently renovated and modernized building and invitation to the social and academic life of the Institute.

DISSERTATION AWARD 

The Dissertation Award offered by the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge is an annual competition for the top doctoral dissertation addressing topics related to social and historical influences shaping the formation of knowledge and which most effectively crosses and bridges disciplinary and divisional boundaries in its research, argument, and conclusions. Submitted dissertations may address any topic that has implications for the formation of knowledge and interrogates traditional ways of knowing. The competition is open to any doctoral student at the University of Chicago graduating at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Dissertations will be judged by a panel of Institute faculty. The first-place winner will receive an award of $2,000. Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2023

MASTERS OF ARTS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES(MAPSS) Formation of Knowledge Concentration Thesis Awards 

The Master’s Thesis Award offered by the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge is an annual competition for the best MA thesis which addresses topics related to social and historical influences shaping the formation of knowledge and which most effectively crosses and bridges disciplinary and divisional boundaries in its research, argument, and conclusions. Submitted theses may address any topic that has implications for the formation of knowledge and interrogates traditional ways of knowing. This competition is open only to MAPSS graduate students who have declared the Formation of Knowledge concentration and/or taken KNOW ####, and who are graduating at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Theses will be judged by a panel of Institute faculty. The winner will receive an award of $1,000. Deadline: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 

UNDERGRADUATE THESIS AWARD

The Undergraduate Thesis Award offered by the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge is an annual competition for the best BA theses which address topics related to social and historical influences shaping the formation of knowledge, and which most effectively cross and bridge disciplinary and divisional boundaries in their research, argument, and conclusions. Submitted theses may address any topic that has implications for the formation of knowledge and interrogates traditional ways of knowing. This competition is open to University of Chicago undergraduates in any division who are graduating at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Submitted theses will be judged by a panel of Institute faculty. The 1st place winner will receive an award of $1000, 2nd place will receive $500, and 3rd place $250. Runners-up will also be honored. Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2023

CONFERENCE CO-SPONSORSHIPS

Resources awarded to UChicago departments, faculty, staff or students who are planning an event in the current academic year with an element of bridging disciplinary boundaries. Awards will vary.  

STUDENT POSITIONS

A listing of student jobs available at the Institute.

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSIONS

The application process will include-

  1. * Submission of thesis or dissertation
  2. * An up-to-date c.v.
  3. * An official application with thesis or dissertation advisor’s signature
  4. * A one-page statement describing how the thesis or dissertation addresses topics related to social and historical influences shaping the formation of knowledge, and transcends normative restrictions of the author’s discipline. The statement should also include an explanation of the author’s inspiration, methodology, and conclusions.

All applications will be due via the web portal by midnight of the advertised deadline. For more information, please contact ifk-info@uchicago.edu. Application forms may be found on the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge website’s Funding page

ANNOUNCEMENT OF AWARDEES

Abstracts of winning theses and dissertations, along with author bios, will be posted on the Institute’s website and subsequent University websites. 

Awards will be distributed in the form of a check following completion and submission of required paperwork.