MacMillan Center expands support of graduate education

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale has made an annual commitment of $120,000 to its newest program to support Yale Ph.D. students in their professional development.

All Ph.D. students in the humanities and the social sciences are eligible to apply for MacMillan Center International Conference Travel Grants to support their travel as program participants in recognized scholarly conferences, workshops, and meetings. The meeting can be in the United States or abroad, but the student must be on the program as a presenter, session chair, or discussant speaking on an international topic.

Participating in academic meetings is vital to the professional growth of a graduate student into an independent scholar,” noted Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Henry R. Luce Director of The MacMillan Center, “and the center is pleased to advance the careers of Yale’s Ph.D. students by providing them with resources to participate in scholarly meetings that will allow them to present their research and interact with their discipline’s professional community.”

The MacMillan Center International Conference Travel Grants supplement funds that the student can receive from their home department or elsewhere at Yale, or from the conference if it provides travel subsidies. The program complements the extant Yale Graduate Student Assembly Conference Travel Fellowships that will also be expanded to provide $120,000 annually and will now primarily support students on non-international topics and in the sciences. The creation of the MacMillan Center International Conference Travel Grants and the expansion of the Yale Graduate Student Assembly Conference Travel Fellowships represent an additional significant commitment from Yale toward its Ph.D. students, noted Shapiro.

Tamar Gendler, dean of the Faculty of the Arts and Sciences and Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy, stated: “When graduate students travel to conferences, they have the opportunity to present their work to an international group of leading experts in their particular field of study, each presenting their own cutting-edge results. This exposure to new methods, frameworks, and ideas can be transformative: Students often return from a conference with a set of techniques and insights that moves their scholarly work in unexpected and exciting new directions. The FAS Dean’s office is thrilled to support this sort of intellectual stimulation at a crucial point in the career development of these outstanding scholars.”

I am incredibly grateful that the MacMillan Center has established its conference travel grant program for Ph.D. students,” said Lynn Cooley, dean of the Yale Graduate School and C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics and of Cell Biology. “Participation in conferences is an important part of all doctoral programs, and this new grant is a tremendous addition to resources available to our students for attending professional meetings.”

The MacMillan Center grant is available to all Ph.D. students in programs in the humanities and the social sciences and to select Ph.D. students in professional school programs that may have a humanities or a social sciences dimension, such as architecture, forestry & environmental studies (F&ES), law, public health, and nursing. Students in programs in the biological sciences (except F&ES, public health, and nursing), engineering & applied science, and the physical sciences are not eligible for the MacMillan grants, but are eligible for support from the Yale Graduate Student Assembly Conference Travel Fellowship. MacMillan grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.

Doctoral students (before the dissertation prospectus is approved) can receive up to $500 for each conference, and Ph.D. candidates (after the prospectus is approved) can receive up to $750 for each conference. There is no limit on the number of conferences a student can seek funding for as long as she or he meets all other application requirements. More information about the MacMillan Center International Conference Travel Grants and the application requirements can be found on the Yale Students Grants and Fellowships Database: https://yale.communityforce.com/Funds/Search.aspx.

The MacMillan Center International Conference Travel Grant underscores the center’s commitment to graduate education and recognizes the important role that participation in academic meetings contributes to the professional growth of Yale’s Ph.D. students into scholars and faculty colleagues, said Shapiro. The conference travel grant program joins the MacMillan Center Pre-Dissertation Grants (up to $5,000) and MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowships (up to $18,000) that allow the MacMillan Center to support Yale Ph.D. students at all stages of their dissertation research pathway in identifying an international dissertation topic, undertaking research in the field, and presenting their scholarship.

Dating back to 1935 with the opening of the Yale Institute for International Studies, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale and its precursors have been the university’s focal point for teaching and research on international affairs, societies, and cultures around the world. The MacMillan Center has been marked by its interdisciplinary, collaborative, and entrepreneurial spirit in serving as a university-wide resource for areas of research and teaching, drawing its strength by tapping the interests and combining the intellectual resources of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Yale’s 12 professional schools.

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