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Financial Support


Graduate students in good standing receive financial support in the form of a Teaching Assistantship. But the Department also encourages students to seek out external funding in the form of competitive Graduate School and national fellowships, particularly during the dissertation years.

Resources for finding appropriate funding include:

Graduate students are also encouraged to seek feedback on their fellowship applications to make them more competitive. Dissertation advisors, graduate advisors, peers (in GRA Working Groups), and departmental fellowship workshops are all excellent sources of advice.

Other resources include:

Internal Funding

Department of Romance Studies Funding Opportunities

Enrolled graduate students are eligible for the following departmental travel and research awards.

Departmental grants, up to $500, are intended to help defray travel and subsistence expenses incurred in the presentation of a paper at a conference, or for students who have confirmed job interviews at the MLA convention.

To apply for departmental funds:
  1. Students should write a letter of application, addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies, co-signed by a faculty member.
    • The letters should include a brief explanation of the nature of the conference, a brief explanation of your paper or other reason for attending, as well as a budget for airfare, gas/rental expenses, hotel charges, etc.  Please also include the invitation to present or to attend an interview. Your PID must be included at the bottom of the letter.
  2. The online travel request, with the letter of application included, should be submitted by February 19th for Spring 2024. Applications submitted after the deadlines may be considered but funding would not be guaranteed. (No hard copy of the application is required)
  3. Upon approval by Director for Graduate Studies, and Graduate Student Services Manager will ensure delivery of the approved amount to the student via their Student Account.

Priority will go to those student presenters who have not previously received this type of support from the Department.  Applications accepted and awards made September through April, based on availability of funding.

The Graduate School also offers Graduate Transportation Grants to assist with travel to academic conferences and professional meetings. In 2023-2024, these grants offer up to $1400 for domestic travel and $3000 for foreign travel. Application instructions may be found here. Students are encouraged to apply for Graduate School grants before applying for departmental funds. Applications for departmental funds will be considered more competitive if they include proof of a prior application for the Graduate School Transportation Grant.

The GPSF can also provide travel funding to students who have exhausted other resources. **Please keep in mind the UNC Travel Policies and Exceptions before you make any travel arrangements. Consistent with UNC System guidance, ROMS is prohibiting University-affiliated international travel. For graduate students applying for departmental travel funds, exceptions to this travel restriction can only be granted by the Provost, using the process outlined on the Graduate Student Research Travel Exceptions webpage. For more information, view Graduate Student Research Travel Exceptions – Student Instructions.

  • McCulloch Dissertation Research Travel Fellowship for French (2 awards; $5000 each) (Note that the McCulloch Fellowship may be used in any French-speaking country.)
  • Dana B. Drake Research Travel Fellowship for Spanish ($2,000)
  • Isabella Payne Cooper Dissertation Research Fellowship for Italian ($2,000)

Candidates should first consider the appropriateness for their research of a Graduate School Fellowship. Applicants should submit a two-page statement describing the nature of the project, time frame, estimated expenses, and other pertinent details.  The letter, addressed to the Graduate Advisory Committee, should be submitted electronically by March 15th at 4:45pm. Winners of these Departmental awards will be notified about one week after the Graduate School announces its awards. At the end of the award period, a one-page report must be filed with the Chair of Romance Studies. It should account for both the expenditure of the allotted funds and state what the award helped the student accomplish. *Please note, these awards are flexible and can be used to support a wide variety of research projects. Please don’t hesitate to contact the DGS and/or GSSM with any questions.

Summer Awards deadline: March 15th (before 4:45pm)

  • Guthrie-Buchan Summer Fellowship for Spanish (1 award; $2,800)
  • Professor J. M. Polo de Bernabé Memorial Summer Research Award for Spanish (1 award; $5,000)
  • Hardré Summer Award for French (1 award; $5,000)
  • VanderWolk Summer Grant for French (1 award; $2,000) 
  • Falvo Summer Award for Italian (1 award; $1,000)

The stipend may be used to fund travel for research purposes but is intended primarily to provide financial support for a sustained period of research and writing free from employment. *Note: Students who teach during the Summer Sessions are still eligible to apply, but priority in selection will be given to students who are not receiving any additional funding. Examples of eligible projects include but are not limited to a dissertation chapter, an article for publication, or a digital humanities project. To apply: Please submit a 2-page description of the project to be accomplished during the summer award period, including a statement of how completing this project will contribute to the applicant’s development as a scholar. Please address your application to the Graduate Advisory Committee and submit it via the online award application by March 15, 2024. Selection criteria include the quality and feasibility of the proposed project, its relevance to the applicant’s development as a scholar, and the applicant’s academic standing in the program. Awardees will be required to submit a 1-page report on their accomplishments during the award period by September 1, 2023. *Please note, these awards are flexible and can be used to support a wide variety of research projects. Please don’t hesitate to contact the DGS and/or GSSM with any questions.

This research fellowship (TBD on amount of awards and prize amount) for Summer 2024 will support early-career PhD students’ summer research projects. Students may propose one of two project types:

  1. Expand and develop a graduate course essay into a full-length article to submit for journal publication by the first day of Fall 2024. A winning proposal will entail significant additional research in primary and/or secondary sources. The student will consult a faculty mentor as they prepare their manuscript for submission. This opportunity for guidance through the publication process provides important professional development. Successful publication will add an important distinction to the student’s CV as they compete for other research fellowships and eventually go on the job market.
  2. Enroll in a summer graduate program, either domestically or abroad, that complements the student’s intended field of study.

Eligibility: Candidates must be pre-ABD at the time of application. Guidelines: By March 15, candidates should submit an online application that reflects the proposed project, as described above.

  1. Submit a 200-word abstract of the expanded research project, a 200-word explanation of the additional research to be completed, the name of the peer-reviewed journal they would like to submit to, and the signature of the faculty mentor.
  2. Submit a one-page description of the selected program and a rationale for its relevance to your intended field.

Criteria: Decisions will be made by the Italian Graduate Faculty and will be based on the quality and feasibility of the proposal. When all else is equal, preference will be given to candidates who do not have other summer support and who have not received research support previously. *Recipient will submit a report or reflection by September 1 about their summer accomplishments or experiences.

This award of $5,000 provides financial support for a summer of research and writing free from employment. *Note: Students who teach during the Summer Sessions are still eligible to apply, but priority in selection will be given to students who are not receiving any additional funding. Eligibility: High achieving candidates

  • have distinguished themselves both as a student and as a teacher or mentor to undergraduate students in a classroom or research setting while at UNC;
  • must have completed at least three semesters of graduate study in the College of Arts & Sciences; and will most likely complete degree requirements and graduate within the next four semesters;
  • must be a full-time student at the time of nomination and plan to be a full-time student in AY 2024-25;
  • should currently be actively involved in research and/or teaching, and will be active in one or both in AY 2024-25.

Guidelines: To apply, candidates should submit an online application that includes:

1. A brief (1-page) description of the student’s academic performance and progress toward degree completion, including stage of the dissertation;
2. 1-page description of the student’s teaching and mentoring excellence;
3. a brief (1 paragraph) description of the student’s likely future contribution to the discipline or chosen area of study;
4. Curriculum Vitae

5. Letter of Nomination from a faculty member (2 pages maximum)
Please provide the link below to your faculty nominator to submit their nomination:

Please address your application to the Graduate Advisory Committee and submit it via the online award application by March 15. Awardee will be required to submit a 1-page report on his/her accomplishments during the award period by September 1.

UNC Graduate School Funding Opportunities

*Departmental deadlines for these awards will be announced by email each year.

External Funding

Opportunities for Everyone

The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) offers nine to twelve months of support to graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are enrolled in PhD programs in the United States and conducting dissertation research on non-US topics. Eighty fellowships are awarded annually. Fellowship amounts vary depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $20,000. The fellowship includes participation in an SSRC-funded interdisciplinary workshop upon the completion of IDRF-funded research. Deadline in early November. Fulbright-Hayes Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship. Apply through the Center for Global Initiatives More information
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation funds a major program of graduate fellowships in the humanities and social sciences. These fellowships support students in the final stages of doctoral study whose work offers significant potential for advancing academic scholarship related to ethics and/or religion. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation administers all aspects of this program, including a rigorous national competition for Newcombe Fellowships each year. Deadline in November.
American Association of University Women offers an “American Fellowship” Awarded to women U.S. citizens or permanent residents for finishing a doctoral dissertation. Deadline in November. It also offers an “International Fellowship” for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Deadline in December.
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship – especially for those who will increase diversity in academia. Deadline in November. Also, please see this helpful site:

Opportunities for French

Chateaubriand Fellowship for dissertation research in France. Chateaubriand Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) is a fellowship program offered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US. It targets outstanding Ph.D. students from American universities who seek to engage in research in France, in any discipline of the Humanities and Social Sciences. HSS Chateaubriand fellows are selected through a merit-based competition, through a binational collaborative process involving expert evaluators from both countries. Deadline in January.
The annual Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship is awarded alternately in the fields of Greek and French. The award may be used for the study of Greek language, literature, history, or archaeology, or the study of French language or literature. The fellowship has a stipend of $20,000. The stipend will be paid in two installments, the first on July 1 of the award year and the second on the next January 1, unless the Fellowship Committee orders the stipend withheld because the fellow has disregarded the purpose of the award as stated by the donor. Candidates must be unmarried women 25 to 35 years of age who have demonstrated their ability to carry on original research. They must hold a doctorate or have fulfilled all the requirements for a doctorate except the dissertation, and they must be planning to devote full-time work to research during the fellowship year. The award is not restricted to members of Phi Beta Kappa or to U.S. citizens. Applications accepted in November.
The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship is awarded for at least six months of study in France. The purpose of the award is to help educators and researchers improve education in standard French language, literature and culture and in the study of standard French in the United States. The fellowship is awarded annually and has a stipend of at least $10,000. Phi Beta Kappa will also cover a single round-trip, economy-class ticket for the recipient to travel to France; some additional support may be available to those with dependents. Candidates must be U.S. citizens under the age of 40 who can demonstrate their career does or will involve active use of the French language. … Preference may be given to members of Phi Beta Kappa and educators at the secondary school level or higher. Applications accepted in November.

Opportunities for Spanish

Institute for the Study of the Americas Fellowships