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The John E. Rovensky Fellowships in International Business or Economic History (2023-24)

29-05-2023 12:01

The University of Illinois Foundation announces the inaugural John Rovensky Fellowship in International Business or Economic History.  One $10,200 fellowship will be awarded for a doctoral student writing a doctoral dissertations in non-US business or economic history. The fellowships are available largely through the generosity of the late John E. Rovensky and are administered by the University of Illinois Foundation. Awardees may use the fellowship concurrently with other funding sources, including grants or teaching assignments.


Applicants must be working toward a Ph.D. degree with international business or economic history as the area of major interest. Fellowship recipients must be enrolled in a doctoral program at an accredited college or university in the United States. Applicants should be working on a dissertation based on in-depth archival research on any period and geographic area (outside the United States). Preference will be given to applicants who are preparing for a career in teaching and research and who will have completed all graduate course work prior to the fall of 2021. Awards are non-renewable but may be taken along with other fellowships from other sources.

Application Process

The Rovensky Fellowship Selection Committee is composed of seven scholars in American economic and business history:

Marcelo Bucheli (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Chair

Xavier Durán (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)

Aurora Gómez (Colegio de México, Mexico)

Aldo Musacchio (Brandeis University, USA)

Sudev Seth (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Shakila Yakob (Phillips Universität, Marburg, Germany)


Applicants are judged on the basis of the following criteria:

Academic ability and interest in business and/or economic history, documented in one letter of recommendation

Demonstrated ability in archival research and writing

Potential for career in teaching and academic research, supported in letter of recommendation

Quality of dissertation proposal

Completed applications for the fellowship must be received no later than Monday, July 31st, 2023. Winners will be notified by email by August 2023.  All materials, including the letter of recommendation, should be uploaded to the following link:


About John E. Rovensky

John E. Rovensky grew up in Pittsburgh in a family of modest circumstances, entered the banking profession, and moved to New York City. There he became the youngest vice president of the National Bank of Commerce, at the time the second largest bank in New York City. He later served with the Bank of America and National City Bank of New York. At the close of a very successful banking career, Mr. Rovensky became chairman of the executive committee of American Car and Foundry Company (later ACF Industries) and subsequently chairman of the board. Retiring from active business interests in 1954, he still retained a lively interest in economics, public affairs, and the academic profession. He died in 1970.

The fellowships arise from a substantial gift, which Mr. Rovensky made to the Lincoln Educational Foundation in 1961 thanks to the encouragement of Donald L. Kemmerer, his long-time friend, Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois, and president of the Lincoln Educational Foundation. The Lincoln Educational Foundation was founded in 1951 by Mr. Alexander Whiteford, an executive of Union Carbide, to promote recognition of the role of private business and entrepreneurship in America's growth and development.

When the Lincoln Educational Foundation was liquidated in 1984, Professor Kemmerer ensured that the remaining funds were transferred to the University of Illinois where he had been a faculty member since 1937, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1973. He died in 1993. The monies and the Fellowship program are now administered by the University of Illinois Foundation.


Η Δράση Αναβάθμιση και Ανανέωση του ιστοχώρου της Ελληνικής Εταιρείας Οικονομικής Ιστορίας χρηματοδοτείται από το Κοινωφελές Ίδρυμα Ιωάννη Σ. Λάτση, στο πλαίσιο του Προγράμματος Ενίσχυσης Επιστημονικών Εταιρειών 2016