Funding Resources

Funding Resources for MA and PhD Students

The Department of English awards a wide variety of financial aid based on academic merit. All eligible program applications complete before the February 1 deadline will be considered for departmental financial aid.

The University Graduate Scholarship (UGS) award grants a full or substantial waiver of tuition, and is awarded competitively to graduate students who demonstrate academic excellence.

The Graduate Assistantship (GA) award provides a stipend in addition to a UGS award. A significant proportion of financial aid offered by the English Department is in the form of the GA. Graduate Assistants teach one section of English Composition per term, with three office hours each week. Teaching, preparation, conferences, grading, and related activities require approximately twenty hours per week. Advanced doctoral students may have the opportunity to teach a sophomore-level literature or creative writing class.

Elliston and Schiff Fellowships are awarded to entering doctoral students of superior academic qualifications who have demonstrated capabilities as poets or fiction writers. The Fellowships typically include a stipend enhancement in addition to a UGS and GA; the assistantship includes one term of teaching Creative Writing.

UC Pat Belanoff Graduate Summer Research Award

The Rhetoric and Composition Graduate concentration is pleased to announce the Pat Belanoff Graduate Summer Research Award. The Pat Belanoff award supports graduate student scholarly projects that contribute to the advancement of knowledge in RC. The award amount is up to $1,000.

Current RC graduate students are eligible to apply for this competitive award. Applicants should submit a two-page proposal that includes a brief abstract, a summary of the project’s goals and methodology, and a discussion of the project’s contribution to the field of R/C. Applicants are also required to include a budget and timeline explaining what will be completed during the award period. Finally, include a CV updated within the last two months.

Completed applications are due spring term via e-mail to Professor Laura Micciche ( as a single PDF file. Direct questions to Professor Micciche. There is no limit to the number of times this award may be granted during a student’s graduate career.

Russel K. Durst Rhetoric & Composition Graduate Fund

The Russel K. Durst Rhetoric and Composition Graduate Fund was established by accomplished scholar-teacher and Emeritus faculty member Russel Durst, who began teaching in the English department in 1987. Throughout his thirty-five-year career, Professor Durst was an advocate for graduate students, whether as mentor, administrator, teacher, collaborator, and/or friend. His generosity continues to benefit students through the establishment of this fund, which was created to support lecture programming, graduate assistantship enhancements, curation of the Lucille M. Schultz Archive of 19th-century composition and rhetoric textbooks and handbooks, and research fellowships.

Graduate students may apply for a research fellowship of $2,000 from this fund once a year in spring to be used during the summer or upcoming academic year. Students are eligible to receive this award every two years.

Qualifying expenses are those that support and/or extend graduate student research, including but not limited to the following: funding to support travel to an archive, attendance at specialized workshops or institutes, transcription services or software to support qualitative research activities, and other research-related expenses that will directly impact a student’s progress toward degree. Note that this fund does not cover expenses for attending conferences.

To apply for a research fellowship, submit the following as a combined pdf to Laura Micciche ( by March 18, 2024:

  • 1–2-page description of project
  • Explanation of how funds will be used
  • Description of how the award will impact progress toward degree
  • Updated cv

Post-award requirements

As a Durst Fellow, you will be required to do the following:

  • present your research during an informal brown bag lunch session scheduled at your convenience
  • write a letter to Professor Russel Durst describing how you used the award

Taft Funding

As one of ten departments in the College of Arts and Sciences with access to the Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund, the Department of English may recommend a number of its advanced graduate students for one-year Taft Fellowships. Granted by the Taft Faculty Committee, the Fellowships carry a full stipend and tuition scholarship for advanced doctoral students, with the top doctoral recipient being awarded the Advanced Fellowship, which includes an additional summer stipend. Each year, every Taft Department receives one Fellowship; another six Fellowships are awarded competitively to advanced students from all Taft departments. In addition, the Taft Fund offers enhancement fellowships that may be added to other awards.

To be nominated by the Department for a Taft Fellowship or a Taft Enhancement Award, a doctoral student should show evidence of academic excellence beyond normal academic progress as well as the ability to profit from a Fellowship year free from teaching responsibilities. Academic excellence is based on GPA, progress to degree, publications, service, teaching, awards and evaluations.

University Fellowship and Grant Resources

External Fellowship Resources