This fellowship, made possible by the SMT-40 campaign, is intended to recognize and foster excellent research in music theory by helping highly qualified PhD. students to complete their dissertations.

  • Applicants must be current members of the Society for Music Theory who have completed all required coursework and examinations, and have received approval of the dissertation proposal, by the application deadline. 
  • Previous years’ applicants are encouraged to reapply.
  • Awardees must not have completed and defended their dissertation by the time they receive the fellowship.
  • These fellowships are awarded to research projects that promise to make a significant contribution to the field of music theory.
  • In keeping with the Society's mission to promote diversity and inclusivity, at least one of the two awards will support a topic in an area of music theory research that engages diversity, or an applicant who contributes to the diversification of the SMT community. 
  • 2022 dissertation research fellowships include an award of $5,000 to support full-time research and writing for a minimum of two months.
  • Awardees will receive recognition at the Annual Meeting and in the SMT Newsletter. 

The SMT-40 Dissertation Fellowship Committee consists of a Chair and three additional members appointed by the SMT President. It evaluates completed applications and selects up to two awardees per year. The Committee reserves the right not to make any award. Committee members recuse themselves from deliberations regarding any graduate student who attends their institution or who may pose a conflict of interest for them. Any recusals associated with the award winners will be made public when the award is announced. The winners will be notified in early 2023 and will have two weeks to accept or decline the Fellowship. An awardee may receive the Fellowship only once; it is not deferrable or renewable. The Fellowship may be accepted without the financial award should this be a condition for accepting an award from a different source.

Application process

Please fill out the online form to apply. 

The application asks for the following information:

  • Basic information about the student (name, institution, email, mailing address)
  • Dissertation advisee and their email address
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A dissertation prospectus
  • Sample chapter from the dissertation
The 2023 application deadline has passed