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English Department

Funding for Ph.D.s

Fellowships range from $26,000 to $36,000 per year for five years.

The Vanderbilt Graduate School and the Department of English offer a number of stipends and scholarships. Such awards are limited and competitive. Normally, financial awards are available only for students seeking fall semester admission. Amounts and conditions for each type of financial aid vary; see the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for details. Financial awards are paid out on a twelve-month schedule.
 
University Tuition Scholarships are service-free awards that pay all or part of tuition costs. In the Department of English, the University Fellowship is awarded to first-year students and includes a full University Tuition Scholarship for five years. The award also includes student health insurance coverage for those five years.
  • Students with the University Fellowship do not teach in their first year. After writing a thesis in May of the first year and completing 30 hours of course work by fall of the second year, students are awarded an M.A. degree. After completing the first year of coursework in good standing and completing the thesis, students usually teach one writing-intensive course per semester for the following four years as Teaching Assistants (T.A.s). Opportunities for service-free semesters in the fifth year are described further below. Students entering Vanderbilt with an M.A. following the same path (i.e. we do bot award advanced standing to students entering with an M.A.).
  • The Teaching Assistantship begins for students in good standing at the beginning of their second year (see above). T.A.s usually teach one section of a variety of 1000-level English courses for each semester for four years. If extra sections (and thus a larger stipend) are available, they are distributed by seniority and according top the quality of previous teaching. if, in its annual review of all program participants, the Graduate Committee finds inadequate progress of any student toward the degree (unmet course or language requirements, one or more "incompletes", poor academic or teaching evaluations), financial support may be terminated. The Teaching Assistantship is available for a maximum of four years and includes the University Tuition Scholarship described above. In other words, tuition is still covered as is student health insurance.
  • The Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholarship is a $3,000 - $6,000 topping-up award granted in addition to one of the awards mentioned above. This award is given to students entering the doctoral program and is renewable for up to five years. Its continuance is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the degree. Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholarship awards are competitive among applicants to all graduate programs at the University.
  • The University Graduate Fellowship is a $5,000 - $10,000 topping-up award granted in addition to one of the awards mentioned above. This award is given to students entering the doctoral program and is renewable for up to five years. Its continuance is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the degree. University Graduate Fellowship awards are competitive among applicants to all graduate programs at the University.
  • The Arts and Science Select Scholarship receives a $3,000 annual stipend to the basic award. Applicants for the Arts and Science Select Scholarship award compete with those for all graduate programs at the University. 
  • The Provost's Graduate Fellowship is a $10,000 annual topping-up award that supplements the student's base stipend for up to five years. The Provost's Graduate Fellowship recognized students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Factors considered include: racial, ethnic, socio-economic, or other considerations.
  • Dissertation-Year Fellowships are available for students in the fifth year of work. These fellowships are service-free, may vary in number each year, and are awarded on a competitive basis. Students interested in a Dissertation-Year Fellowship must submit a full curriculum vita, a copy of the Dissertation Proposal, a brief letter of application that includes a timetable of work for the dissertation year, and a letter of recommendation from the dissertation director. Applications and all supporting materials should be in the DGS's office by April 1 of the academic year prior to the dissertation year. The Chair of the Department of English, in consultation with the DGS, makes the selection. 
Additional Funding Opportunities Include:

Research Assistantships:  Beginning in the third year, graduate students in need of extra money or who have reached their award limit may sometimes, with the authorization of the DGS, earn an hourly wage as a grader or research assistant for a faculty member.

Summer Research Support:  Summer research fellowships through the College of Arts & Scinece, the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, the Center for the Americas, and the Department of English. These fellowships support research, travel, and educational opportunities that contribute to graduate students' work. Contact the DGS's office for details. 

Fall and Spring Dissertation Enhancement Grants: The Graduate School conducts two Dissertation Enhancement Grant competitions each year. These non-taxable awards of up to $2,000 each are intended to add depth or breadth to the student's dissertation research. Two students are nominated for each semester. A student is eligible for only one grant during his or her academic career.

Travel Grants:  Students may apply for three Graduate School Travel Grants, maximum one per year over their five-year tenure in the program. Grants are limited up to $500 per trip for foreign or domestic. Students must be the sole presenter of research at a major regional, national, or international conference. 

Academic Job Search Support:  The Department of English has a thorough program of mentoring and advising students seeking academic employment. This includes a grant to support travel and lodging at the annual MLA conference, if a candidate has been invited to job interviews there. The DGS and the Placement Director can provide additional information about this support. 



 

 


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