Eligibility and Guidelines

Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination - 2020-21 Application

  • Award Period: September 1, 2020–May 31, 2021
  • Application Deadline: November 1, 2019 (5:00 PM EST - New York City time zone)

The Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination’s purpose is to question the established ways in which knowledge is defined, produced, and taught. The Institute encourages applications in all disciplines and on any topic from candidates interested in participating in a creative community of scholars, artists, and thinkers.

There are two categories of fellows: 1) Columbia University and Barnard College faculty and recent PhD students. Tenured and tenure-track University faculty from any School are eligible as are adjunct teaching faculty whose appointment extends beyond the fellowship year. At least one fellowship annually may be awarded to a recent Columbia PhD student who has defended their dissertation between September 1, 2017 and September 30, 2019. Faculty should notify their department chairs or Dean of their intention to apply for this fellowship. The Institute staff can, upon request, direct applicants to the appropriate university office to discuss the financial implications of an award. 2) Scholars and creative artists of any nationality who are not based permanently in the United States. The fellows will each receive a stipend of $37,500 per term, or $75,000 for a full academic year (September through May), an office at the Institute in Paris, and access to Columbia’s libraries as well as associated research facilities in Paris and elsewhere. We welcome projects from those working in any area of the humanities, the social sciences, and conceptual dimensions of the natural and applied sciences, as well as from visual and sound artists, filmmakers, composers, writers and other creative thinkers.

To be eligible, scholars must have received their doctorate and be able to demonstrate a record of publication; creative writers (novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists, essayists) must demonstrate a record of publication; visual and sound artists, composers and choreographers must have a significant body of work that has been exhibited or performed in public. We welcome group projects although each participant in the group must apply individually and will be considered on his or her own merits. Long-term residents of the United States who are not affiliated with Columbia University are ineligible to apply.

The Institute for Ideas and Imagination is a residential program. Regular participation within the community of Fellows is a core commitment of acceptance of the fellowship. Fellows are required to work at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris. There will also be opportunities to host workshops and conferences. Regular participation within the community of fellows and mutual intellectual support are vital to the success of the Institute. We therefore ask that other professional obligations such as teaching, speaking engagements, and research trips be kept to a minimum for the duration of the fellowship. The Institute reserves the right to pro-rate a fellow’s stipend for extensive absences.

The Institute for Ideas and Imagination will not accept dossier letters in place of new letters of recommendation.

Applications to the fellowship competition must be in English. Although we aim to foster a multi-lingual environment, the working language of the Institute is English.

The Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination is made possible by the generous support of the Aretê Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and Daniel Cohen, and with additional gifts from Judith Ginsberg and Paul LeClerc, Olga and George Votis, the EHA Foundation, and Mel and Lois Tukman.
Andrew W. Mellon FoundationStavros Niarchos FoundationAreté Foundation