Sixth Annual Animal Studies Summer Institute (ASSI) Application

                                                             June 23-29, 2024


Thanks to generous cosponsorship from the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy, we are delighted to announce that we are able to waive the $900 participation fee for all those accepted to the 2024 Institute. This fee covers registration, seminars, guest lectures, and all other offered activities, as well as access to the extraordinary University of Illinois Library, lunches, coffee breaks, and receptions.


Participants are responsible for paying for their own travel and accommodation while at the University of Illinois. To assist with housing costs, we have arranged for a discounted rate for those who choose to stay in the on-campus dorms.


The applicant must (1) be a doctoral student at the dissertation stage or early career scholar no more than four years past the PhD or other terminal degree; or be an MSW, MFA, DVM, or JD student in the advanced stages of the degree; (2) have a commitment to advancing research in Human-Animal Studies (HAS); (3) be available to attend all days and scheduled events of the institute; and (4) submit a follow-up report six months after the program’s completion.

Applications are encouraged from the social sciences, humanities, arts, and natural sciences, as long as a part of the project explicitly deals with the human-animal relationship.

Former participants may apply to ASSI 2024 with a different project if they still meet eligibility criteria. New letters of recommendation will not be required. However, please understand that space is limited and priority may be given to those applying for the first time.

Application Deadline: Friday, February 16, 2024, 5:00pm US Central Time


The selection committee includes members from a range of disciplines connected to HAS.

Applications are evaluated on the basis of the contribution of the completed project to HAS, the qualifications of the applicant to complete the research, and how well the applicant’s project complements the other accepted projects. The Institute is dedicated to an inclusive vision of Human-Animal Studies and encourages applications from around the world and from scholars who are affiliated with communities traditionally under-represented in the academy and professions.

Applicants will be notified by email by March 31, 2024. For those accepted, the deadline to commit is April 12, 2024.


PLEASE NOTE: Anyone applying from a country requiring a travel visa must initiate the visa application process immediately. The US Visa Wizard is a good starting point. 

Applicants should email the following items to Naomi Young at CAS: naomiy@illinois.edu by the application deadline. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please format document names as: Name_Cover Sheet; Name_Abstract; etc.

1. Cover sheet: Your name, preferred pronouns, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, institution name, date PhD or other terminal degree expected or received, citizenship/nationality, and title of project.

2. Abstract: Project title and one-paragraph abstract.

3. Proposal: No more than 1 page (single-spaced) describing your project in detail. Since the description will be considered by a panel of scholars from a variety of disciplines, it should be written for non-specialists.

  • Include what draws you to Human-Animal Studies, how far you are along in the dissertation, other final thesis project, planned publication, or creative or artistic presentation, and what part of the project you expect to accomplish during the course of the program.

  • Indicate engagement with and discuss how your work will contribute to literature within the field of Human-Animal Studies, how your work deepens an understanding of human-animal relations and, if appropriate to the project, how it might have long-term impacts or practical implications that improve human-animal relations.

4. Curriculum vitae: No more than 4 pages.

5. Writing sample: No more than 20 pages (double-spaced) representing your work in animal studies. (This does not have to be exactly what you plan to have workshopped during the institute.) Artists whose work is not well-represented by a writing sample should instead submit either a document (no more than 20 pages) of the work represented in a combination of images and texts or a link to a video clip no more than 10 minutes long. Note that documentation, references, and/or citations are not included in the page count for the writing sample or document.

6. Two letters of recommendation: Each referee should email a PDF of their original letter directly to naomiy@illinois.edu by the application deadline.