PhD Students Awarded Distinguished Fellowships

Issue Date: 
July 27, 2015

University of Pittsburgh doctoral candidates Martin Y. Marinos and Robert Steel have been awarded 2015 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships from The American Council of Learned Societies. The awards provide support for advanced graduate students in the humanities and social sciences during their final year of PhD dissertation writing. 

The fellowships provide a maximum stipend of $30,000 and as much as $8,000 for additional expenses and fees. Research may be done at the fellow’s home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site. The fellowship is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Seventy Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships were awarded nationally for 2015. Other institutions with multiple fellows were Columbia University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, Princeton University, and Stanford University. 

Martin Y. Marinos is a doctoral candidate in Pitt’s Department of Communication,  Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. He is researching the post-socialist transformation of media in Bulgaria, the European Union’s easternmost and poorest region. Specifically, he is studying the growth of far-right populist movements in Eastern Europe despite the liberalization of the region’s media and the expansion of the European Union. 

Robert Steel is pursuing his PhD in the Dietrich School’s Department of Philosophy. His primary research interests are metaethics, which involve the study of the nature of morality, and epistemology, the study of knowledge and justified belief. He also has related interests in normative ethics and the philosophy of science. His dissertation  develops arguments on the relation between evidence and rational belief and the extent to which rationality has an internal character. 

Established in 1919, the American Council of Learned Societies is a private, nonprofit federation of 73 national scholarly organizations. It is widely considered the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.