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 and the JKW 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 Russian Studies. The program is open to students in any discipline whose dissertation topics are within 19th-early 21st century Russian historical studies.

As of 2022, ASEEES is offering a new Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship for Women's and Gender Studies with the same provisions and eligibility as the other Dissertation Research Fellowships.

Established in 2019, the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Completion 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 complete their dissertation. The program is open to students in any discipline whose dissertation topics are within 19th-early 21st century Russian historical studies.

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:

  • For 2024-2025, due to the difficulty of conducting research in Russia, applicants may propose to conduct research at locations that are most beneficial for their research topic, including within the United States. However, preference will be given for archival research in Eastern Europe and/or Eurasia.
  • [The following does not apply in 2024-2025 - 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).]
  • One Research Fellowship is designated for women's and gender studies.


For the Research Fellowship:

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

For the Dissertation Completion Fellowship

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


For both the Research Fellowship and Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the 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 Russian studies
  • 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 at any location of research that requires a visa. [The following does not apply in 2024-2025 - 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 research travel within the same calendar year following the receipt of the fellowship (Ex: Upon notification of the fellowship in the spring of 2024, the recipient must start his/her research travel no later than December 31, 2025);
  • 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:

  • Applicants must be prepared to successfully defend their dissertation within the period of their fellowship tenure.
  • Applicants 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 permission 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, including living expenses, research expenses, international airfare, visa expenses, and evacuation and health insurance. 

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

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 2024 Research Fellowship

Online Application for 2024 Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Application Deadline

Deadline for the Research Fellowship: January 29, 2024

Deadline for the Completion Fellowship: January 29, 2024

Reference letter deadline: February 5, 2024 (Referees will be contacted with instructions to submit the letters as soon as the application is received)


For more information contact Leah Valtin-Erwin, ASEEES Grants and Programs Coordinator, at

 2024 Cohen-Tucker Flyer