Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Graduate School Fellowships for Advanced Ph.D. Students

We are delighted to announce the availability of a number of fellowships for advanced PhD students.

Graduate school fellowships for advanced PhD students include Endowed PhD Fellowships,  Research Enhancement Fellowships, and Dissertation Completion Fellowships. The goal of these fellowships is to increase the amount of support that students have for their work toward the PhD, especially in fields where research assistantships are generally unavailable and teaching is the primary means of support. The annual stipend for advanced PhD fellowships has been raised to $30,000 to match the level of other graduate school fellows. There will also be somewhat more funding available than there has been in the past. Fellows in these categories may also be eligible for travel grants for conferences and research. The base travel grant is $500. If the fellow’s program matches this amount with $500, the Graduate School will contribute another $500, for a total of $1,500 available to the student.

Each PhD program may nominate up to three candidates for each category (endowed, dissertation completion and research enhancement) for a total of nine nominees per program. The fellowships for advanced PhD students include a stipend, tuition, health and dental insurance and university mandatory fees.

The allocation of advanced fellowships will depend on the quality of the applicant, the program’s ranking of its candidates and the amount of available graduate school funding. The advanced  fellowship evaluation task forces will not change the rankings provided by the program.

1. Endowed PhD Fellowships are for students who are making good progress to the degree in terms of both quality of work and timing, and who can provide a compelling statement about their current  or planned research. Rather than nominating students for specific endowed fellowships as in the past,  programs will submit a ranked list of applicants, checking off the fellowships for which they believe the student is eligible.

2. Dissertation Completion Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis, with emphasis in fields where research assistantships are not generally available. The Dissertation Completion Fellowship is intended to facilitate the final completion and submission of dissertations. Recipients of the Dissertation Completion Fellowship will therefore not be eligible for further funding as a graduate student at USC upon completion of this fellowship.

3. Research Enhancement Fellowships are new this year and are one of the provost’s initiatives to support graduate education. These fellowships are designed to provide additional opportunities for outstanding PhD students in any field whose research requires work in particularly complex or distant settings, expertise in languages classified by the federal government as “less commonly taught,” or other unusual expenses for activities that are essential for the student’s research. Selection will be  based on the quality and research potential of the graduate student and the likelihood that the additional resources will have a notable effect on the academic career of the student. The fellowship provides one year of fellowship at the graduate school fellowship rate and up to $5,000 in research, travel, or training funds. Candidates must be doing high quality work, making timely progress to their degree, have completed at least two years in their USC PhD program, and must be able to make a compelling statement about their current or planned research and why the planned extra work is essential to the research.

The application for a Graduate School Fellowship for Advanced PhD Students includes the  following:

A. Information provided by the student to the PhD program’s designated fellowship nominator (Linda Bazilian):
  1. For Endowed and Dissertation Completion Fellowships: a description of the student’s  dissertation, which should demonstrate the project’s contribution to the field and its grounding  in relevant scholarship and methodology. The proposal should make a compelling statement  about the planned work and be accessible to scholars in a broad range of fields. The research  area/dissertation description submitted by the candidate to the PhD program should be in  12-point Times New Roman, single spaced, with 1” margins, numbered pages, and a header on  every page that includes the student’s name and title of the dissertation (500-1,000 words).          
  2.  For Research Enhancement Fellowships: a description of the planned area of research, probable or existing dissertation topic, and a specific statement as to the nature of the additional research, travel, or training and why it is essential for the student’s research program. The statement should be in 12-point Times New Roman, single spaced, with 1” margins, numbered pages, and a header on every page that includes the student’s name and title of the dissertation (750-1,250 words).                                                                                                                         
  3. Plans for degree completion, including dates of screening, qualifying exams and anticipated dissertation defense (100-500 words).
  4. USC official or unofficial transcript or STARs report (scanned documents are acceptable).
  5. Signature page signed by the student, student’s dissertation advisor, department chair and Dean or Dean’s proxy affirming that the student is making satisfactory progress to the degree. Candidates for  the dissertation completion fellowship will be asked to acknowledge that they are making satisfactory progress to the degree and that they understand that they will no longer be eligible for funding as a graduate student at USC upon completion of the Dissertation Completion Fellowship.  
**The signature pages are posted below this announcement on the grad blog.**

B. Information provided by the student’s home program and uploaded as PDF documents by the PhD program’s designated nominator (Linda Bazilian):

  1. The rank order of all candidates submitted for each specific type of fellowship, whether Endowed, Research Enhancement, or Dissertation Completion.
  2. One letter of recommendation for each candidate provided by the student’s home program and uploaded as a PDF document by the PhD program’s designated nominator.                                    
  3.  A year-by-year list of support received by the student since matriculation in the program, including teaching assistantships, fellowships, summer funding, funding for research and travel to conferences, and any other funding to enhance the student’s professional development. Please note: We expect departments to have invested in the students they put forward for these fellowships. Only excellent students will be funded.

***Applications Due to Linda Bazilian by FEBRUARY 25, 2013 for Ranking and Dean's Signature.***


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