Who should apply for a Harold Wechsler Emerging Scholars Award?

Doctoral students who are doing original research in some aspect of Jewish education are encouraged to apply. Students do not need to be enrolled in a program that awards a doctorate in Jewish education, or even a doctorate in education, so long as they can articulate the relevance and significance of the research for Jewish education.

How much money is associated with this Award?

The amount of the Award varies depending on the availability of funds for a given year. The goal is for the committee to distribute $3000 each year to one or more recipients.

What strings are attached to the Award?

There are (almost) no strings attached. The Award is intended to support the research of emerging scholars and to encourage their scholarly contributions to the field. As noted, funds may be used for research-related expenses such as books and publications, travel for scholarly purposes, transcription, research assistance, editorial assistance, clerical assistance, publication assistance, childcare, or purchase of equipment. Funds may not be used for general living expenses. If you do receive an Award, you should maintain your own receipts to document that you have used the funds in accordance with the permitted purposes (so that the funds will not be counted as income but rather as reimbursed expenses). The NRJE will not ask for that documentation but you may need it for your own tax purposes. Of course, if you have questions about the tax implications of the Award, you should contact your own tax expert.

How detailed should my application be?

Please follow the guidelines for the application. Include both (a) a brief cover letter and (b) a 1000-word essay explaining the research project.

Should I include references and a bibliography with my essay?

Yes, as appropriate. You should demonstrate that your research is grounded in relevant literatures and how your work is part of a larger scholarly conversation. However, this is not the place to share a full literature review. The bibliography does not count in the 1000-word limit for the essay.

What is the Committee looking for in the letter of recommendation?

We are looking for brief statements that affirm the confidence of the recommender in (a) the quality of the research project and (b) your potential for sustained participation in the field of scholarship in Jewish education. We do not need a lengthy review of your qualifications or a summary of your research plan. The recommender should be a faculty advisor or a senior scholar in your field.

What if my educational institution does not traditionally sponsor research in Jewish education?

The Network seeks to support and promote research in Jewish education, including by bringing emerging scholars from a wide range of settings and disciplines into the field and recognizing their work. Applicants for a Harold Wechsler Emerging Scholar Award should explain how their research complements or builds upon work being done by others in the field, but they do not need to be based at the usual addresses of research in Jewish education.

What if I am doing a non-traditional doctorate?

As noted above, the Network seeks to support and promote research in Jewish education, including by bringing emerging scholars from a wide range of settings and disciplines into the field and recognizing their work. This includes, as well, practitioners who are engaging in scholarly work. 

How do I join the Network for Research in Jewish Education and learn about its activities?

Information about membership, the annual conference, and the Journal of Jewish Education may be found at http://www.nrje.org. Recipients of the Harold Wechsler Emerging Scholar Award are expected to attend the conference, where they will be asked to discuss their projects. If necessary, funds will be made available for them to participate.

What if I still have questions about any of the above?

For additional information, contact Jon A. Levisohn, Chair of the Awards Committee, at levisohn at brandeis dot edu