Marjorie Boulton Fellowships

The Esperantic Studies foundation (ESF) announces its 2024 competition for research fellowships in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, particularly as they relate to interlinguistics, linguistic justice, intercultural communication, Esperanto, and related phenomena. Interdisciplinary work is welcome, and primary disciplines might include, but are not limited to, linguistics, sociology, history, anthropology, communication, or media studies. Open to candidates worldwide, with a preference for candidates in North America and the global south, the fellowships may be held concurrently with other awards or fellowships and are non-renewable.

These fellowships honor the legacy of the late Marjorie Boulton, a prolific author of plays, poems, and prose in Esperanto, as well as the leading biographer in English of L. L. Zamenhof.

ESF, a non-profit organization that works for linguistic justice on a global scale, values inclusion and diversity.  ESF does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, language, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender expression.

Awards of $10,000 USD may be given in each of two categories: Doctoral and Post-doctoral research. See below for eligibility requirements.

Category 1. Doctoral Research for students engaged in or about to begin their doctoral dissertations.

Eligibility: Applicants must be admitted to candidacy for a research doctoral degree at an accredited university, in good standing in their programs, and considering or embarked on an original research project that will make a significant contribution to the field.

Category 2. Post-doctoral Research for scholars who have recently completed their dissertations, to support related research and publication. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be no more than five years beyond receiving the Ph.D and propose an original, significant research project; it can be either an extension of the dissertation or a new program of research.

There are no geographical eligibility restrictions; candidates from any country may apply. The research proposal itself must be in English or Esperanto, with supporting materials in English, Esperanto, or the intended language(s) of the thesis or postdoctoral research.

 Applications must include:

  1.  Research proposal, up to 1500 words.
  2. Curriculum Vitae including a list of graduate coursework.
  3. A brief sample of prior academic writing of no more than 10 pages total, double spaced, including notes. Please include a cover page indicating the sample’s relationship to the proposed project.
  4. 2 letters of recommendation, including at least one from a faculty member at the applicant’s institution who knows his/her work well. ESF will solicit letters from referees once the application is filed. Applications should be uploaded to our portal on or before June 1. Only complete applications will be considered.  Please submit your application here.

 Evaluation Criteria: 

  1. The project’s potential to make a significant contribution to the applicant’s field or fields of study.
  2. The clarity and pertinence of the proposal, which should indicate the scope of the project, the methodology used, and its grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  3. A demonstrated record of academic success, along with strong recommendations indicating scholarly promise.

 Deadline for applications: June 1, 2024. ESF’s goal is to announce the awards by 1 July 2024.

Marjorie Boulton in Wikipedia


Past Marjorie Boulton Fellowship Winners

2023 – Cecilia Gialdini

The Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) has awarded this year’s Marjorie Boulton Fellowship to Dr. Cecilia Gialdini, a postdoctoral researcher at Ulster University whose research focuses on the measurement of linguistic justice.

In the course of doctoral studies at Ulster University, Dr. Gialdini identified a critical gap in the existing literature regarding concrete tools and indicators to evaluate the fairness of language policies. Their PhD thesis, “A Multidimensional Linguistic Justice Index: Measuring Language Policies through the Capability Approach,” served as a foundation for the Boulton application. Building upon previous contributions to evaluating linguistic justice, it addresses theoretical and methodological questions in the design of such an index. Among other objectives, the Fellowship will support the work of turning Gialdini’s PhD thesis into a book with an international publisher.

Born and raised in Tuscany but adopted by Belfast, Dr Gialdini holds a BA in Politics and International Relations, an MSc in International Studies, and a PhD in Social Policy focusing on Linguistic Justice. Their passion for language studies emerged during their Master’s degree. While on an Erasmus exchange at the University of Haifa, they conducted fieldwork for their final dissertation, focusing on the relationship between linguistic diversity and identity conflict in the State of Israel. Specifically, they examined educational policies for the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Dr Gialdini is committed to bringing linguistic justice to the forefront of discussions, not only within human rights but also in relation to political stability and peacebuilding.

2022 – Magdalena Madany-Saá

Magdalena Madany-Saá holds a BA degree in Spanish Philology from Warsaw University, Poland; MA degree in Latin American Studies from Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Ecuador; and currently is a PhD candidate in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University, US.

Magdalena has been an English teacher educator for over 25 years. She worked in Ecuador between 2004 and 2016 developing professional development trainings for in-service English teachers and providing educational services to the Ministry of Education and the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (SENESCYT).

Magdalena’s PhD research intersects teacher education, language policy, and decoloniality in Latin America.  She is a co-organizer and a co-editor of the series of decolonial conversations at the Global Virtual Forum ( Additionally, Magdalena works as a TESL instructor in immersion study abroad programs in Ecuador ( where she engages with her undergraduate students from the Pennsylvania State University in decolonizing English language teaching in postcolonial contexts.

Magdalena is a Polish citizen, and a resident in both Ecuador and the US. She translates between Polish, Spanish, Kichwa, and English.

2021 – Guilherme Fians and Edwin Michielsen

Guilherme Moreira Fians (Brazil) received his Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Manchester in 2019 and is currently Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Brasília. He is co-editor of the journal Esperantologio / Esperanto Studies and serves on the board of the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems (CED).  His research project builds on the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, an ethnographic study of the Esperanto movement in France, and seeks to understand how languages and digital media have an impact on the way people develop and convey political perspectives. “My project will explore how right-wing nationalists mobilize hashtags, bots, languages and other discursive mechanisms to make online political discussions more dynamic and, at the same time, confrontational,” comments Dr. Fians. “Investigating these themes from an original perspective that accounts for these phenomena’s cross-border manifestations, my work will take Brazilians who speak Esperanto as its focus.”

Edwin Michielsen (Netherlands and Canada) holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Leiden in Japanese studies and has recently (2021) completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto with a dissertation on “Proletarian Arts and Internationalism in East Asia.” He has served as Visiting Research Fellow at Waseda University and Visiting Junior Fellow at Seoul National University and has done additional research work in China (Tsinghua University) and Japan (Tokyo University). His Marjorie Boulton Fellowship will take him back to Waseda University and to the Japanese Esperanto Institute to examine the early history of Esperanto in Japan and China and particularly how Esperanto was utilized by proletarian writers in the first half of the twentieth century to assemble a linguistic solidarity worldwide against imperial languages and linguistic oppression.

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