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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:

UNC Graduate School Funding
UNC Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Graduate Funding Information Center (GFIC)
Carolina Internal Funding Database
Funding Information Portal
COS Pivot

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:

UNC Successful Proposals Collection
UNC Writing Center

Department of Romance Studies Funding Opportunities

Please see our Research & Travel Award page.

UNC Graduate School Funding Opportunities

Summer Research  (2019 Summer Departmental Deadline – January 17, 2020)
Richard Bland Professional Pathways Program (2019 Summer Departmental Deadline – January 17, 2020)
Off-Campus Research (2019-2020 Departmental Deadline – February 7, 2020)
Dissertation Completion (2019-2020 Departmental Deadline – February 7, 2020)
MEMS graduate funding

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

External Funding Opportunities For Everyone

Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF). 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 info at

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:

External Funding 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.

External Funding Opportunities For Spanish

Institute for the Study of the Americas Fellowships

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

The Buchan Graduate Essay Award is an annual prize of $800 designed to promote excellence in graduate research and to give visibility to the work of graduate students in Spanish who publish their essays in competitive peer-reviewed journals while they are graduate students in our Spanish program. The Buchan Graduate Essay Award will be awarded to an scholarly article that has been published or accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal in the field of Spanish, Latin American or LatinX studies March 1, 2020 – March 1, 2021. (Excluding publications in-house (Hispanofila and Romance Notes) to avoid conflicts of interest.)

The awardee will be determined by a committee of three members of the Spanish graduate faculty, appointed by the Chair, Dr. Ellen Welch. 

Submissions will be ranked according to the following (in no particular order): 

1) Theme and originality of the article

2) Degree of contribution to the field of Spanish/Latin American/LatinX Studies

3) Perceived competitiveness/rank of the journal where the article has been or will be published. Generally, internationally recognized journals carry more weight than national journals, and these in turn more than regional journals. Likewise, peer-reviewed edited volumes are acceptable, especially by invitation. Publications in peer-reviewed conference proceedings are acceptable, but carry less weight than a journal publication.

Graduate students who would like to be considered for the award should include the published article. If the article has been accepted for publication, the author needs to submit written proof of its acceptance and forthcoming status (email correspondence is acceptable) and a copy of the article.

Please note that preference will be given to students who have not received the award in the past. In case of a tie, the prize may be divided in two prizes. Results will be notified before the annual ROMS awards ceremony at the end of the spring semester. 



APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 1st, 2020 (Must have a timestamp of 04:59 PM or earlier)

All materials should be submitted electronically, you may apply here.

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 Dr. Carmen Hsu (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 September 16 (for Fall 2020) and January 31 (for Spring 2021). 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 Dr. Hsu, Shavon Carey will ensure delivery of the approved amount to the student.
  4. After travel is complete, the student must fill-out the online reimbursement form and upload required receipts.
    **Please note if you are staying in non-hotel accommodations, such as Air BnB or other short-term rental agreements, this now requires approval PRIOR TO the trip**

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 2015-2016, these grants offer up to $400 for domestic travel, $1000 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.

  • McCulloch Dissertation Research Travel Fellowship for French ($4000) (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 1st. 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.

Summer Awards: March 1st (before 4:45pm)

  • Druscilla French Graduate Student Excellence Fund[1] (1 award; $5,000)
  • Hardré Summer Award for French (2 awards; $5000 each)
  • Dean’s Office Summer Award for Spanish ($5000 for dissertation research and writing)
  • Guthrie Award for Spanish ($5000 for dissertation research)
  • Debbie Schenker Award for Italian (2 awards; $5,000 each for dissertation research and writing)

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. 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 1.

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.

Thanks to the generous support of Debbie Schenker, we will offer two short-term fellowships of $1,000 each to graduate students in Italian who will spend  two weeks (or approx. 60 hours) working on Wilson Library’s collection of unidentified Italian manuscript documents from the 16th-18th centuries. Students will work on identifying the contents, origin, authors and/ or copyists of these items so that they may be properly catalogued and accessed for research. Students may also dedicate some of their time to additional research and analysis of these documents. Applicants should submit the following materials:

Submit a one-page, double-spaced statement of interest in which you describe any previous experience with paleography, transcription, and archival research, or describe your motivation for acquiring these skills. Apply using this link on or before March 1, 2021.


  • Two awards for $1,000 each.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 1, 2020 (Must have a timestamp of 04:45 PM or earlier)

All materials should be submitted electronically, you may apply here.