Fellowship Stories

Victoria de Grazia

"It was my first ever research grant, and it seemed like a miracle. Later, when I became involved in CES administration, I regarded two things as hallmarks: the Council's annual conferences and that little life-changing grant."

- Victoria de Grazia, Professor of History, Columbia University, who has written prize-winning studies of twentieth century Italian history, including How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945 (1992). A former chair of the Council for European Studies (CES), she is the recipient of numerous awards for the study of European history, including the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome, two Jean Monnet Fellowships from the European University Institute, a Fulbright scholarship, and grants from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, ACLS, and Guggenheim Foundation. In 2005, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


David DeRamus

"I am very appreciative of the Pre-Dissertation Fellowship that I was awarded by the Council for European Studies (CES) in 1992. I have continued to work on European economic issues over the course of my career, and I remember even citing my Pre-Dissertation Fellowship research in my first opportunity to testify as an expert witness in an antitrust case many years ago!"

- David DeRamus, Managing Partner, Bates White is a founding member of the economic consulting firm of Bates White and currently serves as the firm′s Managing Partner. Previously, David worked at KPMG Peat Marwick in its Economic Consulting Services practice and at the management consulting firm of A.T. Kearney.

"The CES fellowship permitted me to spend a summer in Paris doing preliminary research on social mobilization around AIDS. It was a great opportunity to familiarize myself with the resources available to American scholars in Paris. I was able to meet with a range of academics that pointed me in productive directions. Some of the people I met that summer are still among my most cherished friends and colleagues.”

- Claire Ernst, Social Studies Teacher at Tamalpais High School received her Ph.D. from Cornell University's Government Department in 1994. Dr. Ernst is currently a Social Studies teacher at a public high school in Northern California. (back to top)

Elissa Helms

Anchor"I was finishing my second year in a PhD program when a CES Pre-Dissertation grant allowed me to spend the summer of 1997 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This grant enabled me to concentrate on my research ideas, map the field of women's activism I wanted to make the focus of my dissertation, and collect some very useful data. At a time of decreased funding for and appreciation of locally-grounded knowledge about Europe that goes beyond macro-level politics of the EU or "troubled regions," CES provides a welcome source of support and validation for such projects.”

- Elissa Helms, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Central European University has been conducting ethnographic research in the Bosniac (Muslim) dominated areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1997. She teaches gender and nationalism from an anthropological perspective as well as qualitative research methods and academic writing, serves as Director of Doctoral Studies for her department, and is active in several organizations aimed at strengthening higher education in the region. Helms is currently finishing a book on women’s activism and issues of representation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Jeff Horn

"My CES experience was tremendously useful in helping me to understand what kinds of questions could be asked and answeredthrough archival research. CES made my dissertation project workable in a year's time. The contacts I was able to make allowed my dissertation, much expanded and revised, to be published in French. It is an enormously worthwhile program that provided a wonderful start to my academic career. In an age where dissertations are getting shorter and shorter, and narrower and narrower, the CES fellowship enables more ambitious projects to be conceptualized and fulfilled."

- Jeff Horn, Professor of History and Manhattan College, who has published widely on the Industrial and French Revolutions. His interests include global terrorism, the rise of European empires, and genocide, particularly the Holocaust. Dr. Horn served as the Director of the Manhattan College Holocaust Resource Center from 2007-2011 and remains on the Board of Consultors of the Manhattan College Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center.


Karel Kovanda"Almost 40 years ago, I was a wild-eyed student from post-invasion Czechoslovakia who had recently landed in the Political-Science PhD program of MIT. Winning the 1972 CES Pre-Dissertation Fellowship helped me do all the things I had hoped for. I will never cease to be terribly grateful to the USA for the opportunities it offered me, and an important part of those opportunities was the Pre-Dissertation Fellowship. It helped me at a critical moment to get my academic bearings and orient me in much of my further endeavors. And I don't think I ever even thought of saying 'Thank You'...so let me do it now, here, albeit belatedly. 'Thank you, CES, from the bottom of my heart; and may many others have the good fortune you afforded me."

- Karel Kovanda, served as the Deputy Director-General responsible for Common and Foreign Security Policy (CFSP), Mutilateral Relations with America, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and EFTA in the European Commission's Directorate-General for External Relations until 2010. Before that he was the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the North Atlantic Council and Western European Union and held several positions in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (back to top)



 "I had the honor and great pleasure of being a 2011 CES Pre-Dissertation Fellow. Although I am still working on my PhD, I can already say that the CES fellowship has had a significant and very positive impact on my work as well as on my own development as a scholar. It gave me the chance to bounce ideas off some of the top scholars in my field -- an absolutely invaluable experience at this early stage. In addition, the fellowship gave me the chance to learn the basics of fieldwork: targeting individuals and organizations, requesting and scheduling interviews, framing and asking questions. It was a challenging and rewarding experience that helped set the stage for additional interviews I have planned for this spring."

- Matthew Maguire, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Boston University. He received his MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics (2008) and his BA in History from Cornell University (2003). In 2012, he was a Visiting Research fellow at the University of Warwick, funded through the GR:EEN Project. 

"I am so grateful to be the recipient of a CES pre-dissertation grant. The opportunity CES gave me to go to the field was invaluable. Although I had done fieldwork before, the CES grant strengthened my research skills. I also managed to get access to key elites of interest in my study and developed a network of contacts in the field, who were incredibly useful when I returned for my dissertation fieldwork. The CES grant helped me significantly strengthen my dissertation project and I remain very grateful for the support I received from CES."
- Tsveta Petrova is a postdoctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University in 2011 and a research fellowship at Harvard University’s Davis Center. She is the recipient of several research awards as well as many fellowships and grants. Her articles have appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, and most recently, in the Journal of Democracy. (back to top)

Narcis Tulbure"The pre-dissertation fellowship not only provided funds for travel and research, but was also a confirmation that I was using the right approach to a rewarding yet risky topic. CES gave me the chance to meet with other fellows at the same stage in their careers and discuss our shared experiences and strategies for research. Furthermore, the valuable advice from CES affiliated professors complemented the guidance received at my PhD institution. Overall, my experience with the CES fellowship was tremendous. I wish all the other funding agencies would provide their fellows with as many learning opportunities."

- Narcis Tulbure is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. During the last few years, Narcis has held various research and teaching assignments at the New Europe College (Bucharest), at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, and at the University of Bucharest. (back to top


 "The fellowship allowed me to establish initial contacts in the field, which made the second round of my research more effective. Undoubtedly, I avoided many mistakes that I would've made otherwise were it not for the opportunity to have the funding to conduct a pilot study for my dissertation. The funding from CES was vital in making my research for the dissertation and book a reality."

- Elizabeth Radziszewski is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations at Lehigh University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Research Quarterly, and Foreign Policy Analysis, among others. Her book manuscript, Social Networks and Public Support for European Integration, is under contract at Routledge. Outside of academia, she is an avid ice dancer.

Matthew R. Robinson "The CES fellowship played a pivotal role in the development of my dissertation topic and helped me establish the research contacts that have made my dissertation research-scheme possible. While in Berlin during the summer of 2011, I regularly met with faculty at Humboldt University, attended conferences, lectures, and several times visited the archives of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW). Over the course of the summer, I specified my dissertation area and, indeed, began to outline a dissertation. The CES fellowship, in other words, played a decisive role in making my dissertation possible both logistically and conceptually."

- Matthew R. Robinson, is a doctoral candidate in Religious Studies at Northwestern University. He is also the recipient of a DAAD Doctoral Research Grant, year-long fellowship (2012-2013); a DAAD University Summer Course Grant (2010); and a TGS Summer Language Grant (2010). 


"This fellowship, in retrospect, gave me the financial means to identify and initially explore what would eventually become the defining focus of my career as a scholar in French history. To put the matter briefly, the opportunity to explore my initial topical interest transformed that focus, as a result of the archival materials I discovered during the fellowship period, to the subject area within which I have pursued my major historical research and writing throughout my career. I can honestly say that the CES Pre-Dissertation Fellowship set me on a lifelong path, the result of which is my current recognition internationally as a leader in this area."

George Joseph Sheridan, Jr. is a professor of European and French history at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. 


Lorraine Uhlaner, Professor of Entrepreneurship, EDHEC Business School (back to top)
"I thoroughly enjoyed my fellowship experience. I shared much of what I had already learned in my first year of graduate study with colleagues in Maastricht University. Probably the most exciting part of the summer was the chance to attend a conference in Munich, which turned out to be a 'who's who' of the top people in organization behavior during that time period--people I would never have gotten to know so well if I had been at larger conferences in the US. It was a very memorable summer."

Lorraine M. Uhlaner is Professor of Entrepreneurship at EDHEC Business School in Roubaix, France. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has previously held appointments at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Eastern Michigan University, and Michigan State University.  


Karen Werner"I am grateful for the participant-observation work I was able to do in London, England, thanks to my CES fellowship. I spent my fellowship summer with an exemplary activist art collective called Platform, located in South London. Because of my experience in England, I was able to incorporate a comparative analysis of national (England vs. U.S.) arts funding and its impact on activist art forms and content."

- Karen Werner is a sociologist who has focused on contemporary activist art and the impact of funding on forms of activist engagement; public sociology; and the politics and performativity of the sociology classroom. Her recent academic work has been about non-capitalist economics. She is a member of the international Community Economies Collective and teaches at Goddard College.




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2019 CES Conference

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