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Fellowships, Grants & Awards

The college is committed to supporting the research and scholarship of graduate students through travel awards, dissertation writing fellowships and the James F. Harris Arts and Humanities Visionary Scholarship.

Detailed information on these programs as well as links to several Graduate School resources and awards can be found below. Please discuss these with your advisor and Graduate Program Director well in advance of your intended application. Many of these awards have several submission stages (department, college, Grad School), each with its own set of deadlines and criteria.


Travel Awards

ARHU Graduate Student Travel Awards: Virtual Conferences 2020-21

*ALERT* Given the current travel ban and spending freeze, ARHU Travel Awards will only cover funds for virtual conference fees. 

The College of Arts and Humanities awards monies to support the professional development of its graduate students through the presentation of original work. These awards are for competitive presentations of scholarship or creative works at national and international conferences. 

Eligible expenses this round will include registration and related virtual conference fees.

Criteria for Awards:

  • Presenters must have been accepted through a competitive selection or peer-reviewed process

  • Conference must be national or international audiences (i.e. not a regional conference)

  • Participation will promote students’ professional advancement in their discipline

General Guidelines:

Priority will be given to students at the end of their graduate careers participating in national or international conferences of major professional organizations and students who have not received an ARHU travel award in the past. 

Complete applications must be submitted on time into the online system to be considered for the current round. This also is the deadline for Graduate Program Director recommendations; therefore, please check with your departments for internal deadlines in advance of the college deadline. The online application system will close at midnight on the deadlines below.

College deadline (for students and departments to submit materials online):
Round I: Friday, October 9, 2020 (for travel taking place between 10/12/2020 – 1/31/2021)
Round II: Friday, December 4, 2020 (for travel taking place between 2/1/2021 – 5/31/2021)
Round III:  Friday, May 7, 2021 (for travel taking place between 6/1/2021 – 9/30/2021)

Application Process:
Students should go to and click on Travel Awards, provide all the information, and submit the application. (Students can work on an application, save, and come back to the site as well, so they don’t have to do everything at once). The application process for Travel Awards is entirely online. No paper applications will be accepted.

The information requested includes: 

  • Short CV (5 page max.)
  • Brief description (no more than two paragraphs) of the research to be presented, its significance in the field, and the format of the presentation (e.g. panel, poster presentation, performance, exhibition, etc.). Please keep in mind that you are contextualizing your research for non-specialists
  • Brief description of the conference and its organizing body and a statement of the review process for the accepted research
  • Statement of the contribution the conference will make to your career
  • Statement of other funding sources (e.g. Goldhaber Travel Awards from the Graduate School). Students are encouraged to apply for outside funding.
  • Estimated costs
  • You must include a copy of the letter/email accepting the presentation

**Please be aware when applying that given the current situation with the coronavirus, funds for travel or hotel to attend conferences in person will not be approved. 

NOTE: Graduate program directors are asked to submit recommendations and a ranking for each application from their units via the online application system. Priority will be given to students attending national or international conferences of major professional organizations and to students who have not received an ARHU travel award in the past.

For further information, please contact Ashley Richerson Miller

Goldhaber Travel Awards

The Graduate School's Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grants are intended to help defray the expenses incurred by graduate students who are traveling to scholarly, scientific, or professional conferences to present papers, posters or other scholarly material. 

International Conference Student Support Awards

The International Conference Student Support Award (ICSSA) will reimburse a graduate student’s conference registration fee up to $500. To be eligible, a graduate student must be presenting a paper, poster or other research or creative material at a major, international scholarly, scientific or professional conference that is held outside the United States.

Eligible graduate students are invited to submit applications for international travel up until the first day of the conference. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Graduate students are eligible to receive the ICSSA twice, once before candidacy (which includes both doctoral and MA students) and a second time after the achievement of candidacy (doctoral students only).

If you have any questions, please contact Robyn Kotzker at (301) 405-0281.

Dissertation Writing Fellowships

The Mary Savage Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship

The college is seeking nominations for the Mary S. Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship for 2020-21. The fellowship will support up to two fellowships for qualified students pursuing the doctorate in any discipline in the humanities, including the study of language, literature, culture, philosophy, history or the arts. Preference will be given to students in English, but scholarships can be awarded to students in other disciplines in the humanities and arts. Recipients of the scholarship shall be selected by a committee appointed by the dean of the college. Criteria for selection shall be based upon both academic merit and need. Each department should put forward its very best candidate and no department should submit more than two nominations.  Proposals should be written with a non-specialist audience in mind.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Must be a graduate student who has reached the dissertation stage.
  • Must have completed all coursework and passed the qualifying examination for the doctorate degree.
  • Students receiving the fellowship are expected to enroll full time and to devote full time to work on their dissertation. To be certified as a full-time student, recipients of the Fellowship must be officially registered for 6 credits of 899.
  • Recipients are not allowed to hold on- or off-campus jobs of more than 10 hours per week.
  • If research requires IRB approval, it must be secured or in the works at time of application.

The 9.5-month stipend (up to $20,000) for the fellowship for the 2020-21 academic year does not cover health benefits and is not tax exempt.

  • The Graduate School has agreed to provide candidacy tuition awards for each fellowship recipient that will cover six credits of dissertation research (899) for each fellow for the fall and spring semesters. Students taking additional credits will have to pay for them themselves. The Graduate School will process all paperwork through Student Financial Aid at or 301-314-9000. The fellowship is non-renewable.

Nominations for the fellowship must be submitted through the online application portal. The portal will be open for nominations February 3, 2020 through Friday, May 22, 2020, 5 p.m. deadline. 

Nomination packets should be uploaded as a single pdf from each department and should include the following for each student (in this order):

  • Nomination letter (by Chair or Graduate Director)
  • Project description (2-3 pages) from the nominee. Within the project description, please also outline progress already made, as well as a timeline/schedule for completing the dissertation.
  • Copy of the nominee's CV
  • Letter of recommendation from the nominee's advisor

For further information, please contact Ashley Richerson Miller

Download a printable version of these guidelines.

2019-2020 Recipients:

Danielle Griffin, English: “Working Literacies: Gender, Labor, and Literacy in Early Modern England”

Po-Hsien Chu, Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies: “The Experimental Aesthetics of Global Sinophone Theatre: The Present, the Absent, and the Avant-Garde”

Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award

The Charles A. Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award is awarded by UMD to recognize original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged. Awards will be given each year in four broad disciplinary areas: 1) Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering; 2) Social Sciences; 3) Humanities and Fine Arts; and 4) Biological and Life Sciences. The Council of Graduate Schools uses these categories for its annual national dissertation awards. Recipients of the Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award will receive an honorarium of $1,000 and may be nominated by the University for the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Eligibility: PhD dissertations defended and submitted to the Graduate School in the calendar year 2019. This year's selection process will occur in Spring 2020.

Below is a brief description of the nomination process and required materials for the College of Arts and Humanities. Each unit may nominate one dissertation.  Nominations should be submitted through the online application portal.   The portal will be open for nominations November 4, 2019 through the deadline on February 3, 2020 at 5 p.m. The department and graduate program director is responsible for compiling the following necessary components:

  1. An electronic copy of the whole dissertation in PDF form.
  2. A PDF attachment to include the remaining required elements of the nomination package (with bookmarks, if possible), in the following order:
    • a Distinguished Dissertation Award cover sheet (available here)
    • one letter of nomination from the dissertation supervisor that evaluates the significance and quality of the dissertation and indicates which chapter the ARHU committee should read in detail
    • a letter from the college describing the substantive contribution of the dissertation (to be appended to the finalist’s nomination, as per UMD Graduate School guidelines.)
    • a double-spaced abstract of the dissertation written for a non-specialist audience in PDF form not to exceed 10 pages (appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables, may be included; the pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee)
    • the nominee’s brief CV, not to exceed 4 pages, and including correct contact information

February 3, 2020 is the deadline to submit nominations to ARHU for this award. (ARHU will then submit up to four nominations to the Graduate School for the 2020 award by February 26, 2020.)

Caramello Distinguished Dissertation Award guidelines and nomination forms are available here.

Download a printable version of these guidelines.

2019 Recipient:

Raino Isto, Humanities and Fine Arts: “Monumental Endeavors: Sculpting History in Southeastern Europe, 1960-2016”

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships provide support to outstanding doctoral students at “mid-career,” that is, in the period approximately before, during or after achievement of candidacy, and are intended to enable students to complete a key benchmark in their program's requirements. Summer Research Fellowships typically carry stipends of $5,000. 

Each department or program may submit two nominations. Programs must submit their nominations to The Graduate School. 

Deadline: Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

Note: Students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies for their doctoral program’s internal deadline. 

For more information, guidelines, instructions and nomination form, see The Graduate School website.

Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Completion Fellowships

The Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship is part of The Graduate School's Semester Dissertation Fellowship Program. It provides support to UMD doctoral candidates who are in the latter stages of writing their dissertations. The Wylie is a full-time fellowship and recipients can choose to use the fellowship in either Fall 2020 or Spring 2021. Fellowship benefits include a $15,000 stipend, a candidacy tuition award and a credit for mandatory fees and reimbursement for the purchase of an individual health insurance plan for the semester.  

Eligibility: Eligible candidates are current UMD doctoral students who will have advanced to candidacy by June 1, 2020, and expect to graduate by August 2021.

Each department or program may submit two nominations. Programs must submit their nominations by February 12, 2020 at noon to The Graduate School. 

Note: Students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies for their doctoral program’s internal deadline. 

For more information, guidelines, and forms, see The Graduate School website.

Other Awards

James F. Harris Arts and Humanities Visionary Scholarship

The college holds an annual competition open to master's and doctoral students for the James. F. Harris Arts and Humanities Visionary Scholarship. This award honors the humanities and arts in action. Past recipients have demonstrated a well-rounded approach to service and community engagement in addition to their scholarship.


  • Students should write no more than a 2-page description of how their breadth of interests and activities exemplify key principles of an arts and humanities education . They should then submit their description to their home department/program, including their current contact information and UID number.
  • The department must include a letter of support for each nomination, written by a faculty member who can speak to the student's suitability for this award.
  • Each unit may submit one nomination for the Harris Scholarship. The nominated student may be either at the Master's level or the Doctoral level.
  • Both the student's description and the department's nomination letter should be submitted together in one PDF through the online application system.

To submit a nomination, the nominator should log onto, select the James Harris Arts and Humanities Visionary Scholarship application, complete each field, and upload a single PDF containing the student's description and the department's nomination letter. The online portal will start taking nominations on November 4, 2019. 

Deadline: Monday, December 2, 2019 at midnight

Download a printable copy of these guidelines.

2019-19 Recipients:

  • Ashley Minner, American Studies
  • Gianina Lockley, Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies
  • Gerard Holmes, English

Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards

The Graduate School invites colleges to choose graduate students for Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards for exemplary achievement as a GA in AY 2019-20. The Graduate School will give approximately 80 Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards annually and will recognize the awardees for 2019 at the Annual Fellowship and Award Celebration in May 2020.

ARHU can nominate up to ten graduate assistants for this award, all of whom will receive the award from the Graduate School. While the award does not carry a cash prize, it conveys the honor of being named among the top 2% of campus GAs in a given year.

To be eligible for this award, GAs must be currently enrolled Master's or Doctoral students holding at least a half-time graduate assistantship (TA, RA, AA) for the full 2019-20 academic year.

ARHU is soliciting nominations from the chairs of departments. Here are the instructions for submitting your nominations to the ARHU Graduate Awards Committee:

  • Each unit may nominate one graduate assistant for every 20 graduate assistants employed, up to a maximum of two.  The nominees may be drawn from administrative assistants, research assistants, and teaching assistants.  If your unit nominates two students, please rank order them.
  • The awards will be made in three categories: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant, and Outstanding Graduate Administrative Assistant. The award criteria for each category is available here.
  • Nominators must complete the Outstanding Assistant Award Nomination Sheet for each nomination and submit it to the college as a single PDF to Ashley Richerson Miller at
  • ARHU GAs working in units outside of ARHU are eligible for this award. If you are aware of an outstanding GA from your unit who works for another campus entity, please consider contacting their supervisor to help draft the nominating paragraph.

Nominations: Send as single PDF to Ashley Richerson Miller

Deadline: To the college is Monday, December 2, 2019 at 5 p.m. ARHU will submit nominations to The Graduate School by Friday, December 6, 2019.

Download a printable version of these guidelines.

Graduate ALL-S.T.A.R. Fellowship

Note: This award is not available for the 2019-20 academic year.

The Graduate School invites colleges to select outstanding students for the Graduate All-S.T.A.R. (Scholarship / Teaching, Administration, Research) Fellowship for AY 18-19. Approximately 4,000 UMD graduate students serve as teaching, administrative, or research assistants. The Graduate All-S.T.A.R. Fellowships are intended to honor graduate students who are both outstanding scholars and outstanding graduate assistants. Graduate All-S.T.A.R. Fellows will be featured on the Graduate School website.

All-S.T.A.R. Fellowship Guidelines:

Graduate All-S.T.A.R. Fellows can be any GA/TA enrolled in ARHU. (The student need not hold an assistantship in ARHU, but it is incumbent upon the unit to verify the significant contributions made by the student as a graduate assistant.)

Selection Process:

Each unit will nominate one candidate to the ARHU Graduate Fellowships Committee for consideration through the application portal. The candidate may be at either the master’s or doctoral level. Those units with multiple graduate programs must deliberate at the unit level in order to determine who will be nominated (e.g. TDPS, School of Music, and SLLC can each submit only one nomination to ARHU). Please also describe your deliberation process when you submit your nomination.

The department is responsible for including a nomination package as a single PDF file with the following:

  • Name of nominee
  • Photograph of the nominee
  • Brief biographical statement
  • Summary describing the nominee’s outstanding scholarship and significant contribution as a graduate assistant (one-page maximum)
  • Letter detailing the selection process used by the unit to determine the All-S.T.A.R. Fellow nominee (half-page maximum)
  • Statement written by the All-S.T.A.R. Fellow nominee describing how his or her service as a Graduate Assistant has enhanced his or her graduate education experience (250-word maximum)

For further information, please contact Ashley Richerson Miller

2018-19 Recipients:

Elizabeth Massey, Music
Anna Storti, Women's Studies 

Additional Graduate School Fellowships and Awards

The Graduate School currently offers four prestigious endowed awards: the Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement; the Dr. James W. Longest Memorial Award for Social Science Research; the Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study; and the Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship.

Nominations: Due to the Graduate School by March 4, 2020, by noon. Updated award guidelines and nomination forms are available below on The Graduate School website