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Frequently Asked Questions for Fellowship Applicants

Applying Using Embark and Technical Support

Please read and follow the online instructions. Applications, to be written in English, must be submitted electronically by November 1, including transcripts for Junior Fellowship applicants and two letters of recommendation for all applicants. Late applications will not be accepted. Awards will be announced by March and must be accepted by the end of the month. External committees of scholars decide the awards. Individuals currently affiliated with Dumbarton Oaks are not eligible for the fellowship and project grant programs. For further inquiries, please contact

How can I get technical support?

Applicants should refer to the Embark Application Support page which will aid you in navigating any technical problems that arise. To access the page, click on the “Help” tab on the bottom right of the application page.

This will take you to the Embark Application Support page where you can “Submit a Request” detailing the issue or email the Technical Support team directly at

My recommenders are having problems submitting their letter of recommendation. What is causing the problem?

It may be due to a browser incompatibility issue. The Embark Tech Support Team strongly recommends using the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox to access the online recommendation website. You can also contact the Embark Tech Support Team directly at

May I apply to more than one program/fellowship? Unless otherwise noted on the call for applications, applicants may apply for more than one opportunity. Applicants will need to create an additional Embark account with a different email address to initiate the second application.

Eligibility and Visas

What are the degree requirements for different fellowship categories?
  • Fellowships are for individuals holding appropriate terminal degrees (e.g., PhD, MLA) at the time of the application deadline.
  • Junior Fellowships are for degree candidates who at the time of application have fulfilled all preliminary requirements for a PhD or appropriate final degree and will be working on a dissertation or final project at Dumbarton Oaks under the direction of a faculty member at their own university. Graduate students who do not have the PhD in hand by the application deadline of November 1 must apply as Junior Fellows. Successful applicants for Junior Fellowships who have the PhD in hand by the beginning of the fellowship term may be granted the status and stipend of Fellows.
  • Summer Fellowships are for Byzantine and Pre-Columbian scholars on any level of advancement beyond the first year of graduate (post-baccalaureate) study. The fellowships support full-time pursuit of a research project and use of the Dumbarton Oaks collections.
  • The I Tatti–Dumbarton Oaks Joint Fellowship is available to early- and mid-career scholars whose work explores cross-cultural contacts in and beyond the late medieval and early modern Mediterranean.
  • The Flora Clancy Summer Fellowship in Maya Studies for Latin American Researchers is for scholars on any level of advancement beyond the first year of graduate study (post-Licenciatura) who are academically based in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, or El Salvador.
  • Mellon Fellowships in Landscape and Democracy are for cross-disciplinary scholars studying the history and future of landscapes through the lenses of democracy, race, identity, and difference, with preference for candidates with terminal degrees (PhD or MLA). /li>
What are the transcript requirements for Junior Fellows?

Junior Fellow applicants from US-based institutions should submit an official or unofficial transcript. Junior Fellow applicants from non-US-based institutions should submit a master's certificate and/or proof of enrollment in the graduate program from your university.

Are fellowships offered to non-US citizens?

Yes. Dumbarton Oaks sponsors J1 visas for fellows (and, when possible, J2 visas for accompanying legal dependents) who meet the following requirements from the state department website: Determining visa eligibility is the responsibility of the prospective fellow; all non-US citizens are strongly urged to check their prospective visa status for the requested period of the Fellowship prior to applying. Please scroll down for more information about the visa process.

What is the process for obtaining a J1 visa after a fellowship offer has been accepted?

The visa process has four main steps, and typically takes six to eight weeks:

  • Fill out a J1 visa eligibility form provided by Dumbarton Oaks and submit it to the Manager of Academic Programs (
  • Receive your DS-2019 form from Dumbarton Oaks and make an online payment of the SEVIS fee.
  • Schedule an appointment with your local US embassy or consulate as soon as possible; appointment times are often not readily available.
  • Receive your physical visa at the embassy or consulate interview appointment.
How long before the J1 program starts can a fellow arrive in the United States?

A fellow may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date shown on the issued DS-2019. Upon completion of the exchange program (fellowship), there is a grace period of 30 days to depart the United States. The program dates on the DS-2019 correspond with the dates of the fellowship term.

Do students on an F1 visa need to apply for a J1?

Usually, no. Junior Fellows may continue their university’s F1 visa sponsorship for the duration of their fellowship but must alert their institution’s visa sponsorship office.

Please visit the State Department website for further information:

Living and Working at Dumbarton Oaks

Are fellows provided with housing?

Fellows are normal9ly assigned a furnished apartment near the campus. When Dumbarton Oaks cannot offer housing, it reserves the right to offer a set monthly housing allowance instead. All allocations for housing or a housing allowance are final and at the discretion of Dumbarton Oaks. The Fellowship House is equipped with a gym for the use of fellows while in residence.

What is the residence requirement for the fellowship?

Dumbarton Oaks fellowships are residential awards that place great emphasis on the exchange of ideas and on the spirit of community among fellows. Absences (as opposed to joining remotely) must have prior approval of the Director of Studies. Approved absences may not total more than one week per term or two weeks per academic year. Longer absences, if unapproved, will result in forfeiture of the Fellowship. In the rare case where extended leave is granted by the Director, the stipend may be prorated. Fellows are expected to be present at Dumbarton Oaks during the entire period of their fellowship, except for the interval between the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays (December 24–January 1).

Is travel reimbursement offered for taking up the fellowship?

Dumbarton Oaks has partnered with a travel agency to arrange and pre-pay for fellows’ air or rail travel, in accordance with the Dumbarton Oaks Travel Policy, if support cannot be obtained from other sources (such as a Fulbright travel grant). Reimbursement of J1 visa fees is also provided for Fellows, but not for dependents.

Are fellows assigned a workspace?

Fellows are assigned, for the duration of their award, either an office or a designated carrel in the Research Library (or comparable facilities elsewhere on campus, as appropriate). Offices and carrels are equipped with phones. Fellows are not provided with computers and should arrange to bring their personal laptop.

Is lunch provided to fellows?

Fellows are provided with a buffet lunch free of charge in the Refectory on weekdays for the duration of their fellowship (with the exception of institutional closures). Dumbarton Oaks emphasizes community, and a good deal of informal contact takes place at lunchtime.

May fellows be accompanied by family members?

Dumbarton Oaks is welcoming to families. The Fellowship House is very close to the campus and the public library, public transport, a supermarket, and many businesses. Fellows with partners (spouses or registered domestic partners) and children (minors) who are declared at the time of the November application receive housing on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on availability. We regret that we may not be able to fulfill all requests. Occasionally, we reserve the right to decline housing partners and children when resources are scarce, or to offer a set housing allowance instead of accommodations. Due to IRS and medical insurance requirements, we can consider providing visa sponsorship and medical insurance only to legal partners (spouses or registered domestic partners) and dependents. Requests for visa sponsorship and medical insurance for legal partners and dependents must be consistent with what was indicated at the time of application and must be made at the time of acceptance of the fellowship offer.

Can I bring my pet?

Pets are prohibited in all Dumbarton Oaks accommodations. Service and assistance animals are permitted in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other related disability laws. While Dumbarton Oaks engages in an individualized assessment of each reasonable accommodation request, it is rare that more than one assistance animal will be approved as an accommodation. To make a request for a service or assistance animal, please contact Human Resources at or 202-339-6400 ext. 6994.

Does Dumbarton Oaks provide health insurance for fellows and accompanying family members?

Fellows are eligible for the Dumbarton Oaks Blue Choice HMO Open Access plan and the cost is shared by Dumbarton Oaks and the Fellow. (Fellows currently pay 15% of the cost.) Coverage is for the period of residence; family coverage includes the legal spouse or partner and dependent children if the names are declared at the time of the fellowship application.

Is there a smoking policy?

Dumbarton Oaks is a smoking-free campus: smoking is prohibited in all Dumbarton Oaks buildings and on the grounds, including the garden. Fellows who do not comply with the non-smoking policy may have their fellowship revoked, and charges will be applied if accommodations need to be cleaned.

Are there public transportation options to Dumbarton Oaks?

Dumbarton Oaks is in an urban neighborhood with easy access to public transportation and proximity to grocery and other stores. The Fellowship House is within walking distance of the Library and other amenities. The Fellowship House and Dumbarton Oaks buildings provide bicycle racks, and rental bicycles are readily available in the vicinity.

Can I bring my car?

Fellows are not eligible for parking at the Fellowship House or Dumbarton Oaks. Exceptions include Fellows who request ADA accommodations, families with young children, and fellows who live within seventy miles of Dumbarton Oaks and therefore do not receive housing. Dumbarton Oaks reserves the right to provide transportation benefits (Smart Benefits) in lieu of parking to local Fellows based on eligibility.

What if I wish to request a workplace, housing, parking, transportation, dietary or other accommodation?

To make an accommodation request or inquiry, please contact Human Resources at or 202-339-6400 ext. 6994.