Royster Society of Fellows

Extraordinary Opportunities

Description: Swaha Miller Description: Joette Russell Tanner Description: Yaacov Ben-Shemesh Description: Whitney Robinson Description: Tasanee Ross-Sheriff Description: Mark Ellis Description: Connell Cunningham

The Graduate School's select interdisciplinary fellowship program attracts exceptional graduate students from around the world, provides generous financial funding, offers unique opportunities to excel and creates innovative approaches to scholarship.

What is the Royster Society of Fellows?

World-class fellowship
The Royster Society of Fellows offers membership to selected graduate students entering graduate programs across the UNC Chapel Hill campus. Fellows receive five years of generous financial support, including stipend, tuition, fees, health insurance and travel. Dissertation fellowships provide an additional avenue into the Royster Society. As members of a vibrant interdisciplinary community of graduate scholars from around the world Fellows enjoy unparalleled opportunities for intellectual enrichment, leadership and professional development.
Royster fellows collaboratingIntellectual interdisciplinary engagement
Through research seminars, Fellows from a wide range of academic areas share their ongoing research with each other, informing their graduate education and their perspectives on some of our world's most significant challenges.

Arturo EscobarMentoring by senior faculty
Royster Fellows enjoy interaction with diverse faculty who mentor and provide guidance for interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching, service and outreach projects, and scholarly endeavors.

Royster fellows teaching a classProfessional development
The Royster Society sponsors programs to help Fellows navigate graduate school, manage work-life balance, negotiate job offers, make compelling research presentations, and cultivate professional networks to support their career advancement.

Royster fellows group OrientationInterdisciplinary community
Fellows regularly meet as a group to present and discuss their research. They collaborate across disciplines to create and teach courses on compelling topics and to plan campus events with an interdisciplinary focus.

Yu MingGiving back
Royster Fellows value the opportunity to give back through meaningful service to others. They collaborate in developing and teaching interdisciplinary undergraduate courses and mentor Carolina Covenant Scholars.

Fellows on an outingMembership for life
The Royster Society of Fellows is more than a fellowship — it's an opportunity to make lifelong friends and build a professional network that truly endures.


Additional Information

What are the benefits and expectations?

The Royster Program was developed collaboratively with doctoral programs across the Carolina campus to complement and strengthen the excellent graduate education opportunities at Chapel Hill. Fellows are nominated for membership by their prospective graduate programs and selected by a University-wide faculty committee. The Fellows receive a competitive stipend, full tuition, fees, health insurance, and travel funding.

During the first and final academic years of their programs, students focus exclusively on their studies and research. During the second through fourth years, they teach and/or conduct research within their graduate programs to develop their skills in teaching and research.

Royster funding covers the nine months of the academic year, however, the Fellow's graduate program often provides additional research or teaching opportunities during the summer, increasing the Fellow's annual compensation and intellectual development. Dissertation fellowships provide support for current graduate students as they finalize and write their dissertations.

All Fellows receive unlimited opportunities for interdisciplinary and intellectual engagement, professional and leadership development, networking and career mentoring.

Fellows are expected to fully engage and share their talents, experiences and perspectives with their colleagues. They are expected to contribute to the University and society through their research, teaching, outreach and leadership. They are expected to complete their degrees with the highest levels of scholarly achievement in a timely manner. Finally, Fellows are expected to make a positive impact in the world through the career and life they pursue, reflecting the high ideals of the Royster Society of Fellows.

How are members selected?

Entering students are selected from the most talented new students admitted to graduate programs at Carolina. Each program nominates a limited number of exceptional prospective students with outstanding academic and professional experience and achievement, and reflecting educational, geographic, gender, racial/ethnic, and personal diversity.

Dissertation-year fellows are selected for their superior achievement in graduate study, the significance of their dissertation research and their potential as future leaders.

A committee of senior faculty representing graduate programs across the University review nominations and select the students to be offered Royster Society of Fellows membership.

How can I learn more?

To learn more about the Royster Society of Fellows, please contact David Pfennig, director of the Royster Society, or Sandra Hoeflich, associate dean for interdisciplinary education and fellowships.