Pozen Dissertation Completion Fellowship


The Pozen Center awards our annual Pozen Dissertation Completion Fellowship to a doctoral student whose work makes an important contribution to human rights scholarship. The first fellowship was awarded in 2014. 

The fellowship provides a stipend of $27,000, tuition, University student health insurance (basic option), and Student Life Fee. Fellows are expected to participate in the intellectual life of the Pozen Center. 

Read more about our past dissertation Fellows.

2020-21 Dissertation Completion Fellow

Matthew Travis Barber (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)
“Yazidis in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: Political History, Society, and Law”

Matthew Travis Barber began at the University in the MA program of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and is now a PhD candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He is a past recipient of the University’s Student Humanitarian Award and a 2020-21 Pozen Doctoral Fellow.

Matthew’s dissertation builds upon his knowledge of contemporary Yazidi society to fill critical gaps in the scholarship, namely concerning the modern political history of the Yazidis of Iraq. His work interrogates Yazidi historical experience and reframes the relationship between Yazidis and the state as a complex one comprised of more than just victimization. 

Matthew points out that this study “is useful not only for enhancing our knowledge of Yazidi history and society, but for developing a better understanding of the ways that religious minorities in the Middle East engage with national legal frameworks to secure community rights.”


The application period is currently closed.

University of Chicago doctoral students in the Humanities or Social Sciences are eligible to apply. An applicant must have completed all requirements for their PhD except the dissertation, including formal admission to candidacy. The Fellow is selected by a committee of Pozen Center Faculty Board members.

Complete applications include:

(1) Completed application form, including application questions and statement
(2) Timetable for dissertation completion
(3) Completed dissertation chapter
(4) CV
(5) Current University of Chicago official transcript
(6) Two letters of recommendation

Recommendation Letters

Two letters of recommendation are required, one of which must be from your dissertation advisor.

Letters must be uploaded directly by the recommender or sent via dossier service (such as Interfolio) to Deputy Director Ashley Pierce.

Direct Upload Link


Please reach out to Faculty Director Mark Bradley with any questions.