2016 Application

About the Application

The competition's application process includes a Letter of Intent (LOI) followed by a Full Proposal for those selected finalists based on expert review of the LOIs. LOIs will be submitted via email, and Full Proposals (by invitation only) will be submitted via the online Application Form. Detailed information and guidelines for both the LOI and the Full Proposal is provided below.

Distinguished scholars will evaluate the Full Proposals. The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the application itself, and other materials provided in the Application Form as the basis for determining the extent to which candidates meet the eligibility requirements and the selection criteria.

To begin your application, please ensure that you are eligible to apply according to the requirements below.

Eligibility Information

You are currently enrolled at an iSchool Consortium member institution.

  • An applicant may be of any nationality but must be enrolled in a graduate school and be pursuing studies leading to a PhD at an information school.
  • If you are not currently enrolled at an information school, and/or you will not be enrolled for the entire proposed duration of the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply.

You completed, or will you complete by December 31, 2016 all course work required to develop your dissertation proposal.

  • All applicants must be fully prepared to develop and defend their dissertation proposal by no later than May 1, 2017. This must be certified by all members of the candidate’s dissertation committee.
  • Applicants must complete all other doctoral requirements (except the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself) prior to the proposed start date for their fellowship.

Applicants must be ready to begin research as early as January 1, 2017.

Letter of Intent

Applicants’ LOIs will undergo a merit-based review, and select applicants will be invited to develop a Full Proposal. The number of applicants selected to move on to this second stage of the application process depends on the outcome of the LOI review.

LOIs must be submitted via email by the deadline to the iFellows Program Administrator:

Deadline: Midnight, October 15, 2016
iFellows Program Administrator: Stephen Griffin (sgriffin@pitt.edu)

Letter of Intent Guidelines

The LOI must adhere to the following guidelines. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will automatically disqualify the application from consideration.

Section 1: maximum 1 page

  • Contact Information
  • Eligibility Confirmation

Section 2: maximum 2 – 3 pages

  • iSchool, Department, Expected degree, Year degree will be earned (projected)
  • Field of study [LIS, Archives, et al.]
  • Stage of your studies [coursework completed, preliminary examination, etc.]
  • Academic Record [list of courses and grades – unofficial]
  • Pertinent Achievements and Qualifications [e.g., academic honors and awards, previous fellowships, publications, special skills]
  • Research Focus

Section 3: maximum 3 – 4 pages

  • Concise description of your proposed research, how it would advance scholarship in your field and support the objectives of the Committee on Coherence at Scale 
  • Specific projects, research groups, technologies development groups or other on-going efforts that would support your work and might be receptive to serve as a host project for you

Note on formatting:
Failure to adhere to these guidelines will automatically disqualify the application from consideration. Please follow the scheme below:

  • Text must be in Times New Roman font, 12pt size
  • The document must be double-spaced
  • Document margins set to 1 inch
  • Place page numbers at lower right corner of each page
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer
  • Submitted documents must be in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters: < > : " / \ | ? * & ' , ; { } [ ] ( )

Full Proposal

Full Proposals should include a highly detailed description of the proposed research, the specifics of a work plan, and the working arrangement with the host project. Please include any unusual circumstances that contribute to the strength of the proposal that the review panel should take into consideration during evaluation of the proposal.

Criteria for Selection
A panel convened by the Committee on Coherence at Scale will review and select the winning Full Proposals based on the quality, intellectual merit of the proposed research, and its contribution to Coherence Project goals as described in the Full Proposal. iFellows will be awarded and announced per the posted schedule.

Full Proposal Guidelines
Upload your Full Proposal as an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
You may edit and replace your uploaded documents at any time prior to final submission of your application. Please include the following information in your Full Proposal:

a) Research Description (maximum 20 pages)
Provide a detailed description of your proposed research. How will it advance scholarship in your field and support the objectives of the Committee on Coherence at Scale as stated in the Committee’s website at http://coherence.clir.org/.

b) Infrastructure Project Sources and Schedule (if applicable--included within the 20 page count)
Identify the following about your targeted research project sources:

  • each project that will be the subject of your research
  • the location of each
  • when you anticipate visiting each
  • how long you anticipate staying at each
  • the principal objectives of your visits, and how these contribute to the overall goals of your proposed research

Should there be unusual circumstances you feel the committee needs to know to properly evaluate your proposed research plan, you should provide the necessary information.

c) Research Goals (included within the 20 page count)
Provide a statement addressing the ways in which your research will do one or more of the following:

  • Examination of relationships among a set of Coherence-related projects
  • Theoretical investigations of models of scalable infrastructure. 
  • Distributed open repository design, linkage and integration
  • cross-platform workflow architectures to facilitate resource sharing and reuse  
  • Analysis and modeling of large domain application projects
  • Domain-specific information access and analysis toolkits
  • Scholarly workflow representation, capture and reporting
  • New models for dissemination and sharing of scholarly work, data and resources
  • Extensible schemes for migration from analog to digital scholarly resources
  • Project workflow analyses
  • Improved distributed information access, analysis, presentation and dissemination capabilities

d) Other Information for Full Proposal (included within the 20 page count)

  • Provide the dates (mm/yyyy) you completed or achieved the following requirements:
    • course requirements
    • foreign language requirements
    • qualifying or comprehensive exams
    • anticipated approval of your dissertation proposal (to occur no later than May 1, 2016)
  • Please indicate the expected length of time needed to complete your research. This may be longer than the amount for which fellowship support is requested.
  • Please confirm your proposed starting month for research and fellowship support. 2016 iFellows are expected to start in January 2017. If you do not intend to begin research at that time, you are not eligible to apply for a fellowship this year.
  • Please indicate the date by which you expect to complete your dissertation (mm/dd/yyyy). It is expected that this date will represent a good-faith estimate on your part, based on your currently planned schedule.
  • Please provide a statement of any difficulty you foresee in meeting the fellowship requirements to provide a report on the research experience and to attend the scheduled meetings and workshops during the fellowship period. Full proposals will be due on December 31. A project briefing will be scheduled at the CNI Task Force meeting in December to publicly announce the fellowships. Fellowship recipients will be invited to attend. If you are aware of circumstances which may hinder your ability to attend either the workshop or the CNI Task Force meeting, make a note of them here. Your statement will not affect consideration of your application. If you do not anticipate any difficulties, please enter "N/A" into the field.
  • Please indicate any other grants or fellowships you have received for dissertation research or for which you are applying. Receipt of other funding to support your dissertation work outside the proposed tenure of this fellowship, including other Mellon grants, will not render your application ineligible. However, the Coherence Fellowship from Mellon cannot be held concurrent with other grants, awards, or fellowships (including awards from your home institution).
  • Regions of Research: Indicate the region(s) in which you intend to conduct research during the proposed fellowship tenure.
  • Intellectual Property: The A. W. Mellon Foundation requires fellowships awarded under this program to agree to the following intellectual property terms whenever a project involves the digitization of works of authorship, or the creation of digital technology, software, and/or digital databases. Under the terms of the agreement, a fellow:
      • Represents and warrants that he/she will solely own all intellectual property created with grant funds, either as work made for hire or as a result of a contractual agreement;
      • Represents and warrants that he/she has obtained the necessary licenses for third-party content and that the project will not infringe on third-party rights;
      • Will make software available, wherever possible, according to the terms of an open source license and in open source repositories, and will publicize its creations;
      • Provides the A. W. Mellon Foundation the right to review the pricing and distribution of any software services, content, and digital products developed with Foundation funds;
      • Will maintain any software created for five years beyond the term of the grant; and
      • Grants the Foundation a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable license to distribute any Foundation-funded software and/or digital products for scholarly and educational purposes, in the event the fellow cannot complete or sustain the project.
      • The Full Proposal must contain a statement that the fellowship awardee understands and agrees to the above intellectual property terms.

    Note on formatting:
    Failure to adhere to these guidelines will automatically disqualify the application from consideration. Please follow the scheme below:

  • Full proposals should include a clear and meaningful title (e.g. "Modeling of Scenarios for Scientific Workflows at Scale"). It is permissible to use a working title.
  • Your proposed research title must be included at the top of the first page of the document.
  • The title must also appear on each page of the document, in either the header or the footer
  • Full proposals are expected to include bibliographies, but these will not be included in the page count. You may include footnotes, endnotes, tables, images, etc. at your discretion, but the Full Proposal, itself, may not exceed the 20 page limit. (Footnotes and endnotes may be single-spaced, and should be in a font no smaller than 10pt size.)
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer.
  • Text must be in Times New Roman font, 12pt size
  • The document must be double-spaced
  • Document margins set to 1 inch
  • Place page numbers at lower right corner of each page
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer
  • Pages must be numbered
  • Documents must be in PDF format
  • Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters: < > : " / \ | ? * & ' , ; { } [ ] ( )

Academic Information

Please include information for all graduate study you have undertaken, including coursework taken where no degree was granted. Transcripts for all study listed here must be uploaded in PDF format.

A transcript, mark sheet, or final grades sheet from each institution where you have undertaken graduate coursework must be provided. If your institution provides you with an electronic copy of your transcript, you may use this IF it is not a protected document; otherwise, you will need to scan and upload a copy of a paper transcript.

All documents must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Documents should not have any sort of protection (e.g. passwords, expiration dates, restricted print functionality, etc.). Many institutions issue transcripts in PDF format with protection that can make them difficult or impossible for program reviewers to access. Please ensure that the document you are uploading is protection-free. Scanned copies of paper transcripts, even if they have a watermark such as COPY, are acceptable, as long as they are legible. Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters, as they will not be accepted by the system: < > : " / \ | ? * & ' , ; { } [ ] ( )
  • Institution: Provide the formal name of the institution.
  • Information School: Provide the name and department (if applicable) or specific sub-discipline.
  • Type Degree Earned/Expected (e.g., PhD)
  • Date this degree is projected to be earned (mm/dd/yyyy).
  • Subject/Title of proposed dissertation

Your most recent transcript should be uploaded first, with successive transcripts uploaded in reverse chronological order. Do not upload transcripts for undergraduate study unless this information is included on the same transcript as other graduate coursework in the same institution.

If you have obtained more than one degree at a given institution, you do not need to upload the transcript more than once. Simply indicate the degrees earned/expected in the "Type degree earned/expected" field (e.g. BS/MS) and, in the Date Field, use the date of the most recent degree.

If your transcript is not in English, the uploaded transcript must be accompanied by a certified English translation as part of the same document. The translation should be literal and complete. If you have undertaken graduate study at a non-U.S. institution and do not have a transcript but instead were issued a record of study or an official degree verification, you may supply this document in lieu of a transcript. Transcripts cannot be accepted by mail. If an official paper transcript is deemed necessary for any reason, you will be contacted to request one.

Field of Study: Please indicate your current field of study. If none of the fields indicated serve as an approximate match, you may select "Other" and enter your field in the box below.

Qualifications (max. 1 page + CV)

Provide a statement describing your qualifications to do the proposed research, speaking specifically to the requirements and goals of this fellowship program and your ability to conduct and complete the proposed research. Attach your full curriculum vitae.

  • post-secondary education: institutions, degrees, and dates, major and minor fields
  • level of competency needed for your proposed research
  • previous experience in research
  • other relevant achievements and qualifications (e.g., academic honors and awards, previous fellowships, publications, teaching experience, special skills needed for the proposed research)

Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant who is invited to develop a Full Proposal is required to provide letters of recommendation from both dissertation committee members and host project representatives.