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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 2 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 or second year of the program, at time of application; students in their 3rd year of the program are ineligible to apply.  

Applicants must also be in good academic standing and on track to finish their MFA degrees by the end of the Spring 2020 or Spring 2021 semester.  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 and collecting 3 objects or pieces of ephemera (a flyer, newspaper, menu, etc.).  Within 30 days of when you return from the Fellowship, you will need to submit these photos and items (or images/scans of them, if not the actual items) to the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.  From those 6 submitted items, the Piper Center will select 3, and conduct 3 short interviews with you over the course of the year, with questions pertaining to the significance of one of the items or photos, among other reflection questions. These creative interviews may be conducted in written, audio, or video format, and may be published in part or in full, both in print and online.
  • As a fellowship recipient, you will also 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: Monday, October 15th, 2018 by 11:59 PM

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

  1. Global Fellowship Application Form
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 10-page writing sample (poetry or fiction)

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.



All materials should be professionally formatted (with the last name and page number in the footer of each page) and submitted as a multi-page, single .pdf document to Managing Director Angie Dell via email at no later than 11:59 PM on 10/15/18.  Files should be titled “LastName Research Fellowship” (ex: Smith Research Fellowship.pdf). Please include “RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION” in the email’s subject line.

Late applications will not be accepted.


Independent judges, external to ASU, will determine the recipient.  The fellowship award will be announced by Friday, December 14th, 2018 and the award will be dispersed in Spring 2019.

Apply for the Creative Research Fellowship

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: Angie Dell, Associate Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing;; 480-727-0815.