PLAS Fellowship FAQs

Applying for a PLAS Fellowship

1. When is the application deadline? All applications and supporting materials must be received by the published deadline.

2. Are applications accepted after the deadline? No. The selection committee will consider neither incomplete applications, nor applications received after the published deadline.

3. To whom should the cover letter be addressed? Cover letters should be addressed to “The PLAS Fellowship Committee.”

4. In what language should application materials be submitted? Cover letters, CVs, research proposals, and course proposals should be submitted in English. However, course reading materials may also include relevant items in Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Recommendation letters may be submitted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.

5. For my course proposal(s), in what language(s) are course(s) taught? Courses are typically taught in English, therefore the applicant should have a good command of the English language; both oral and written. In rare cases, courses may be taught in Spanish or Portuguese. Course proposals should be pitched to advanced undergraduates, who typically will have Spanish-, and in some cases Portuguese-language reading ability. Do not hesitate to include some foreign-language readings (in Spanish, Portuguese, and French, as applicable) among your listed course materials.

6. How long is the semester at Princeton? Lecture courses and seminars meet for three hours per week, and the semester length is 12 weeks (for example, a typical three-hour seminar that meets once a week will have 12 meetings during the semester). You may also wish to consult the academic calendar:

7. Should my recommendations come from professors, or from people who know me from outside the academic setting? This is up to you. Your recommendations should come from any individual who can speak knowledgably to your qualifications for the PLAS fellowship. In general, however, academics are best positioned to write these kinds of letters.

8. What are the fellowship eligibility requirements? Applicants must have completed the doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., etc.) by the application deadline. This requirement may be waived for exceptionally qualified, high-profile Latin Americanists from institutions located in Latin America and the Caribbean.

9. I will not have completed my dissertation by the application deadline, but expect to do so by the time the fellowship begins. If my adviser sends a letter certifying that I will be done by the start of the fellowship, will my application still be considered? The PLAS fellowships are not intended primarily as post-doctoral positions, and ABD applicants will not be considered. Such individuals should, however, consider applying after having completed the terminal degree or apply to the PLAS Postdoctoral Research Associate opportunity. The fellowship’s core mission is to bring accomplished scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean to engage with Princeton students and faculty, to teach, and to pursue individual research and writing projects while in residence.

10. May non-U.S. nationals apply? Citizens of all nationalities may apply, and the selection committee especially encourages applications from scholars based at Latin American and Caribbean scholarly institutions. Princeton University will assist invited fellows to obtain the necessary U.S. work authorization.

11. Are there any other qualifications? PLAS fellowships will be awarded to outstanding Latin Americanists who propose to devote a semester or academic year in residence at Princeton University. Fellowships are open to scholars in all disciplines, with preference given to applicants from institutions located in Latin America and the Caribbean.

12. What else should I know about the application process? Prospective applicants may wish to familiarize themselves with current Princeton University course offerings in their area of expertise. Likewise, applicants may wish to familiarize themselves with the work and teaching of PLAS faculty members, by consulting the pertinent Princeton departmental web site(s). Applicants may also benefit from consulting “The Art of Writing Proposals,” by the Social Science Research Council. See:

13. May I speak with the director or a member of the selection committee if I have questions that are not answered here? Unfortunately, the volume of applications precludes individual consultation.  All inquiries should be sent to [email protected].

Other Questions

14. I live in New York. Would I be able to remain at my current residence and commute to Princeton?  No. PLAS fellows are expected to reside throughout the period of their appointment in the vicinity of Princeton, New Jersey.

15. Does Princeton cover travel, relocation, and other related costs? No. Fellows are responsible for all costs associated with relocation (travel by the fellow and any accompanying persons, shipping of personal belongings, housing costs, child care, etc.). Housing requests will be directed to the University faculty housing office, and the University will help invited fellows with visa applications. The University will make every reasonable effort to respond to the needs of incoming fellows, but fellows are ultimately responsible for securing visas, and arranging housing, childcare, schooling, and other matters in connection with their time at Princeton University.

16. What is the PLAS fellowship stipend? The stipend varies, and is determined by the Dean of the Faculty on the basis of academic rank and duration of the award. Stipends are sufficient to enable fellows to live comfortably in Princeton. Invited fellows should note that the first stipend is payable on the last working day of the first month at the University, so they should come prepared to cover all expenses during the initial month.

17. Will I need an automobile? Fellows have found it convenient but not absolutely necessary to own a car during their stay. Faculty housing is located near campus, and is convenient to local shopping. Public transit is available for travel to major shopping malls, and to such nearby cities as New York and Philadelphia.

18. What benefits come with the fellowship? Benefits include a campus office with local telephone and fax, personal computer, e-mail, and Internet access; health insurance for the fellow and household members; use of the Princeton University Library system; and access to a range of activities and services offered by the University. No secretarial support is provided. More information about Princeton University benefits can be found here: Limited funds will also be made available to present a paper at one scholarly meeting during the period of the PLAS fellowship.

19. What employment possibilities at the University might there be for my partner? The University cannot offer employment to fellows’ partners. However, the University maintains an online employment site: Nearby universities and businesses may also present employment opportunities.

20. What is expected of PLAS fellows during their appointment? During the appointment, fellows are expected to pursue independent research and writing at Princeton; to teach one course per semester, conditional upon approval of a Princeton department and the Dean of the Faculty; and to participate in PLAS-related events on campus, including but not limited to giving a lecture as part of PLAS’s Lunch Lecture Series.

21. What is the duration of the PLAS fellowship? Fellows are appointed for either one or two semesters during the academic year; appointment periods are September 1–February 1 (fall semester) and February 1–July 1 (spring semester).

22. Upon completing the PLAS fellowship, is there any possibility of extending one’s stay at Princeton University? PLAS fellowship appointments are non-renewable. However, all visiting scholars are welcome to apply for any other positions that may become available at the University.

Inquiries about Application Status

23. How will I know whether my application has been received? PLAS will send applicants an e-mail notice upon receipt and processing of the application. This may take several weeks, or months depending on the duration of the search and the volume of applications received.

24. If I receive an offer from another institution but have not yet heard from PLAS, should I contact PLAS? As a professional courtesy, PLAS would appreciate notification.