Brackenridge Fellowships

The Brackenridge Fellowship provides $4,000 for any form of research, scholarship, or creative work. Conduct an independent research or creative project full-time over the summer under the guidance of a Pitt faculty member or qualified research mentor. Brackenridge Fellowships support projects in any field or major — analytic, or purely creative.

Applications for Summer 2024 are due March 1 by 11:59pm.

Details

The Brackenridge Fellowship was the first interdisciplinary research program of its kind in the nation and has an esteemed reputation. As a fellow, you'll receive a stipend of $4,000 for the summer (mid-May through early August) so you can devote yourself full-time to the fellowship and limit the need to support yourself with a summer job. Fellowship recipients may take a maximum of 2 courses over the summer and may have outside employment. Any coursework or outside employment, however, may not interfere with the fellowship requirements in any way. Any planned coursework or employment outside the fellowship should be discussed with fellowship director prior to accepting the award.

The Brackenridge Fellowship is designed to help you develop your research, while also gaining a better understanding of research across disciplines. In addition to working on your individual project, you'll attend weekly seminars with students from different disciplines to discuss and present your research. The seminars will focus on strategies to help you communicate your research to broad audiences. You will also attend workshops and guest speaker panels to help you learn about research and scholarship throughout the Pitt community.

During the academic year following the summer program, fellowship recipients will be required to present their projects at the Frederick Honors College research fair.

Who Can Apply?

Full-time undergraduate students who have identified a faculty member, or appropriately qualified research mentor, who has agreed to work with them during the fellowship. The fellowship is open to students from any field and any year, including rising sophomores as well as rising seniors. Students who intend to graduate in the spring semester before the summer are not eligible. The fellowship program aligns with Pitt's 12-week summer semester and participants must be able to begin and end their participation during the first Tuesday of this semester (5/16/23). Recipients must attend in-person meetings over the summer.

Selection Criteria

Fellows are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Their academic record
  • The quality and coherence of their proposal (Is it understandable to someone outside their discipline?)
  • The originality and promise of the proposed project
  • Their interdisciplinary interests and potential to contribute to the interdisciplinary community of students in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied disciplines

All types of proposals are strongly encouraged, including discipline-specific projects and interdisciplinary projects. However, all students interested in this fellowship should have a commitment to understanding how their work could benefit from understanding work done across disciplines (e.g., research from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences).

It is important to remember that unlike many other research proposals, this one must be written in a manner that is accessible to a broad, non-expert audience, and should use minimal jargon.

About Applying for Other Pitt Honors Summer Awards

Students wishing to be considered for both the Brackenridge Fellowship and the Health Sciences Fellowship must submit separate applications for each. The programs are distinctly different, and applications should be tailored to the appropriate opportunity. While the Brackenridge is made up of a cohort of fellows divided evenly among the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, with a focus on communicating your work to a broad audience, the Health Sciences Fellowship focuses only on Health Sciences research and sharing your work within that community. 

How to Apply

In consultation with the sponsoring faculty member the student must submit an application according to the instructions via the "Application Instructions" link below. All application materials must be received by the date specified above. The FHC will evaluate the proposals, and all applicants will be notified of the decisions within roughly 30 days of the application deadline.

Detailed Brackenridge Fellowship Application Instructions (PDF)

The Awards

Application materials required include the following (detailed explanations of each item can be found in the application instructions and in the online application itself):

  • A Project Proposal
  • A brief Statement of Interest in the Community
  • An up-to-date Academic Transcript
  • A Letter of Recommendation from your Faculty or Research Mentor

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all materials mentioned above and to ensure that the faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation is submitted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Brett Say, Director of Honors Research Programs (bhs28@pitt.edu).