Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Fellowship Program

The Stephen F. Cohen–Robert C. Tucker Dissertation Fellowship Program for Russian Historical Studies supports the next generation of US scholars in Russian studies. The Program is sponsored by the KAT Charitable Foundation. 

Established in 2015, the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowships provide a maximum stipend of $25,000 for doctoral students at US and Canadian universities, who are citizens or permanent residents of the US, to conduct dissertation research in Russia. The Program is open to students in any discipline whose dissertation topics are within 19th - early 21st century Russian historical studies.

As of 2019, ASEEES is offering a Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Completion Fellowship, with a maximum stipend of $25,000, for a doctoral student at US and Canadian universities, who is citizen or permanent resident of the US, to complete their dissertation. The Program is open to students in any discipline whose dissertation topics are within 19th - early 21st century Russian historical studies.

A flyer describing this program is available here.

Fellowship PROJECT Scope

For both the Research Fellowship and Dissertation Completion Fellowship:

  • The dissertation topic must be in 19th - early 21st century Russian historical studies; in cases of equally qualified applications, some preference may be given to research on the Soviet era
  • The dissertation topic can be in cultural, economic, intellectual, political, or social historical studies
  • The geographic focus of the dissertation must be predominantly within the current boundaries of the Russian Federation NOTE: This does not exclude research related to other former Soviet Republics or territories of the 19th c. Russian Empire, but the research topic must still be predominantly a historical study of Russia 

For the Research Fellowship only:

  • The research must be conducted primarily in the Russian Federation, but the fellowship may be used to conduct research for a briefer period in secondary site(s) in one other former Soviet republic or territory once forming part of the Russian empire (NOTE: The fellowship does not support research in North America)


For the Research Fellowship:

  • The duration of research travel must be at least nine (9) months. Research can be conducted in two trips if the visa situation requires it, but all proposed research travel must be concluded within 15 months from the start of the research travel.

For the Dissertation Completion Fellowship

  • The maximum duration of the fellowship twelve (12) months - from August 15 of the fellowship competition year to August 14 of the following year. Applicant may apply for a one-semester fellowship (for which the stipend will be maximum $12,500). Fellowship recipient MUST complete the dissertation during the their fellowship tenure. 


For both the Research Fellowship and Dissertation Completion Fellowship, applicant must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of the US
  • be a doctoral student at a US or Canadian university 
  • be a student member of ASEEES at the time of the application submission
  • have a dissertation research topic that falls within the fellowship project scope (see above), but may be in any discipline
  • have language proficiency to conduct research in Russia
  • not have previously applied for this fellowship more than once

For the Research Fellowship, applicant must:

  • have successfully achieved PhD candidacy (ABD status) by the start of the proposed research travel
  • be able to receive and maintain a visa to the Russian Federation (and any other site of research that requires a visa). NOTE: Applicant MUST be able to obtain a visa through an affiliation with a Russian research institution (ASEEES may be able to provide some assistance in establishing institutional affiliation)
  • plan to start the research travel within the same calendar year following the receipt of the fellowship (Ex: Upon notification of the fellowship in the spring of 2021, the recipient must start his/her research travel no later than December 31, 2021)
  • not have a grant or fellowship from another organization to conduct the same or similar research project at the same time. NOTE: Applicants may apply for competing fellowships, however if offered another fellowship as well as the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship, the applicant must choose between them
  • not hold or have held the ASEEES Dissertation Grant for the same research project

For the Dissertation Completion Fellowship:

  • Applicant must be prepared to successfully defend their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure
  • Applicant may not currently hold or have previously held a dissertation completion fellowship
  • Past Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship recipients can apply for the Completion Fellowship 

Fellowship Amount

For both the Research Fellowship and Dissertation Completion Fellowship:

  • The fellowship amount is a maximum of $25,000. The fellowship does not provide tuition and fee payments to the applicant’s US/Canadian home institution. 
  • The fellow may not hold employment or academic workload during the fellowship tenure.
  • The fellow cannot hold another fully-funded fellowship at the same time as the Cohen-Tucker Fellowship.
  • With the express persmission of ASEEES, the Fellow may hold another small grant or award, particularly to cover the cost of tuition and fees. 

For the Research Fellowship: The stipend can be spent on expenses incurred while conducting research in Russia, including living expenses, research expenses, international airfare, visa expenses, and evacuation and health insurance. The fellowship is paid in 4 installments. 

For the Dissertation Completion Fellowship: The stipend can be used for all living and any related research expenses as they complete the dissertation in residence at the fellow’s home institution or at another appropriate site. The fellowship is paid in 3 installments. 

For both the Research Fellowship and Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the fellowship will be awarded on the basis of:

  • the applicant's scholarly qualifications
  • the scholarly significance of the project and its capacity to advance Russian historical studies
  • the quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature

For the Research Fellowship: the feasibility of the research proposal

For the Dissertation Completion Fellowship: the viability of the proposed timeline for completion (Note: The applicant's adviser will be expected to confirm viability of the completion timeline and end of doctoral funding in years subsequent to the fellowship year.)

Application Requirements

All components of the application must be submitted online. Application requirements are found on the online application pages.

Online Application for Research Fellowship

Online Application for Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Application Deadline

January 21, 2021
Reference letter deadline: January 28, 2021 (Referees will be contacted with instructions to submit the letters as soon as the application is received)

Notifications will be sent out by no later than April 2021.


For more information contact the ASEEES Program Coordinator at