Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowships


The Society makes available up to three funded dissertation-year fellowships each year. Any student registered in good standing for a doctorate at a North American university who has completed all formal degree requirements except the dissertation at the time of full application is eligible to apply. The fellowships are not intended for support of the early stages of research: it is expected that a Fellow’s dissertation will be completed within the fellowship year.

Any submission for a doctoral degree in which the emphasis is on musical scholarship will be eligible.

Competition and Application Procedures

The Society's president, with confirmation by the Board of Directors, maintains a fellowship committee of at least fifteen respected musicologists from whom three judges, through a system of rotation and replacement, are chosen by the chair of the committee in any one year. Although the membership of the Fellowship Committee will be made public (and is widely representative of fields of study), the individual judges for the competition in any one year are not identified. The three judges view the applications without indications of name or institution.

Applications must be submitted online via the AMS Web site.

You will be requested to upload the following materials:

  1. A 150-word project description.
  2. A current dissertation prospectus of twelve to fifteen pages (c. 3000-4000 words).  The prospectus should include a detailed rationale of the project (supported by, but not limited to, an assessment of relevant secondary literature), an overview of each chapter, and a clear statement of progress to date, all written in prose.
  3. A sample chapter (preferably not an introductory chapter reviewing the literature).

You should also arrange for a letter from the registrar or departmental Director of Graduate Studies attesting to ABD (all-but-dissertation) status. Send as an e-mail attachment to: a50-recomms [at], or via fax to the AMS office (877-679-7648 or 207-798-4254).

Please note: letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, and a bibliography are not required.

Important notes:

  1. Start your application process early. The first steps create your record. You may return to update and upload files at any point prior to the deadline.
  2. The committee would prefer to receive all textual materials submitted by applicants (items 1–3, above) in as anonymous a form as possible, i.e., without the applicant’s name and evidence of institutional affiliation.
  3. Check file size limits and edit as necessary.
  4. DO NOT plan to submit less than one day prior to deadline. Upload speeds slow with increased traffic and accidents happen!


AHJ AMS 50 Fellowships are awarded solely on the basis of academic merit. Fellows receive a twelve-month stipend, currently set at $21,000. They may also elect to accept the award on a non-stipendiary basis (thus freeing scarce resources for others). The fellowships are intended for full-time study. An equivalent major award from another source may not normally be held concurrently or consecutively unless the AMS award is accepted without a stipend. Fellowships are for one year and are not deferrable or renewable; Fellows are expected to focus primarily on completing their dissertations and not to undertake significant teaching or similar obligations. There are no provisions for the payment of tuition: it is hoped that graduate schools will provide tuition fellowships or waivers.

Fellows are selected in the spring, announced in the August issue of the AMS Newsletter, and given formal recognition at the Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation of the Society.

Application procedure

Applications should be made using the online submission form.

Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday 15 December 2015.

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