Jerome A. Schiff Fellowship

A generous gift from the Jerome A. Schiff Charitable Trust allows Wellesley to support students pursuing independent research projects through the senior Honors thesis program.  

The fellowships are awarded on the basis of merit, and the number of fellows each year is determined by available funding and the number of qualified applicants. For the 2016-2017 academic year, each fellowship will be at least $1,500.  Applicants should read carefully the following criteria and instructions, which have been updated.

Selection Criteria

In selecting fellows, the Committee for Curriculum and Academic Planning (CCAP) considers the clarity and feasibility of the proposal, the significance of the project within and beyond a particular academic discipline, the coursework and experiences that have prepared the candidate to complete the project successfully, and the strength of faculty recommendations. Applicants should make their proposals intelligible and compelling for non-specialist readers.


The fellowship honors excellence in research and is intended to facilitate thesis work. The application does not require a budget or a statement of financial need.  Fellows may use the funds as they deem appropriate; students have used their fellowships to reduce job obligations in order to devote more time to research and writing; to cover travel and living expenses related to fieldwork, library, or archival research; to cover expenses related to interviews, user studies, and participant compensation; to purchase necessary supplies, materials, or equipment, including computing resources and equipment; and to cover travel and living expenses to attend relevant academic conferences.


Eligibility is limited to Wellesley students enrolled in a 360 in the fall or intending to enroll in a 360 in spring. Students enrolled in a 370 in the fall are not eligible. A recipient of the Daniels Fellowship is not eligible to receive a Schiff Fellowship, though students may apply to both.

Letters of Recommendation

Advisors will be invited to upload a letter of support once the student has submitted the online application described below. The letter should address the strength and feasibility of the student's proposed project, the student's ability to work independently, and the likelihood that the promise of the thesis will be fulfilled. The Committee would also welcome comments comparing the applicant's proposal to that of other students with whom the faculty member has worked.

Model Proposals

Excerpts from the prior year’s successful proposals will be posted to the online portal. They are intended to offer general models for writing about research clearly and compellingly.

Dates and Deadlines

  • September 23, 2016:  application portal opens

  • October 17, 2016:  application due by 5 pm

  • October 24, 2016:  advisor’s recommendation due by 5 pm

  • November 14, 2016:  notification of results

Application Procedures and Materials

The online application portal can be accessed through  MyWellesley > Administrivia > Especially for Students > Schiff Fellowship.

  • Complete the application form.

  • Upload a current resume.

  • Upload a 2-3 page proposal (double-spaced) describing the premise, methodology, and significance of the research project, the research and writing accomplished so far, and detailed plans for completing the thesis.

  • List the name of the thesis advisor, as prompted by the form. Your advisor will receive by email a request to upload the letter of recommendation when you submit your application.  The recommendation cannot be uploaded until the application has been submitted.

Recipient Expectations

Fellowship recipients are expected to present the results of their project at the Ruhlman Conference. In addition, fellows are required to submit a one-page reflection to the Office of the Provost and Dean of the College ( before Commencement Day (before the end of exams in December, in the case of students beginning a 360 in Spring).  This essay should describe what the fellow learned from the experience of researching and writing a thesis.