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The Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship

The Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship is a competitive, merit-based fellowship that is awarded to up to 3 full-time Master of Fine Arts students in Creative Writing, who are focusing on the completion of a creative manuscript in fiction or poetry.  

About the Creative Research Fellowship

The Creative Research Fellowship provides a summer stipend of up to $5,000 (depending on proposed budget) to support a research project involving international exchange. This award is intended to provide financial support for a student writer engaged in research that will aid the completion of their creative manuscript. The research proposal must involve an international focus of some kind, though international travel may or may not be required to support this research—the student might instead need the funding to study at a local archive, for example, or to aid in strategic outreach, programming, or communications, so long as international exchange is a key aspect of the proposal.   

Creative Research Fellowship Amount

The Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship provides up to $5,000 in research support.  Amount awarded is based on proposed budget outlined in the applicant’s Fellowship Proposal, and on project merit as determined by the application judges.  The Fellowship award covers proposed fellowship expenses; any costs that exceed the fellowship amount will be at the student’s expense.

Creative Research Fellowship Eligibility

To be eligible for the Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship, applicants must be graduate students currently enrolled in ASU's MFA Creative Writing program in their first, second or third year of the program, at time of application.

Applicants must also be in good academic standing and on track to finish their MFA degrees.  Students are ineligible to receive the same fellowship two years in a row.

A student can apply for but cannot receive both a Virginia G. Piper Global Teaching Fellowship and a Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship in the same year.  If a candidate is highly ranked for both fellowships, they will be given the opportunity to choose between the two awards.

Creative Research Fellowship Award Requirements

  • During your Fellowship period, you will be responsible for taking 3 photographs.  Within 30 days of when you return from the Fellowship, you will need to submit these photos to the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. You will also be required to submit a short statement of impact, and complete an exit interview with a staff member of the Piper Center. These items may be published, in full or in part online or in print.
  • As a fellowship recipient, you will also be given the option to teach a 2-hour free Piper Writers Studio course at some point in the next school year, working with the Piper Center’s Education Programs Coordinator. This course will be community-focused, and should reference or incorporate aspects of your fellowship time and studies.  The Piper Center staff will provide support in helping you develop this course, as needed. This is a great opportunity to share some of what you’ve learned with writers back home!

Creative Research Fellowship Application

Due: Friday, October 25th, 2019 by 11:59 PM

To apply for the Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship, please prepare and complete the following materials:

  1. Synposis/Abstract (2 paragraphs, single-spaced):  This should be a brief summary of your manuscript project, and the work or research you are planning for it during the fellowship period.
  2. Personal Statement (1 page, single-spaced): This should be a short, introductory essay, introducing yourself as a writer and the scope of your current project.
  3. Fellowship Proposal/Vision and Impact Statement (2 - 3 pages, single-spaced): This should be a detailed, structured proposal for how this fellowship award would support your manuscript work and research over the summer.  This should communicate your vision for the work and the impact you feel this funding will have on your work, and it should include a budget and any important logistical information.
  4. 10-page writing sample (poetry or fiction)
  5. Complete the Creative Research Fellowship Application here: Creative Research Fellowship

Treat this process as a creative project proposal, and not a job application: you must convince the judges that your unique proposal deserves the fellowship award, rather than trying to meet a certain set of expected criteria. More information about each application component is available in the application instructions.


Independent judges, external to ASU, will determine the recipient. The fellowship award will be announced by mid-December 2019 and the award will be dispersed in Spring 2020.

More Information about the Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship

For more information about the Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship, please contact the program director: M. McDonough, Coordinator, Outreach Programs of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at 480.965.5913 or