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. 

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."

2024-25 Dissertation Fellow: Iman Lathan

Secondary Diaspora of the Black NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete

Image of a woman with dark hair, smiling at the camera. They are sitting in front of a bookshelf, wearing a black turtleneck shirt and jeans.

Iman Lathan is a former Division I women’s basketball player and a Southern California native. Currently, she is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Culture, Policy, and Society within the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Her research revolves around exploring the commodification of Black women’s bodies, neoliberalism, NCAA, sports, and the Diaspora.

Description of dissertation project: This research delves into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s internal mechanisms that shape the Division-I educational pathway and its role as a secondary diasporic conduit for Black female basketball student-athletes, at a time when NCAA Division I women’s basketball reaches an all-time high in popularity. In so doing, I aim to unravel how the neoliberal intercollegiate sports model engages, exploits, and disposes individuals descended from the African Diaspora to sustain its operations. The research delves into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a neoliberal structure, akin to a secondary diasporic vessel, directing Black female student-athletes—descendants of the Black Atlantic Diaspora—to predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Employing Black feminist thought (BFT) and a queer diasporic lens, this study seeks to examine how Black female ball players, coaches, and parents perceive their roles, positions, and experiences within the confines of the NCAA's neoliberal structures. 

My proposed research seeks to not only to bridge the gap in NCAA, race, women, and sport research but also to offer an innovative perspective on understanding the dynamics of people's movement and the influence wielded by modern institutions of higher education. The objective of my study will be carried out using semi-structured interviews, archival analysis, and a content analysis of the NCAA Instagram account. Furthermore, by drawing upon Black feminism and a queer diasporic lens, my aim is to provide a fresh perspective on comprehending the complexities of human mobility and the impact of contemporary higher education institutions.

2024-25 Fellowship Honorable Mention: Nikita Das

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

Nikita Das is a PhD Candidate from the Department of Anthropology. In the past, she has engaged in policy advocacy and worked on governance-related issues in the Indian electricity sector, with a special focus on renewables. For her dissertation research she conducted extensive fieldwork in rural Eastern India. Her research explores the informal livelihoods afforded by a modest three-wheeler electric vehicle [EV] and the crucial role that forces of reproduction, most notably women’s labor, play in making this livelihood strategy, as well as the energy transition that it supports, a reality. Her dissertation sheds light on the complexities, inequities and contradictions that pervade the process of energy transition and keep the labor of women invisible in the Global South and the world.

Past Awardees

Srushti Upadhyay, Sociology

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