JRF: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Queries Concerning Eligibility

You are eligible (you would be even if it were the ninetieth year of your PhD!), and you may submit whatever you wish as your dissertation. You should bear in mind, however, that, in making our selection, we take into account the length of time a candidate has had to prepare for and work at his or her subject.

No, you miss being eligible by 3 days. We consider only the time of submission, not when the viva took place.

We are sorry – it’s unfortunate for you, just as it’s good luck for some people who find that they can compete this year, when under the old rules they could not. The eligibility rules vary from college to college, and so you will probably find a number of other jrf competitions which you can enter.

If, before you submit your dissertation to us, you have submitted the final, corrected version of your thesis to your university, you may submit it as your dissertation. Otherwise, you must submit the version you submitted for the PhD examination. You should NOT submit any additional material unless it forms part of the PhD dissertation as submitted to the university for examination or as a final version after correction.

You need to ask the Secretary to the Electors if you are eligible before you apply. Since you have had only about four years from your first degree, there is every chance that you will indeed be allowed to compete.

You are indeed eligible. For shortlisting, you must submit a piece in English. Although we have no formal word limit for the dissertation, you may find your dissertation is more competitive if you trim it to 100,000 words or fewer. If none the less you choose to submit the whole draft, you will need to indicate the 100,000 word section(s) you regard as most important, and your referees may look at only this part of your work. You must ask for special permission from the Secretary to the Electors if you want to submit the dissertation in German. Since anyone working on the early history of analytic philosophy needs to know German, it is likely that you will be given permission, although the Secretary must also be sure that it will be practicably possible for your work to compete fairly.

You are eligible to compete. We do not ask candidates for their age or take it into account. Nor are considerations about remuneration taken into account in the competition: you will be treated as exactly as the other candidates. If you win a fellowship and wish to give up your stipend, you may of course do so.

Yes, you are eligible. We do not take nationality and questions about right to work into account in awarding the fellowships. If you win a fellowship, we shall advise you about the procedure for obtaining permission to work. So far, no one elected to a jrf has been refused permission to work in the UK. We can, however, give no guarantee that a work permit will be given in any particular case, and we shall not be able to give you the stipend and rights of a research fellow if you do not have one.

Queries Concerning the Application Form

You will be asked to upload the following documents in pdf format:

  1. A curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if any) and a full account of post-school education (with results e.g. class of degree) and employment (excluding vacation jobs). The last part of the curriculum vitae must include a statement (in about 1000 words) of your current research and the scope of the dissertation that you intend to submit should you be short-listed.
  2. A sample of your work, with an explanation of its place in your current and projected research work. A sample of work could be a chapter from your dissertation, or published article or articles, up to about 10,000 words. If you wish to submit more than one article, they should be merged into one file. This sample is supposed to show the intellectual qualities of your work. You should avoid submitting, for instance, an introductory chapter of a dissertation which is mainly a survey of previous work or an announcement of your ideas in general terms. You are welcome to add a short explanation of how the piece or pieces you are submitting fit into the plan of your dissertation as a whole. Please note that your application and the work submitted for shortlisting must be in English.

No. The testimony from your research supervisor can come from one or the other of them, or be a joint document from two of them, but your testimonial referees must be different from any of your supervisors.

We recommend that you nominate someone who is suitably familiar with your PhD research to complete the supervisor report. You should ask this person to explain the circumstances and to offer an assessment of you as a candidate in line with the supervisor’s views.

Queries Concerning the Submission of Work

The Electors do try to take into account the extent of publications. But it is only the material that is formally submitted which goes to expert referees, and it is their assessments which are the most important factor in our decisions.

The 10,000 words is just an approximate guideline, if an article has an extra 1000 or 2000 words of references (or even if it happens to be 11,000 or 12,000 words of text), that’s not a problem.

We do in fact ask for plans about proposed research from those short-listed, although the selection rarely takes much account of it. Historically, our JRFs’ derive from ‘prize’ fellowships, which were given purely as a reward for academic achievement, without obligations or expectations about further research. Although we do now certainly require that JRFs engage in research, we still take the view that the best research follows its own course, which is hard to determine in advance. A JRF is not like a research grant, where you are being paid to carry out a particular project. It is a personal award, to someone whose past performance has given reason to be thought outstanding.

This is fine; you can submit an appropriate chapter of a doctoral thesis provided it is not the introductory chapter and then submit the same thesis in the second stage.