There is a wide range of funding available to graduate students through the History Department and other offices on and off campus.
All doctoral students who apply for funding are awarded six-year stipend packages of $19,500 plus full tuition and fees. Of that $19,500, $4,500 is awarded as a summer fellowship and is contingent upon a commitment to devote at least ten weeks of the summer to degree-related activities, such as completing the Master's thesis, studying for comprehensive exams, or working on the dissertation. While on stipend, students normally serve as apprentices (see the apprenticeship program) in their MA year, then as teaching assistants for three semesters, and then have a semester free of duties while they study for their comprehensive exams. In their fourth year on stipend, students normally teach their own class (usually the U.S. survey), and then they have a year to devote entirely to their dissertation research before working for one final year, usually as consultant in the History Writing Resources Center, as a teaching assistant for Global History, or as an instructor of an undergraduate course. This final year of funding is generously supported by the George Washington Fellowship of the General Society for Colonial Wars, the Glucksman Endowment, the Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Ruffin Tyler Endowment Fund, and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Applicants to the full-time Master's Program may also apply for a $4,000 merit-based stipend. Out-of-state students who receive this stipend will pay tuition at the in-state rate. Students who receive a stipend are assigned as apprentices or, occasionally, as graduate or research assistants. In past years, students have received generous support from the First Families of Virginia, the Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Ruffin Tyler Endowment Fund, the National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, the Jamestown Fellowship, the Donald B. Irwin Memorial Scholarship, Earl Gregg Swem Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Jack E. Morpungo Fellowship.
Research and Conference Travel Funds
There are several sources of travel funds on campus. The Graduate Student Association awards conference travel funds once a year. The Grants Office administers the competition for Minor Research Grants (up to $500). Graduate students can apply to the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for travel funds as well.
Graduate students who have passed their comprehensive exams may receive Provost Summer Grants of up to $1,500 to fund dissertation research. For international travel, graduate students can apply to the Reves Center whether they are presenting a paper or merely want to attend a conference in their field. The Charles Center oversees students' applications for various national fellowships, some of which are open to graduate students, such as the Fulbright Fellowship, Luce, and Mellon fellowships programs.
Provost's Summer Grants for Graduate Research
All graduate students who have passed comprehensive doctoral examinations may apply for these funds, but those who are still on stipend will be given preference.
Amount: Students may apply for awards up to $1,500 each, but final awards may be prorated according to the availability of funds.
Deadline: April 1 of each year; if April 1 falls on a weekend, then the deadline will be the following Monday.
By the first Monday of the spring semester, students in their fifth year of study should submit their preferences for sixth-year assignments, listed below. In addition to a cover letter in which they rank their preferences, students should submit:
- an approximately 750-word summary of their dissertation, including a plan detailing when and how they will finish it
- a brief letter from their dissertation advisor, which addresses their qualifications for the various award as well as the practicality of their dissertation completion plan
- a writing sample (preferably a chapter from their dissertation)
- a cv, which indicates dates of degrees, MA thesis title and advisor, their tentative dissertation title and advisor, their teaching and research fields, prizes, awards, publications, talks given, teaching experience, etc.
The Bicknell Fellowship is sponsored by the National Society of the Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims and is awarded to an outstanding graduate student whose work focuses on Early American history. This fellowship was established in honor of the founder of the National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, the Hon. Thomas W. Bicknell, whose insight and vision laid the foundation upon which the Society was founded.
This fellowship goes to a sixth-year graduate student who is an exceptional scholar and teacher. The Glucksman Fellow will serve in both semesters of the fellowship year as a Writing Center Preceptor in the HRWC, a TA for the Global History Survey course, or in another teaching or research assignment determined by departmental needs.
The George Washington Fellowship of the General Society for Colonial Wars
This fellowship goes to a sixth year graduate student who is writing a dissertation on colonial history. The recipient will serve in both semesters of the fellowship year as a Writing Center Preceptor in the HRWC, a TA for the Global History survey course, or in another teaching or research assignment as determined by departmental needs.
Writing Center Preceptorships
The department will usually award three of these positions to sixth-year students. Consultants work fifteen hours per week at the Center for the entire academic year and devote the rest of their time to finishing their dissertations.
Global History TA Fellowships
Global History T.A's serve as graders and discussion leaders for two sections of Hist. 192-Global History.
External Sources of Funding
There are many external sources of funding as well. The Office of Sponsored Programs has on-line information about many off-campus grants as well as guides to help you prepare your applications. Off campus, the various historical associations are excellent sources of information on grants and prizes of interest to graduate students. The American Historical Association, for example, has several awards aimed specifically at graduate students in particular fields. The AHA's guide to Grants, Fellowships and Prizes of Interest to Historians is an excellent source of information. You can find it online if you are a member of the AHA. The Organization of American Historians has information about fellowships and prizes in a wide range of fields on its website. Many libraries and historical societies have grants for historians who need to use their collections.
A Small Sample of Fellowship Links of Interest to Graduate Students:
- Dirksen Fellowships for the Study of Congressional Leadership and the U.S. Congress
- Filson Fellowships
- Gilder Lehrman Dissertation Fellowships and Post-Docs
- Miller Center of Public Affairs Fellowships for dissertations and books on 20th century politics
- Newberry Library Fellowships, Short and Long-Term
- UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies Fellowship Programs
- Harry S Truman Library Institute Research Grant Program
- Eisenhower Presidential Library Abilene Travel Grants Program