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One of the main stumbling blocks in doctoral study has been the financial ability to complete the dissertation. In every study made of doctoral programs in History, and indeed generally in the humanities and in the social sciences, it has been found that students spend an inordinately long period of time on the dissertation (see, for example, Dexter Parkins and John L. Snell, The Education of Historians in the United States, 1962. This study found that 71% of Ph.D. candidates in history in 1958 had required seven years or more to finish the dissertation, and 35% who received the Ph.D. degree in that year were 36 years of age or older). This same study found that the most common cause of candidates failing to complete their dissertations in a reasonable length of time has been their “sinking” into full-time work. There is an obvious need for fellowships that will enable doctoral students to complete their dissertations in a year or two of full-time study.
Recommendations of the Board of Managers of The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York
- The scholarship should be awarded to a student who has completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. degree except the dissertation.
- The stipend should be an outright grant of at least $2,500*, and should be granted on the condition that the Fellow will devote full-time to writing the dissertation.
- The aim of the recipient should be teaching.
Proposed Agreement for Fellowship Between NSCD and CUNY
Proposed Agreement Relating to the Establishment of The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American History at the City University of New York.
In accordance with the patriotic, public service and educational objectives of The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, the Society agrees to establish and sponsor a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American History at the City University of New York to be known as The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American History.
Purpose of the Fellowship:
The purpose of the Fellowship is (1) to stimulate and foster the scholarly study of American history, and (2) to encourage able young men and women to become college teachers of American history.
Funding of the Fellowship:
The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American History is to be supported by a gift of $2,500*, to be provided annually (except as noted below) by the New York Society. Should the New York Society’s funds be insufficient to underwrite the Fellowship in any year, the Society shall duly notify the University. In the academic year following such notification, the University will not award the Fellowship. Information about the availability of the Fellowship will be provided in the University’s annual Bulletin of Graduate Programs.
Terms of Eligibility:
The following graduate students in the City University of New York shall be eligible for the Fellowship: Candidates for the Ph.D. in American history who (1) show promise of a successful career in college teaching, (2) have completed all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation, (3) have made sufficient progress on the dissertation to indicate that they are capable of completing their work in a year of full-time writing, and (4) are prepared to give full-time in the Fellowship year to the writing and completion of the dissertation.
In recognition of and in pursuance of the Society’s and the City University’s educational goals, the University shall, in accordance with its established procedures, and conditional upon the availability of funds, select annually the most promising candidate for the doctoral degree in American history as the Society’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellow. The Fellowship shall, ordinarily, be held for one year, but the University shall have the right to renew the grant for an additional year or part of a year, provided funds are available, and if, in the University’s judgment, the purpose of the grant would be best served by such a renewal.
A committee of five professors who are specialists in American history and are particularly knowledgeable in the fields of Colonial History and the American Revolution has been set up by the provost of the City University of New York to administer The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American History.
NSCDNY Fellowship Recipient list
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Our Mission:The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America actively promotes our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects.