Graduate students, faculty members, and independent scholars of literature, the arts, the humanities, and the related social sciences or professional studies are invited to apply. There are openings for approximately 150 participants for the 2017 session. The majority of our participants come from our institutional affiliates, but applications are welcome from individuals from non-affiliate institutions as well, and from independent scholars. If you are coming from an institutional affiliate, you should check with your department(s) to see how they are handling the process. Often, institutional affiliates make the decision locally, and forward on to the Institute the name or names of the one or two people they are sending, sometimes with some names of alternates; others prefer for the Institute to make the selection from among those who apply from their institution. When an institutional affiliate sends us a rank list containing more than two names of qualified applicants, the Institute will attempt to take more than two from that institution if space is available; if not, people ranked third or fourth by the institution will be given priority for any spaces not taken up by the first two candidates. We do not normally accept undergraduates as participants, except in rare instances on the basis of a special recommendation from an institutional affiliate.

Application Instructions

Applicants should submit all applications online. Before filling out the application form, please prepare the additional application materials you’ll be submitting (writing sample and a current CV, as well as either a transcript or a letter of reference). The Institute has limited funds available to assist with tuition in cases of special need; if you are applying for financial aid, submit a PDF or Word document (or zip file) containing your statement of need and any other helpful documents to make your case stronger. the file(s) can be uploaded on the last field of the application form. With the exception of letters of reference, which should be sent directly from the referee to the Institute, please upload all other files onto the application form.

Applications and all requests for financial aid will be assessed on a rolling basis beginning in November 1, 2016 and running through February 1, 2017. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions and financial aid by February 15, 2017.

Required Application Materials

Application materials that must be uploaded onto the online application form include:

  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae.
  • A sample of recent writing, in English (no more than twenty-five pages).
  • For non-affiliated applicants ONLY: a current transcript of graduate studies or a letter of recommendation. Graduate student applicants may submit a transcript (pdf format) of their graduate studies which can be uploaded onto the application form. Alternatively, graduate students or unaffiliated applicants may submit a letter of recommendation emailed to the Institute directly by their referee or supervisor. Emails containing recommendations should clearly state in their subject line “IWL Recommendation Letter.” Please do NOT upload onto the application form the letter of recommendation.

Please note that affiliated applicants do NOT need a letter of recommendation or a graduate transcript.

  • A statement of financial aid is obligatory for participants who wish to be considered for reduced or waived tuition. Please upload a PDF or Word document or a zip file which outlines your financial situation, including any information that may help us to make decisions regarding aid, i.e. family situation, stipend/salary, country of residence, etc. If you use a zip file, please put everything into a single file.

The application form contains a field called “Statement of Academic Interests and Plans.” This should be a statement of no more than 300 words describing current scholarly interests and plans, as well as specific indications of how attendance at the Institute for World Literature might further those interests and plans. The statement should include information about courses taken and/or taught in comparative and world literature and theory.

There is NO application fee for the 2017 session.