Advanced PhD Dissertation Fellowship

This is a $20,000 grant to advanced doctoral students in all fields, who have passed their qualifying exams and exhausted the initial package of funding. It is awarded to students engaged in dissertation research related to women, gender, and/or sexuality. One will be awarded per year. 

Dissertation Fellowship Applications are due March 25, 2024.

To apply:

The applicant must:
* be registered as a UB PhD student
* be engaged in dissertation research related to women, gender, and/or sexuality
* have passed their comprehensive examinations
* have exhausted their initial package of support from the home department
* be available to participate in a monthly works-in-progress workshop at UB
* not concurrently have another fellowship, such as the Humanities Institute dissertation fellowship or external fellowships

Please submit the following materials :
1. 200-word dissertation abstract with title
2. four page double-spaced application statement, including:
   -description of the dissertation and its intellectual contributions
   -plans for the fellowship year
   -timetable for completion
3. a confidential recommendation letter from your dissertation adviser to be submitted to the UB Scholarship Portal.
4. a curriculum vita, including all funding received and future funding as a graduate student

Please submit all application materials to the Scholarship Portal.  Through the portal, invite recommendation letters from your adviser. The fellow will be announced in early May.

* evidence of the dissertation's scholarly quality and significance 
* relevance of the research to expanding our knowledge of women, gender, and/or sexuality
* applicant's academic accomplishments to date and promise of future scholarly productivity

UB International as well as domestic students are invited and encouraged to apply.  The Gender Institute supports UB's nondiscrimination policy that "applies to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, or ex-offender status."

2023-24 Dissertation Fellow: Srushti Upadhyay

Dissertation Title: The (De)construction and Commodification of Gender: The Case of Sugar Babies

Image of a woman with dark hair, smiling at the camera. They are standing outside, in front of a brick wall, wearing a yellow shirt.

Srushti Upadhyay, Sociology

Srushti Upadhyay investigates how women strategically “do” and “undo” gender through technology in “sugar dating”: the intimate yet commodified relationships in which “sugar babies” provide companionship and attention in exchange for various forms of remuneration, including financial support, material items, professional advancement, and mentorship. Sugar dating is at once an intimate and economic relationship and, although it predated the Internet, online platforms are now the most common way for sugar babies and sugar parents to connect and interact. While the sex and intimacy industry did not invent our gendered economic system, sugar dating certainly emerged as a result of it. Through in-depth interviews with sugar babies in the United States, Upadhyay explores how they strategically “do” and “undo” gender in this digital space of commodified intimacy. She finds that, even as sugar babies strategically embrace femininity through curated gender performance, they also upend gender norms in a multitude of ways, not least by capitalizing on traditionally unpaid gender dynamics. 

2023-24 Fellowship Honorable Mention

Image of a woman with dark hair, smiling at the camera.

Kate Rogers, School of Public Health

Kate Rogers is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo. She holds a BA in English and an MPH in Community Health and Health Behavior. She has extensive field experience working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, both foreign born and U.S. citizens, as well as in implementing evidence-based violence prevention programming in high schools and refugee communities. Her research focuses on gender norms, sexual and reproductive health, sexual risk behavior, and intimate partner and gender-based violence in adolescents and young people. Kate’s dissertation is focused on gender norms and their association with sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence in adolescents and young people. 

Past Awardees

Hannah Ginn, Social Work

Alyssa Schwendener, Visual Studies

Dana Venerable, English

Maryam Muliaee, Media Study

Alexandra Prince, History

Elizabeth Masarik, History

Molly Ranahan, Urban Planning, School of Architecture

Kristina Darling, English 

Averill Earls, History
Lara Iverson, Geography

David Squires, English
Bincy Wilson, Social Work

Leah Benedict, English
Krishni Burns, Classics
Jessica MacNamara, Sociology

C. Michael Hurst, English
Katie Grenell, American Studies