Şule Yaylacı is currently a UBC-Yale Fox Fellow and in the final year of her PhD at UBC. Her research examines the impact of organized intrastate political violence on the political culture in democratic settings. Learn more about her experiences as a Fox Fellow over the past four months at Yale.

Note: The Liu Institute for Global Issues is now inviting applications for the UBC-Yale Fox International Fellowship Program. Applications are due January 16th, 2017. Please see our website for details.

Sule Holiday party at the Provost’s home at Yale

A recent holiday party at the Provost’s home at Yale

My Insights

As an inaugural UBC-Yale Fox Fellow, I believe this partnership with Yale is one of the most amazing opportunities UBC has presented to its students. Having spent four months at Yale, I am now writing to share some insights for this year’s candidates.

The most remarkable feature of the fellowship is that it provides a unique privilege of not only benefiting from all the facilities and resources of Yale University, but also of the MacMillan Center and support of the Fox Family and Fox Fellowship administration as well as students’ home institutions.

Thanksgiving lunch on the patio of Mrs. Fox’s home in Northern Connecticut

Thanksgiving lunch on the patio of Mrs. Fox’s home in Northern Connecticut

Unlike other graduate students, Fox Fellows are offered special housing advantages, organizational support for all the bureaucratic work, and an amazing group of selected top-notch international students with whom to socialize and work. The director, Ben Cashore, and the wonderful Fox Fellowship staff are there to respond to any academic or personal needs. They set up communications with potential supervisors on students’ behalf, and work to ensure each and every student maximizes their benefits during their time at Yale. Circumventing all the initial difficulties to adjust and establish themselves, fellows can get started very quickly.

The fellowship is great for graduate students of all years as they have the freedom to decide how to spend their time at Yale. Usually, they allocate their time to coursework, attendance to workshops, research and writing. The MacMillan Center also hosts numerous events that are often open to Fox Fellows. As a student in the dissertation-writing stage myself, I usually find myself torn between my work and attending talks. There are also many venues for presenting your research and gathering useful feedback.

Me with Mr. Fox who just turned 101 during the Thanksgiving lunch

Me with Mr. Fox who just turned 101 during the Thanksgiving lunch

The milieu is highly welcoming, and also inspiring and conducive for intellectual and social development. I have progressed in my research and writing considerably ever since I arrived in New Haven and I’ve engaged in very useful interactions with a multitude of distinguished professors, other visiting scholars and students.

Work-life balance is accorded a high priority and the fellowship ensures that students engage in social activities. Besides the wonderful social events the fellowship formally organizes, we, as fellows, have arranged many parties and developed great friendships.

Autumn in New Haven (East Rock Park in our neighbourhood)

Autumn in New Haven (East Rock Park in our neighbourhood)

All in all, I cannot imagine a better place to be writing my dissertation and spending the final year of my PhD. I believe the best time to apply is post-coursework stage. Research facilities are limitless here at Yale. Having fulfilled the course requirements, a student can take advantage of these facilities to come up with a research topic or advance in their research. I strongly encourage, especially those of you who are finished with their coursework, to apply.

Şule Yaylacı, UBC-Fox Fellow, 2016-2017