Summer Research Fellowships

Summer Research Fellowships provide summer support to doctoral students so they may focus exclusively on their dissertation research. The fellowship is intended to enable students to complete their degree more quickly and supports students who normally do not have funding during the summer. Each named fellowship is made possible through a generous gift to The Graduate School, and fellows interact with their benefactor during a reception each fall.

See the 2021 Summer Research Fellows

Submit Application »


You are eligible if:

If you are awarded this fellowship, we ask that you present the products of your summer work to The Graduate School.

Your faculty mentor must be willing to provide a written evaluation of your work to The Graduate School at the conclusion of your fellowship.

Funding criteria:
We give priority to students who have received only minimal non-service funding during their graduate career even though they have diligently applied for external funding and students in fields where external or non-service funding is more limited.

You must clearly indicate on the online application all previous funding received (including RA/TAs, non-service funding and external funding) for each semester for which you have been enrolled as well as all awarded or pending funding for the summer. Applicants who do not include this information for each semester will not be considered for funding.

You are ineligible if:

You may still be eligible if:

Your priority for this fellowship is based upon how much funding you have received throughout your graduate career. In order of priority:

  1. No academic year funding
  2. 9-month Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship not directly related to your own research
  3. 9-month Research Assistantship related to your own research
  4. Multiple-year funding, including continuing assistantship and non-service fellowships

Summer course criteria:
In order for you to be able to devote yourself exclusively to your summer research, we expect that you will not be enrolled in any courses during the summer.

You may still be eligible if you take courses that are only available during the summer that are required to make progress on your dissertation. For example, special off-campus methodological workshops or specialized training related to dissertation data. You must ask approval from The Graduate School prior to enrolling in any summer course.

Selection Criteria

We select awardees based on how ready they are to productively use this time for summer research. You must have a well-articulated research project, a thoughtful plan for conducting your research, and preparations in place to support your plans.

You will be most competitive for this award if you have completed most or all of your courses and preliminary exams and are ready to focus on your dissertation research.

Award Amount

The award is a one-time $5,000 stipend at the beginning of the summer.

Stipend $5,000
Tuition None
Fees None
Health insurance None
Length of support Three summer months
TA/RA position No

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


Each department may nominate up to TWO students per year for the Summer Research Fellowship.


Deadlines are posted on the funding deadlines calendar.

How to Apply

Submit Application »

View Frequently Asked Questions about the online application.

  1. Please check with your department for their internal deadline. You must complete your application early enough for your department to nominate you to The Graduate School by the deadline.
  2. Prepare your application materials: narrative and curriculum vitae
  3. Arrange for a letter of recommendation. Be sure to follow the application guidelines
  4. Before submitting your application, we suggest you get feedback on your narrative from a person outside of your field.
  5. Submit your materials on the Graduate School Award Online Application.
  6. Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email asking him/her to submit a letter via the online system.
  7. At the same time, the fellowship and award approver for your department will receive an email notifying them that you submitted your application.
  8. Once your letter of recommendation has been submitted, your department may nominate you for the fellowship. If your department selects your application, they must nominate it to The Graduate School by the deadline.
  9. We will notify awardees in mid-April.

Application Guidelines

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

A complete application includes:


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, and 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.

Letter of Recommendation:

You must have a letter of recommendation from the faculty mentor who will provide you guidance in your research.

Indicate your recommender’s email address in your application.

Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email asking them to submit a letter of recommendation.

Instructions for recommenders:
The 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.”

We can only accept letters of recommendation through the online system. Recommenders cannot submit letters directly to The Graduate School or to the student’s department.

Contact Us

Graduate School Fellowships Office