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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 2018-19

To support the professional development of graduate students through the presentation of original research, the college awards grants for travel to significant national and international conferences. There are three Travel Award competitions per year. It is recommended that students apply for the round that immediately precedes the date of travel.

General Guidelines: Eligible expenses include transportation, lodging, registration fees and per diem for food; up to $500 for travel within North America and up to $700 for international travel.

College Deadlines (for graduate student submission of materials and departmental graduate program director review to ARHU via the online application portal): 

Round 1 - Monday, October 1, 2018 (for travel taking place between October 1, 2018 and December 2, 2018)

Round 2 - Monday, December 3, 2018 (for travel taking place between December 3, 2018 to May 5, 2019)

Round 3 - Monday, May 6, 2019 (for travel taking place between May 6, 2019 to September 30, 2019)

Please check with individual program graduate director for departmental deadlines previous to these College deadlines and notify them when you have submitted your application. Program Directors will need time to review applications prior to the College deadline.

To apply, please submit the online application form providing the following information:

  • Short CV (including up-to-date contact information and address)
  • Stage of graduate career (e.g., defending dissertation in Fall 2018)
  • 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. paper on a panel, poster presentation). Include a statement of the review process your presentation underwent. Please keep in mind that you are contextualizing your research for non-specialists.
  • Brief description of the conference and its organizing body, including the URL of the conference/organization website
  • Brief Statement of the contribution of your work to your career
  • Statement on whether other funding sources have been sought for this travel (e.g. Goldhaber Travel Awards from the Graduate School).  Students are encouraged to apply for outside funding.
  • Budget of estimated costs
  • Copy of the letter/email accepting the presentation

NOTE: Graduate program directors are asked to submit recommendations 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 nearing the end of their graduate careers who may gain experience and make contacts important for their employment prospects via the supported travel. The intellectual and professional development of each student is also a priority; the ARHU Graduate Fellowships Committee will also provide some funds for students presenting original work at prestigious conferences early in their careers (e.g., before advancing to candidacy).

Preference will be given to students who have not had an ARHU Travel Award in the past. Awards cannot be given for travel that has already taken place.

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 2019-20. The fellowship will support up to three 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 three 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.

The 9.5-month stipend for the fellowship in the 2019-20 academic year is $20,000. This does not cover health benefits and is not tax exempt.

  • The Graduate School will provide a Graduate School Fellowship Tuition Award to cover the candidate's tuition remission for each fellowship recipient. The award will only cover six credits of 899; 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 4, 2019 through the May 6, 2019, 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

2018-19 Recipients:

Sara Faradji, English (Sangeeta Ray, advisor), "Afropolitan Hackers: Redefining Anglophone African Literature"

DeLisa Hawkes, English (Edlie Wong, advisor), "The Problem of the Prism: Colorism, Racial Passing, and the Politics of Racial Visiviity, 1865-1945"

William Howell, Communication (Trevor Parry-Giles, advisor), "The Fight is Yours: Ally Rhetoric, Identity Reconfiguration, and Political Change"

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 2018. This year's selection process will occur in Spring 2019.

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 5, 2018 through the deadline on February 8, 2019 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, indicating which chapter the ARHU committee should read in detail (the College will append its own letter describing the substantive contribution of the dissertation, as per UMD Graduate School guidelines.)
    • a double-spaced abstract of the dissertation 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 8, 2019 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 2019 award by February 27, 2019.)

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

2018 Recipient:

Meredith Styer, Humanities and Fine Arts

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 27, 2019.

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 2018 or Spring 2019. 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 (up to $1,000) for the semester.  

Eligibility: Eligible candidates are current UMD doctoral students who will have advanced to candidacy by June 1, 2019, and expect to graduate by August 2020.

Each department or program may submit two nominations. Programs must submit their nominations by February 13, 2019 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 5, 2018. 

Deadline: Monday, December 3, 2018

2017-18 Recipient:

Raino Isto, Ph.D., Art History and Archaeology

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 2018-19. The Graduate School will give approximately 80 Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards annually and will recognize the awardees for 2018 at the Annual Fellowship and Award Celebration in May 2019.

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 AY 2018-19.

ARHU is soliciting nominations from the chairs of departments. Here are the instructions for submitting your nominations to the ARHU Graduate Fellowships 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.
  • Nominations should be submitted on department letterhead and list the student’s name, UID, the kind of assistantship (RA,TA, AA), the place of assistantship, the student’s contact information (mailing and email address) and one paragraph that establishes why the student is an outstanding GA. Please do not write more than one paragraph.
  • 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 3, 2018 at 5 p.m. ARHU will submit nominations to The Graduate School by Friday, December 7, 2018.

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 6, 2019, by noon. Updated award guidelines and nomination forms are available below on The Graduate School website