Society of Indiana Pioneers Fellowships

The Society of Indiana Pioneers annually awards Society of Indiana Pioneers Fellowships to support research in the field of pioneer Indiana history for the master’s thesis and the doctoral dissertation. The Society of Indiana Pioneers was founded in 1916, during the centennial celebration of Indiana’s statehood, “to honor the memory and the work of the pioneers of Indiana.” Membership includes individuals who have an ancestor who settled in an Indiana county during the pioneer period (generally defined as before 1840, with some exceptions) and people who have an interest in this period of Hoosier history. To fulfill its mission, the Society maintains a significant genealogical database culled from its membership records, sponsors annual spring and fall “pilgrimages” to historical sites within the state, and partners with other history-related organizations.

There will be two $1,000 fellowships awarded annually, one to support research for a master’s thesis in the pioneer period of Indiana history and another for doctoral dissertation research. For the purposes of the fellowship program, the pioneer period of Indiana is defined as pre-1850. Only students at graduate institutions in Indiana are eligible for these fellowships. The deadline for application is April 15th of each year.

Questions about the fellowship program may be directed to the Society in the following ways:

  • e-mail:
  • regular mail: Society of Indiana Pioneers, 140 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204-2207
  • telephone: (317) 441-8293

The Society of Indiana Pioneers is pleased to support research at the graduate level in the pioneer period of Indiana history, thus further carrying out its mission.

Application Procedures

The Society of Indiana Pioneers offers two annual $1,000 fellowships for research in the field of Indiana pioneer history (pre-1850), one to support a master's thesis and the other to support the doctoral dissertation.

There is no application form. Applications consisting of the following materials should be mailed by April 15th of each year, to:

Society of Indiana Pioneers Fellowship Committee
Society of Indiana Pioneers
140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2207

  1. Cover sheet with the following information: name, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, present rank and institution name, and title of master's thesis or doctoral dissertation.
  2. Please send a description of your master's thesis or doctoral dissertation (no longer than two single-spaced pages)
  3. A resume of no more than three pages.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work. The recommendations must include the professor directing your research and the department chair. Applicants are responsible for contacting all persons providing recommendations
  5. Expectations of the recipient: a.) research supported by the fellowship should be done between summer following the April deadline and summer following the November award; b.) a one-page description of the specific research supported by the fellowship should be sent to the Society at the end of the fellowship period (this may be included in the Society's annual Yearbook as information for the membership); c.) a copy of the final master's thesis or doctoral dissertation should be deposited with the Society; and d.) attend the annual meeting of the Society of Indiana Pioneers in Indianapolis in the autumn to speak briefly about your research.
This page last updated on Thursday, August 30, 2018 .
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