Introducing “Incubator” | Funding Opportunity & Call for Proposals

Funding Opportunity & Call for Proposals

Incubator 2017 @ Stanford University

Advancing Early-Career Scholarship in the Digital Age

Incubator, a new initiative powered by Dissertation Reviews, is seeking proposals for its inaugural early-career residency program, to be held in 2017. Incubator focuses on identifying and supporting innovative, intellectually rigorous, and engaging projects that harness digital tools and human-centered organization to advance early-career scholarly communication and early-career scholarly infrastructure.

In collaboration with the DHAsia program at Stanford University, the inaugural 2017 Incubator will focused on Asia broadly writ, including East, South, Southeast, and Inner/Central Asia.

About Dissertation Reviews

Founded in 2010, Dissertation Reviews set out to accomplish one goal: to expose the scholarly world to cutting-edge PhD dissertations across the Humanities and Social Sciences, and to foster unprecedented levels of engagement with early-career scholarly communities.

In 2016, we announced the accomplishment of this goal.

Over the course of six intense years, DR profoundly changed the way scholars think about dissertations and early-career scholarship. Once limited to an exceedingly narrow readership — one’s committee, family, and close colleagues — the dissertation as a genre was unleashed. In one of the most widely read reviews, for example, thousands of visitors learned of Catherine Bronson’s Imagining the Primal Woman: Islamic Selves of Eve, with many more visiting the 1000-plus dissertation reviews, reflections, and archive reviews published since 2010.

Never before had dissertations been considered a genre worthy of “review” in such a thorough and public way. DR took up this challenge, and in the process, helped give rise to a new global community. Our readership rapidly grew to over 1,000,000, with visitors hailing from the US, UK, India, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Singapore, China, Turkey, the Philippines, France, Italy, Israel, and dozens of other countries. Our team of editors, moreover, has itself hailed from more than two dozen countries.

About Incubator

In 2016, Dissertation Reviews will complete the process of becoming a registered Not-for-Profit organization — yet another exciting development in DR’s history. This transformation enables us to support independent scholarly efforts that build upon the legacy of DR, especially ones that take our legacy in new and unpredictable directions.

Incubator is the project development wing of the Dissertation Reviews Non-Profit Organization: a seed grant initiative that seeks out and helps develop innovative, intellectually rigorous, and engaging independent projects that harness digital tools and human-centered organization to advance early-career scholarly communication and early-career scholarly infrastructure — podcasts, consortia, web platforms, and more — through the provision of seed funding and managerial advice. Directed by Tom Mullaney (Stanford University) and Jennifer Lambe (Brown University), Incubator will support up to 3 projects each year, with the manifestations of the project being syndicated on the main Dissertation Reviews website to its millions of readers.

About DHAsia | Our 2017 Collaborators

Entering its second year, DHAsia is a cutting-edge initiative at Stanford University focused on the intersection between Digital Humanities and the study of South, Southeast, East, and Inner/Central Asia. Directed by Tom Mullaney (Associate Professor of Chinese History), DHAsia is supported by the Stanford University Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), the Stanford Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS), the Stanford Confucius Studies Institute, as well as a number of other departments and programs on campus. For more information, please visit .


Early-career scholars working on Asia are eligible to submit one (1) project each for review by the Incubator-DHAsia steering committee. For this application, “early-career” is defined as any scholar whose career stage is between (a) the rank of advanced, post-orals, ABD PhD student currently enrolled in a PhD program; through (b) the rank of pre-tenure Assistant or Associate Professor (recent PhDs are eligible as well, regardless of employment status, as are Postdoctoral Research Fellows or the equivalent). For the 2017 Incubator series, eligible applicants must work on Asia, primarily or substantially, and disciplines and time periods are welcome to apply. Future years will focus on different regions and/or themes.


Up to three (3) project applications will be selected for the 2017 Incubator program. The project director for each project will be invited to Stanford campus during either Winter or Spring 2017 for an intensive 2- to 3-day residency featuring: (a) a 45-minute research talk; (b) a hands-on clinic introducing your project to faculty, students, librarians, archivists, technologists, and invited guests; and (c) a schedule of one-on-one meetings with key members of the Stanford community and Silicon Valley.

In collaboration with DHAsia, Incubator will provide the invited resident an honorarium of $500, as well as all travel, lodging, and meals.

The deadline for applications is June 15, 2016. Materials should be submitted via email to and must include:

  1. Cover letter summarizing the project, and explaining how it advances cutting-edge scholarly communication, research, teaching, and/or infrastructure in your field.
  2. CV
  3. Two references including contact information (please do NOT request or provide letters of recommendation – but references may be contacted as part of application review process)

Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision by no later than August 15, 2016.

NOTE: information above is subject to change.

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