Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in Lesbian Studies

The Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in Lesbian Studies is a biennial dissertation-writing workshop for a cohort of doctoral fellows. Yale LGBT Studies is pleased to welcome applications for the 2024 Fellowship Workshop.  Learn more about the Fellowship below, and complete an application.

The Sarah Pettit Fund was established in 2003 as a permanent endowment to honor and perpetuate the memory of lesbian activist Sarah Pettit, who earned her BA from Yale in 1988. Pettit died in 2003 in the midst of a high profile career as a writer, editor, and LGBTQ advocate. She was for many years the editor-in-chief and vice president of OUT Magazine, which she co-founded in 1992. In 1999, she was appointed the senior editor of Newsweek’s Arts and Entertainment section. She served on the advisory board of the New York Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project.

From 2006 to 2014, the Sarah Pettit Fellowship was run as a biennial fellowship providing a year of support to a graduate student, from an institution other than Yale, who was writing a dissertation in LGBT Studies, with lesbian studies as its focus. From 2016 onwards, the format changed to a biennial dissertation-writing workshop for scholars working on select themes in lesbian studies.


Applicants must be enrolled doctoral candidates who have completed coursework, qualifying exams, and submitted their dissertation prospectus (i.e., ABD status). Students studying or located in all geographical regions are welcome. However, funds from the Pettit Fellowship may not be able to cover the total cost of travel for many students coming from international locations. We encourage students from non-US locations to apply for supplementary travel funding from their home institutions. Doctoral students enrolled at Yale University are ineligible to apply for the Fellowship.

Students working on projects concerned with a range of genders, gender identities, sexualities, and sexual practices are invited to apply. We seek applicants who can engage scholarship outside their specializations and who are interested to consider the broad consequences of different methods and approaches for scholarly work.

Past Recipients of the Sarah Pettit Fellowship:

200607: Emma Heaney (University of California, Irvine)

200809: Quinlan Miller (Northeastern University)

201011: Serena Dankwa (University of Berne, Switzerland)

201314: Nessette Falu (Rice University)

201516Amanda Cachia, Krystal Cleary, Theodora Danylevich, Alejandra Marquez, Melina Moore, Caitlin O’Neill

201920Sahin Acikgoz (University of Michigan), Elyse Ambrose (Drew University), Joe Coyle (University of Illinois), Jallicia Jolly (University of Michigan), Suzanna Krisvulskaya (Notre Dame University),  Claire Urbanski (University of California, Santa Cruz)

2023-24: Lauren Bakst (University of Pennsylvania), Devon Betts (University of Maryland), Diana Cage (University of California, Davis), Themal Ellawala (University of Illinois, Chicago), Alejandrina Medina (University of California, San Diego), Nat Rivkin (University of Pennsylvania), Joseph Shaikewitz (New York University), Connor Spencer (Columbia University)