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Mellon Dissertation Original Sources

Fellowship Guidelines

Adherence to Stated Policies

The fellowship is offered in support of the research proposal described in your application, and for the period of time set forth in the award letter or agreed upon in subsequent correspondence. Fellowships cannot be renewed or extended; nor may paid employment be held simultaneously with the CLIR fellowship. You are expected to devote full time to your dissertation research without undertaking paid work, and you may not use the stipend to defray tuition costs.

Fellows are required to acknowledge, by completing and signing the stipend disbursement form, that they will abide by all the fellowship regulations posted on this website under the Fellowship Tenure and Conditions


Fellows with questions for CLIR during their tenure should contact Nicole Ferraiolo and the rest of the program team at

Communication from CLIR to the fellows regarding this fellowship is primarily conducted by email. Fellows should ensure CLIR has a current email address on file at all times.

Fellows should complete the stipend disbursement form and return it to CLIR prior to their fellowship. This form should also be used to communicate any changes in fellows’ addresses or disbursement schedules during the fellowship tenure.

Payment of Stipends

Unless other arrangements are specifically requested and agreed to in writing, CLIR issues stipends to U.S. banks via direct deposit. Payments may also be made to non-U.S. accounts (in compliance with U.S. regulations); these payments will be made by wire.

Complete the provided stipend disbursement form and direct deposit form and return them to CLIR. CLIR cannot issue stipend payments to you until we have signed and dated copies of these forms on file. If you are unable to complete the form prior to the pre-fellowship workshop, please do so as soon as possible. The forms may be emailed to Diane Ramirez, faxed to (202) 600-9628, or sent by regular mail to:

Attn: Diane Ramirez and Nicole Ferraiolo
Council on Library and Information Resources
1707 L Street, NW #650
Washington, DC 20036

Stipend payments are made monthly, on or before the first day of the month for which the stipend is intended. (Should those dates fall on a weekend or U.S. bank holiday, the payment will be made the last business day prior to that date.) You may direct that your stipend payment be allocated to two or more accounts, as indicated on the direct deposit form.

Taxation of Stipends

The IRS’s current guidelines include the following statement:


Do not use Form 1099-MISC to report scholarship or fellowship grants. Scholarship or fellowship grants that are taxable to the recipient because they are paid for teaching, research, or other services as a condition for receiving the grant are considered wages and must be reported on Form W-2. Other taxable scholarship or fellowship payments (to a degree or nondegree candidate) do not have to be reported by you to the IRS on any form.

Source: (accessed January 24, 2017)

Because fellows in this program are not being paid for teaching, research or other services rendered to CLIR, CLIR’s interpretation of the guidelines is that these fellowship grants are not to be considered as wages, and thus it is not necessary for CLIR to report these stipend payments to the IRS. Accordingly, CLIR will not report these funds or issue tax forms unless the IRS guidelines change.

However, CLIR staff are not qualified to provide tax advice and fellows are encouraged to review the tax regulations for themselves at the Internal Revenue Service’s website,

Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

Mellon Fellows are asked to attend two meetings, one before and one after the fellowship period. CLIR will reimburse you for your costs to attend these meetings in accordance with CLIR’s travel policy for this fellowship. These reimbursements are separate from and in addition to the fellowship stipend. Requests for reimbursement must be made using CLIR’s travel reimbursement form.

Fellows’ travel to their research sites may be paid for using stipend funds, and is not otherwise reimbursable. Fellows do not need to seek approval from CLIR prior to making travel arrangements related to their research.

The Research Schedule

Fellows are expected to adhere to the schedule they proposed in the application approved by CLIR. However, CLIR recognizes that fellows may find they need to revise their research schedule as they progress with their research. CLIR understands and encourages such exploration and revision, but it is important that fellows notify CLIR of changes to the accepted research schedule before acting on them (email Nicole Ferraiolo and the program team at Fellows should keep track of the reasoning behind such changes, as this is part of the information which should be included in the final report to CLIR.

Minor breaks, such as a visit home for the holidays, do not need to be approved by CLIR. If a serious matter arises, requiring a significant amount of time and changes to the accepted research schedule, CLIR should be notified as soon as possible.

The Final Report

Your final report will be due to CLIR no later than 30 days after your last month as a CLIR fellow, and should be submitted by e-mail to Nicole Ferraiolo and the program team at Reports should be about 3,000 words in length.

The report should not focus on the information you gleaned from various archives and libraries in your research. Rather, CLIR is interested in hearing about the processes you developed and established over the course of your research.

  • What worked, what didn’t work?
  • What can libraries and archives do better from a researcher’s perspective, and what did you learn about the way they do business in different locations and situations?
  • How difficult or otherwise was it to find the records or information you sought, and to then gain access to it?
  • Did you find what you expected based on your preliminary research, or did you find situations different than ‘advertised’?
  • What tactics did you have to employ to gain access to libraries, archives and items?
  • What advice would you offer to archivists and librarians?
  • What advice would you offer to fellow researchers?
  • How could graduate study best prepare scholars for such research?

The Post-Fellowship Symposium

Shortly after the Mellon Fellows have completed their fellowships, CLIR will reconvene the group. This mandatory meeting takes place at the Library of Congress in mid-October. (The exact date, once set, will be sent to fellows by e-mail and will also be posted on this page.) At the post-fellowship seminar fellows will be issued a final stipend payment, pursuant to CLIR’s acceptance of the final report and the fellows’ attendance at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to allow fellows to exchange experiences and thoughts, and to advise CLIR on the results of their research experience.

Washington, DC, April 4, 2017—Seventeen graduate students have been selected to receive awards this year under the Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources program, which CLIR administers.

The fellowships are intended to help graduate students in the humanities and related social science fields pursue research wherever relevant sources are available; gain skill and creativity in using primary source materials in libraries, archives, museums, and related repositories; and provide suggestions to CLIR about how such source materials can be made more accessible and useful.

The fellowships carry stipends of up to $25,000 each to support dissertation research for periods ranging from nine to twelve months.

Bench Ansfield
Born in Flames: Arson, Racial Capitalism, and the Reinsuring of the Bronx in the Late Twentieth Century
Yale University

William Bamber
Visual Transnationalism and the Spread of the Fez from Ottoman Turkey to South Asia, 1876-1908
University of Washington

Eddie Bonilla
Debating the “Fronteras” and “Fanning the Flames”: Centro de Acción Social Autónomo, the August 29th Movement, and Chicano Marxism During the Chicana/o Movement, 1968-1990
Michigan State University

Yuting Dong
Empire on the Ground: Railway Towns and Urban Encounters in Japan’s Manchuria (1905-45)
Harvard University

Robert Franco
Revolution in the Sheets: The Intimate Politics of the Mexican Left, 1901-1981
Duke University

Hazem Jamjoum
Capitalist Commodification and Cultural Hegemony: Music and Power in Egypt, 1903-1938
New York University

Yi Lu
Socialist Pulp: Print and Information in Revolutionary China, 1940-1980
Harvard University

Megan McDonie
Explosive Encounters: Volcanic Landscapes, Indigenous Knowledge, and Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Mesoamerica
Penn State University

Marijana Misevic
Literacy and Multilingualism in the Early Modern Ottoman Balkans
Harvard University

Murad Mumtaz
Sufi Icons: Mapping an Unexplored Genre of Indian Devotional Painting
University of Virginia

Diane Oliva
Earthquakes in the Eighteenth-Century Musical Imagination
Harvard University

Laura Quinton
Ballet Imperial: Dance and the Reinvention of the British State, c. 1945-70
New York University

Hosung Shim
Central Asia’s Last Nomad Conquerors: The Zunghars between China, Russia, and Tibet
Indiana University Bloomington

Halimat Somotan
The Making and Unmaking of a Capital City, Lagos and Post-colonial Nigeria, 1951-1976
Columbia University

Lucia Tang
Virtue Aesthetics: Ugliness and Female Exemplarity in Early and Medieval China
University of California at Berkeley

Tara Tran
Hospitality Engendered: Women’s Bodies, Empire, and Humanitarianism in Cambodia, 1863-1954
Johns Hopkins University

Sim Hinman Wan
Hybrid Architectural Import: Dutch and Chinese Philanthropic Establishments in the Seventeenth-Century Urbanization of Indonesia
University of Illinois at Chicago