Joseph L. Fisher Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

In honor of the late Joseph L. Fisher, president of Resources for the Future (RFF) from 1959–1974, RFF will award fellowships for the coming academic year in support of doctoral dissertation research on issues related to the environment, natural resources, or energy.

RFF’s primary research disciplines are economics and other social sciences. Proposals originating in these fields will have the greatest likelihood of success. Proposals from the physical or biological sciences must have an immediate and obvious link to environmental policy matters. Awardees may be invited to present the results of their dissertation research at RFF.


This fellowship is intended to be the principal source of support for graduate students in the final year of their dissertation research. The fellowship will be reduced by the amount of any other financial assistance (other than tuition support) above $18,000. Financial assistance must be disclosed to RFF. Fellowship candidates must have completed the preliminary examinations for their doctorate no later than February 1 prior to the application deadline. This requirement will be strictly enforced.

The fellowships carry a stipend of $18,000 for the 2011-2012 academic year. Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, most if not all of this stipend will probably be taxable income. It is expected that fellowship recipients will not engage in full-time employment during the period of fellowship tenure.
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