Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Dissertation Completion Fellowships support final-year doctoral students. These non-service fellowships allow students to focus exclusively on their research and writing without service obligations. Fellows are expected to defend their dissertation by the end of the academic year.

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Types of Fellowships

General Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Royster Society of Fellows (SOF) Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Royster SOF Dissertation Completion Fellowships are endowed through the generous gifts of many friends of the University, most notably Dr. Thomas S. and Mrs. Caroline Royster Jr.

Royster SOF Special Purpose Dissertation Completion Fellowships:

Submit only one application. Select the fellowship(s) you are interested in being considered for on the application form and submit the required supporting materials as appropriate. You will be considered for all fellowships that you select on your application.

Eligibility

Eligibility criteria apply to all Dissertation Completion Fellowships. You may not combine the Dissertation Completion Fellowship with other funding without permission from The Graduate School.

You are eligible if:

Royster SOF 5-Year Fellows are NOT eligible to apply for continued support through a Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Before applying, you must:

You cannot apply for both a Dissertation Completion Fellowship and an Off-Campus Dissertation Research Fellowship at the same time.

Selection Criteria

Your application will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

View an in-depth description of the review and selection process.

Award Amount

The fellowship provides a stipend, tuition, fees, and health insurance for one academic year (fall and spring semesters only). Royster SOF fellowships may also provide funds for professional travel.

  General Society of Fellows (SOF)
Stipend $18,000 $20,000
Tuition Full tuition (campus rate only; does not include school-based tuition) for 3 credits of 994 only
Fees Mandatory fees included
Health insurance Enrollment in Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan included
Length of support One 9-month academic year (fall and spring)  
TA/RA position No service appointment, fellowship, scholarship or outside employment may be held during the award period without prior approval from the Graduate School.
Travel funds Not included $1,000

Depending on funding, this award may change from year to year.

Nomination

Each program may nominate up to three students for consideration.

Deadline

Check with your department for an internal deadline. You must submit your application early enough for your department to submit their nomination to The Graduate School by the nomination deadline. Deadlines are posted on the funding deadlines calendar.

How to Apply

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  1. View Frequently Asked Questions about the online award application.
  2. Prepare an abstract, research description, research workplan, statement of research significance, personal statement, and curriculum vitae. Arrange for a letter of recommendation from your dissertation advisor. Be sure to follow the application guidelines.
  3. Before submitting your application, we suggest you get feedback on your materials from a person outside of your field.
  4. Submit your materials to The Graduate School Award Online Application.
  5. Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email notice to submit a letter of recommendation through the online system.
  6. Once your letter of recommendation is submitted, the fellowship and award approver(s) for your department will receive an email notifying them that your application is eligible for nomination.
  7. Your department must nominate you to The Graduate School by the deadline.
  8. We will notify awardees in April.

Application Guidelines

We will not consider your application if you exceed any of the page limits and/or you do not follow the proper format.

In addition to the online application, a complete application includes the following:

Abstract

Format: No more than ½ page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Research Description

Briefly describe your dissertation research and your progress toward completion.

Address your research description to an audience of intelligent reviewers who may not be familiar with your field. Clearly explain the importance of your research to a lay audience. Do not use jargon or technical, field-specific terminology.

Format: No more than 3 pages. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Depending on your field of study, include:

Research Progress, Work Plan, and Timetable:

Format: No more than 1 page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Significance of your Research:

Format: No more than 1 page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Personal Statement:

Format: No more than 2 pages. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Curriculum Vitae

Format: No more than 2 pages. 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, and your name on each page.

Citations (optional):

Letter of Recommendation from your Dissertation Advisor

Indicate the email address of your recommender in your application. Please note that only a single recommendation letter will be accepted. If you have joint advisors, they must submit a joint letter of recommendation.

Once you submit your application, your advisor will receive an email notice to submit the letter of recommendation. We can only accept letters of recommendation through the online system. Recommenders cannot submit letters directly to The Graduate School or to your department.

Instructions for recommenders:
Each letter of recommendation should be no more than 4,000 characters (spaces included), which is approximately 600 words or one single-spaced page.

Address the letter of recommendation “To the Fellowship Committee.”
Include:

Contact Us

Graduate School Fellowships Office
gradfunding@unc.edu