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William R. Tyler Fellowships

Two-year Fellowships for graduate students in art history, archaeology, history, and literature of the Pre-Columbian/early Colonial or Mediterranean/Byzantine worlds; or in Garden and Landscape history. Applications are due November 1.

Applicant FAQ Current and Former Fellows

Dumbarton Oaks invites Harvard graduate students working on dissertations in the following fields to apply for a two-year William R. Tyler Fellowship:

  • Pre-Columbian/early Colonial archaeology, history, art history, and/or literature
  • Mediterranean/Byzantine archaeology, history, art history, and/or literature
  • Garden and Landscape history, designed landscapes, and urban landscape studies

Dumbarton Oaks has long-established programs in Pre-Columbian, Byzantine, and Garden and Landscape Studies. The Tyler Fellowship is intended to attract students with genuine intellectual interests in any of those areas, but who do not necessarily self-identify as Pre-Columbianists, Byzantinists, or Garden and Landscape historians. The program is therefore open to candidates working on adjacent or related regions or time-periods, and especially those interested in forging connections to our traditional fields of study. For example, dissertation-writers who work on early Colonial topics that build on issues connected with Pre-Columbian civilizations might be appropriate applicants. Similarly, candidates focusing on American Indian or other native American cultures with links to Pre-Columbian studies, whether directly or analogically, may be considered. In Byzantine studies, the program embraces an expanded view of the field, with committed openness to a broad Mediterranean perspective. Prospective applicants’ research proposals may explore the transition from late antiquity to Byzantium or topics relating to the medieval West, Slavic regions, non-Greek Christian East, and Islam. However, for an application outside our core fields of study to be competitive for a Tyler award, applicants must demonstrate that deep engagement with Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape Studies is integral to their research question and explain in detail how their research project will directly benefit from specific library and collection resources at Dumbarton Oaks. Certification in two languages other than English is required for all candidates in Mediterranean/Byzantine studies.

The Tyler Fellowship provides funding over two years for advanced graduate students. To be eligible, applicants must have completed all departmental requirements, (including course work, residence, general and preliminary examinations, and approval of the prospectus), before the application deadline. Shortlisted candidates will be expected to be available for interviews in Cambridge, MA, in February.

One major aim of the Tyler Fellowship is to enable dissertation research and completion, and the Fellowship may include travel and residence overseas for this purpose. A special allowance is available to encourage research travel. Travel plans must be submitted soon after a Fellowship is awarded and require approval by the dissertation supervisor and the Director of Dumbarton Oaks.

The other aim of the Tyler Fellowship is to enhance research and professional skills through contribution to a Dumbarton Oaks institutional project. Incoming Tyler Fellows will spend the first academic year (September 9, 2024, to May 9, 2025) at Dumbarton Oaks and will work on the institutional project at 50% of time throughout that period (17.5 hours/week). Fellows are expected to be in full-time residence during the academic year of their contribution to an institutional project. Tyler Fellows do not have a residency requirement in their second year (September 8, 2025, to May 8, 2026), but are welcome to avail themselves of the library and other resources available to scholars at Dumbarton Oaks when in Washington.

Dumbarton Oaks Tyler Fellows receive a stipend of $32,000 during each year of the Fellowship. A travel allowance of up to $5,000 is available for field work or research-related travel, upon approval by the dissertation advisor and the Director of Dumbarton Oaks. The travel allowance may be spread over the two years of the fellowship, as university guidelines allow. Fellows are responsible for their own travel and housing arrangements for both years. Dumbarton Oaks Tyler Fellows will become members of the academic community at Dumbarton Oaks with access to the noted resources of the Research Library and Collection.

Applications will be judged on the originality and solidity of their contribution to their fields. Although the focus will not be limited to the strictest definition of Byzantine studies, Pre-Columbian studies, and Garden and Landscape studies, close attention will be paid to the ways in which the applications complement the traditional programs of study at Dumbarton Oaks. A final consideration will be the ability of shortlisted candidates to contribute to an institutional project.

Dumbarton Oaks Tyler Fellowship recipients are not eligible for Dumbarton Oaks Junior Fellowships (or vice versa). The Tyler Fellowship cannot be held in conjunction with another dissertation fellowship, or any other substantial academic-year award, nor can it be deferred to allow a successful candidate to also accept another award. However, Tyler Fellows may apply for modest travel or research grants up to $5,000 at other institutions, provided that such applications do not interfere in any way with the residential or other requirements of the Tyler Fellowship. Fellows may accept such modest summer awards only with prior approval by the Manager of Academic Programs.

Upon acceptance of the Fellowship, successful applicants will discuss their two-year plan (including specific periods for residence at Dumbarton Oaks and travel abroad, and the nature of their contribution to an institutional project) with the Manager of Academic Programs, prospective supervisor, and the Dumbarton Oaks supervisor in the field most appropriate to their application. They will then submit the plan for formal approval by the Director of Dumbarton Oaks. Research travel may not be scheduled during the period of residence and contribution to an institutional project at Dumbarton Oaks.

During their residence at Dumbarton Oaks, Tyler Fellows will be asked to give informal talks on their work in progress. Tyler Fellows will also be expected to provide written reports and communication about their dissertation research and Dumbarton Oaks project on a regular basis throughout the two-year term.

To Apply

Qualified Harvard graduate students may apply through the Dumbarton Oaks online application program.

In the Embark application, please mark the box for “Tyler Fellowship.” An in-depth description of projected research travel or field work should be uploaded in the section for optional documents at the end of the application. Candidates should request two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a professor in their department at Harvard University, and one of which should be from their dissertation supervisor. Graduate transcripts must be uploaded to your application.

Award notifications are made mid- to late February.


Frequently Asked Questions

My work does not fall under any of the specified fields. Can I still apply?

We will consider dissertation projects in Pre-Columbian/early Colonial, Mediterranean/Byzantine, and Garden and Landscape Studies, or in related fields as listed in the description. Projects that are interdisciplinary or combine elements of two fields are eligible for consideration. In that case, candidates should choose the online application (Embark) field that is closest to their research, and explain the project’s connection to other relevant fields.

May I submit applications for both a junior fellowship and a Tyler fellowship?

Applicants may not apply for both a Junior and Tyler Fellowship in the same application cycle, nor can they apply for one after having held the other.

When will I be required to be in residence at Dumbarton Oaks?

Tyler Fellows will spend the first academic year (September–May) at Dumbarton Oaks, and will work on the institutional project at 50% of time throughout that period (17.5 hours/week). Fellows are expected to be in full-time residence during the academic year of their contribution to an institutional project.

How much of the Fellowship can I spend abroad or on research-related travel?

In general, Fellows will be expected to fulfill the work/residence requirement in their first year.

During the academic year of fulfillment of the work requirement, Fellows must be in residence at Dumbarton Oaks. A maximum of one week’s absence per term and two weeks’ absence over the academic year (September to May) is permitted during the year of residency/work at Dumbarton Oaks, by application to the Manager of Academic Programs, and following consultation with the project supervisor.

Fellows are free to spend the year of their Fellowship not devoted to fulfillment of the work/residency requirement, as well as the summers, undertaking research and travel away from Dumbarton Oaks, although they are expected to contribute to the community whether by their physical presence or through regular reports and blogposts.

What sort of travel qualifies toward the travel allowance?

The travel allowance is offered to encourage research or field work related to the dissertation. Travel plans must be submitted at the time of application and require approval by the dissertation advisor; final approval of the two-year work/travel plan for the purposes of disbursing the travel allowance is required by the Director of Dumbarton Oaks. Conference travel is not eligible, unless applicants can demonstrate that it is directly related to the dissertation. Reimbursable items (not to exceed $5,000 total over the course of the fellowship) include: economy airfare; airfare baggage fees; ground transportation; meals: reasonable daily alimentation (excludes alcohol); lodging; relocation expenses to Washington, DC (Fellow’s airfare or gas mileage only).

Can I change my travel/work plan after it has been approved?

Changes to the two-year travel/work plan will generally not be possible after it has been approved. Under exceptional circumstances, Fellows may apply to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks. However, Fellows are strongly encouraged to plan their two years with attention to dissertation completion requirements and deadlines, as well as other milestones (such as post-doctoral and job applications). The work requirement, in particular, is mandatory for all Tyler Fellows, and no special dispensations can be made.

What are examples of institutional projects to which I will be asked to contribute?

Possibilities include, but are not limited to, study projects, online or curatorial projects, or exhibitions in the Library, Museum, or Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives; preparation of symposia, workshops, or colloquia; processing of archives and other acquisitions; and publications related to such activities. Such service is intended to benefit Fellows in two ways: by introducing them to professional activities that might not otherwise be included in their traditional doctoral program; and by helping them to engage with the scholarly community at Dumbarton Oaks and beyond.

How can I plan ahead for the work requirement?

Upon acceptance of the award, prospective Tyler Fellows will communicate with the Manager of Academic Programs, who will put them in touch with the appropriate departmental supervisor(s). The prospective Fellow and prospective supervisor will then discuss the nature and details of the project, and will agree on the work period during which the Fellow will be required to be in full residence at Dumbarton Oaks.

Will I be paid for the work requirement?

Contribution to an institutional project is a Fellowship requirement and will not entail pay in addition to the fellowship stipend.

What kind of access will I have to the resources of Dumbarton Oaks?

Tyler Fellows will have full access to the resources of Dumbarton Oaks, including the Research Library, collections (by appointment), and facilities, for the duration of their fellowship. However, inter-library loans will be available only to Tyler Fellows in residence. Office space is not guaranteed, although every effort will be made to provide Tyler Fellows working on an institutional project with desk space. Fellows must provide their own computers that will be connected to the D.O. network during their residence.

What medical insurance is provided?

Tyler Fellows will stay on their Harvard student health plan during their two-year Fellowship. Dumbarton Oaks will reimburse the cost of the student health plan and the student health fee, upon submission of appropriate receipts.

May I accept additional outside funding during my fellowship?

The Tyler Fellowship cannot be held in conjunction with another dissertation fellowship, or any other substantial academic-year award, nor can it be deferred to allow a successful candidate to also accept another award. However, Tyler Fellows may apply for modest travel or research grants up to $5,000 (total) at other institutions, provided that such applications do not interfere in any way with the residential or other requirements of the Tyler Fellowship. Fellows may accept such modest summer awards only with prior approval by the Manager of Academic Programs.

How will I receive my stipend and allowances?

The stipend will be paid in biweekly installments per academic year, September to May. The first payment is paid by check in USD, and the remaining ones are paid by direct deposit.

Allowances for travel reimbursements are paid by check in USD, upon completion of travel and submission of appropriate receipts, in up to three total installments.

If you have further questions, please contact the Manager of Academic Programs at


Current Fellows

Annick Benavides.

Annick Benavides

“Sacred Place and Possession in the Andes: Carabuco Cross and Copacabana Virgen”


Chance Bonar.

Chance Everett Bonar

“Enslaved to God: Slavery and the Virtuous Life in the Shepherd of Hermas


Rong Huang.

Rong Huang

“The Luminous Wind Fanned the East: A Comparative Study of the East Syriac Christian Documents in China (618–907)”


Hannelore Segers

Hannelore Segers

“Paraphrasis and Cento: A Comparative Analysis of Late Antique Greek and Latin Versification”



Former Fellows

James Almeida (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2019–2021), “Coercing the Andes: The Legacies of Inca Forced Labor Practices in Colonial Potosí

Nathanael Aschenbrenner (Byzantine Studies, 2015–2017), “Rome Contested: Byzantine, Humanist, and Holy Roman Discourses of Empire in the Fifteenth Century”

Trenton Barnes (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2018–2020), “Walking the Space of Time: Void and Body in the Architecture of Teotihuacan, Mexico

Ari Caramanica (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2016–2018), “The Forgotten Landscapes of the Peruvian North Coast: Cupisnique, Moche, and Chimu Peripheral Occupation

Sasson Chahanovich (Byzantine Studies, 2018–2020), “Ottoman Eschatological Enthusiasm: Ps.-Ibn al-ʿArabī and Predicting the End of the World

Dylan Clark (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2011–2013), “Living on the Edge: The Residential Spaces, Social Organization, and Dynamics of Isla Cerritos, a Maya Port

Merih Danalı Cantarella (Byzantine Studies, 2012–2013 and 2014–2015), “Negotiating Self-Representation and Cultural Identity: Artistic and Cultural Responses to the Byzantine-Ottoman Encounter (1300–1453)

Coleman Connelly (Byzantine Studies, 2014–2016), “Appropriating the Greek Past in the Greco-Arabic Translation Movement

John Davis (Garden and Landscape Studies, 2015–2017), “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the American Landscape, 1865–1904

Saskia Dirkse (Byzantine Studies, 2012–2014), “Asceticism, Orality, and Textual Transmission in the Spiritual Meadow of John Moschus

Kelsey Eldridge (Byzantine Studies, 2019–2021), “Porphyry Sarcophagi and the Material Language of Byzantium

Philip Gant (Garden and Landscape Studies, 2017–2019), “Temple Litigation and Korea’s Long 19th Century

Polina Ivanova (Byzantine Studies, 2016–2018), “From Byzantium’s East to Iran’s West: Economic Change and the Rise of Cities in Medieval Asia Minor, 1000–1400

Jakub Kabala (Byzantine Studies, 2011–2013), “Frontier Spaces: Imagining Eastern Europe, ca. 750–900 AD

Konstantina Karterouli (Byzantine Studies, 2011–2013), “The Assimilation of Byzantine Art in Western Art of the Late Twelfth Century

Felipe Ledesma-Núñez (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2019–2021), “Sound and Singing/Dancing in the Rural Colonial Andes, 1560–1700: Demons, Sorceries, Idolatries

Deirdre Moore (Garden and Landscape Studies, 2015–2017), “Indigenous Knowledge and Breeding of Cochineal Insects in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Mexico

John Mulhall (Byzantine Studies, 2018–2020), “Eastern Knowledge, Latin Letters: A Cultural History of the Medieval Translation Movement, ca. 1050–1350

Sarah Porter (Byzantine Studies, 2019–2021), “Early Christian Deathscapes

Jake Ransohoff (Byzantine Studies, 2017–2019), “Vision and Punishment: Blinding in the Byzantine World

Aleksandar Shopov (Garden and Landscape Studies, 2012–2014), “Ottoman Horticultural Science and Practice, 1453­–1669

Abbey Stockstill (Garden and Landscape Studies, 2016–2018), “Crafting an Identity: Landscape and Urbanism in Almohad Marrakesh

Nawa Sugiyama (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2012–2014), “Ritualized Animals: Understanding Human-Animal Interactions at Teotihuacan

Lisa Trever (Pre-Columbian Studies, 2011–2013), “Moche Mural Painting and Practice at Pañamarca: A Study of Image Making in Ancient Peru

Deniz Turker Cerda (Garden and Landscape Studies, 2013–2015), “Ottoman Victoriana: Istanbul’s Last Ottoman Palace-Complex of Yildiz, 1876–1909

David Ungvary (Byzantine Studies, 2015–2017), “The Anxiety of Artifice: Latin Poetic Culture in the Early Medieval Mediterranean, ca. 500–700”

Julian Yolles (Byzantine Studies, 2013–2015), “Latin Culture in the Crusader States (1099–1187)”

John Zaleski (Byzantine Studies, 2016–2018), “Asceticism in the Eastern Mediterranean, Seventh through Ninth Century