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Please note that applications for the Ryan-Headley Fellowship are currently closed. The next Ryan-Headley Fellowship will be awarded for the 2025-26 cycle.

The Ryan-Headley Fellowship, which is awarded by MEMS every other year, provides the winner with one semester free of teaching responsibilities. (More information about the fellowship is available here.) All graduate students working in MEMS-related fields are eligible to apply, but strong preference will be given to graduate students who are in the final stages of writing (that is, with at least two and ideally three chapters of the dissertation already complete). While there are no restrictions with respect to the topic or focus of the dissertation, dissertations concerned with intellectual history, the European later Middle Ages or Renaissance, and the global Middle Ages and/or Renaissance are particularly welcome.

To apply, please download the application form here. Once you’ve filled it out, please submit it along with (1) an up-to-date curriculum vitae and (2) a bibliography of 1-2 pages in length to, cc-ing Dr. Taylor Cowdery ( As well, please arrange (3) for your advisor to submit a letter of recommendation, under separate cover, to, again cc-ing Dr. Taylor Cowdery ( Please note that this letter need not be tailored to MEMS or the Headley Fellowship competition; it can be the same as any letter an advisor would submit for a fellowship or entry-level academic job.

Please note that the due date for the next cycle of Ryan-Headley Applications is March 15 2025. Please note as well that grants awarded in the 2025-26 cycle are for the fall or spring semesters of the 2025-26 academic year.

All applications for the 2025-26 Ryan-Headley Fellowship will be evaluated by the MEMS Advisory Board, and awards will be decided upon by majority vote. Please note that the Board cannot consider incomplete applications.