PhD Dissertation Fellowship

The Gender Institute dissertation fellowship supports students engaged in dissertation research related to women, gender, and/or sexuality.

Next Deadline : April 21, 2023 | 11:59PM

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

Please submit the following materials :
1. a one-paragraph (200-word) synopsis of your dissertation topic, including the title of dissertation
2. a writing sample of 8-10 pages, authored by the apllicant only, no co-authors
3. a confidential recommendation letter from your dissertation adviser
4. a curriculum vita, including all funding received and future funding as a graduate student
5. a short description of your plans for the fellowship year, including a time-line for completion of your dissertation

Please submit all application materials to the Scholarship Portal.  Through the portal, invite recommendation letters from your the 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."

2022-2023 Dissertation Fellow: Hannah Ginn

Dissertation Title: "Questioning capacity: The impact of ‘capacity to sexual consent’ policies and practices on the sexual rights of women labeled with intellectual disability.”

Image of a woman with blond hair falling on her shoulders, wearing a black blazer over a black v neck shirt, and smiling at the camera.

Hannah Ginn, Social Work

Hannah Ginn’s research examines how the sexual relationships of women labeled with intellectual disability (ID) are obstructed by the combined forces of sexism and ableism. Her dissertation critiques a set of policies referred to as “capacity to sexual consent” (CTSC), which mandate assessments to decide whether to inhibit ID-labeled women’s sexual intimacy. Beginning from the premise that sexual autonomy is a universal and inalienable human right, Ginn’s dissertation involves three studies scrutinizing CTSC from a critical feminist and disability studies perspective. Her studies include: a conceptual analysis of the sexual injustice of policies; a critical discourse analysis of the related assessment tools; and a survey of disability professionals’ investment in CTSC alternatives. In response, Ginn proposes a replacement disability service paradigm informed by Nussbaum’s (2011) Capability Approach that upholds ID-labeled women's right to sexual autonomy while counteracting socially produced vulnerability. This approach accounts for embodied differences among women by broadening opportunities, ensuring accessible resources, and tailoring supports. 


Picture of a woman with black hair falling off on her eayes wearing a nose pins , and smiling at the camera.

Callie Ingram, English

Her research interests include 20th and 21st-century US fiction, narrative ethics and phenomenologies of reading, and her dissertation explores how contemporary women writers interrogate the popular and disciplinary investment in “encounter” as the site of literary ethics. Her scholarly work has been published in Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, and her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in P-QUEUEDream Pop, and on (as recipient of the 2021 Dan Liberthson Poetry Prize).

picture of a black woman, with long black hair falling on her forehead, wearing a black and grey striped sweater, a thin golden coloured neacklace and smiling at the camera.

Naiima Khahaifa, Geography

Khahaifa’s research is framed by the modern criminal justice system enforcing racial control, despite the principle that justice should be colorblind. Currently, millions of Black Americans are imprisoned, stripped of their basic human rights and denied access to resources. These resources include public benefits, withheld because of the permanent stain of a criminal record.
She was recently awarded the Ford Dissertation Fellowship.

Artist work by Kalpana Subramanian.

Kalpana Subramanian, Media Study

Kalpana is an artist-filmmaker, educator. Her research focus engages transcultural and interdisciplinary modes of inquiry into the aesthetics of the experimental film and media. Her films have received various honors and have been screened at several festivals including the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Interfilm Berlin, Wildscreen UK, Planet in Focus, Antimatter Media Arts Festival, Olhar de Cinema (Brazil) and Digital Anthropologies.

Past Awardees

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