Director of Graduate Studies
915 Volunteer Blvd.
6th Floor Dunford Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-4065
The Department of History has approximately 27 teaching and research assistant awards that we use to support our graduate students. These assistantships come with tuition waivers, health insurance coverage and annual stipends. The department evaluates new applicants for funding as part of the admissions process, and funding awards are merit-based.
The department will let accepted students know about their funding status soon after notifying them of admission. Newly admitted students with funding offers will typically receive multi-year funding packages, although sometimes it may only be possible for the department to extend a funding offer for a single year. Most students who receive assistantships are candidates for the PhD rather than the MA.
Each year, the department also nominates new applicants in European History for the UT Graduate School’s J. Wallace & Katie Dean Graduate Fellowship and the Herman Spivey Fellowship. One new student in US History will be awarded the Department’s Klein Fellowship. All of these fellowships are non-service fellowships and come with additional stipend money. The department picks nominees for all three as part of our regular admissions process.
Each year in the spring semester, the department evaluates all current students and awards assistantships for the coming year.
In addition to assistantships, the department is sometimes also able to provide students with financial support for conference and research travel.
Students who have applied for or been accepted to a significant academic conference can contact the Director of Graduate Studies to see about departmental financial support for their travel. In their email to the DGS, they should explain the reasons for wanted to present at the conference in question, and also provide an estimated budget. They should also ask their adviser to submit a brief email to the DGS expressing support for their participation in the conference. In order to be eligible for departmental support, students must also apply, whenever possible, for money from the Graduate Student Senate conference travel fund.
Students are discouraged from requesting funds to attend small regional or graduate student conferences. Except in exceptional cases, students will be limited to a total of $1000 in conference travel support over the course of their graduate careers.
Each spring, the department will accept applications for research travel support. Generally, these awards will be for $4000 or less; the amount of money available in any given year varies according to the number of applications and the Department’s budget.
Students interested in applying for support should provide the following:
1) A 2-page description of the archives or other collections they plan to visit, along with an explanation of their significance for the dissertation project.
This description should include the projected dates of travel and a list of other grants for which they have applied or plan to apply. We expect students applying for departmental research funding to apply for external funding as well.
2) A budget that shows projected expenses for travel, lodging, photocopying, etc.
For the maximum food and lodging expenses students are allowed to request for domestic travel, see the http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877. For foreign travel, see http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp. In many cases, these per diem rates may be higher than necessary; especially with food costs, students should be realistic about how much they think they will actually spent.
3) A brief statement from the adviser expressing support for the proposed trip.
Funding Resources outside the Department
Students, especially those nearing the end of their eligibility, should keep an eye out for funding opportunities elsewhere in the university. In additional to departmental assistantships, in the past History Department students have found assistantships in the College of Arts and Science Advising Center, the Haslam Honors College, and the MARCO Institute, among other places. These other kinds of assistantships can add valuable diversity to students’ professional profiles, and can expand the sorts of jobs for which they might eventually be considered.
Various forms of funding are also available through the MARCO Institute, the UT Humanities Center, the UT Graduate School, and the UT McClure Fund. The McClure Fund, for example, is an excellent resource for students needing to travel abroad for summer research.
Our students also have a great track record of winning prestigious external fellowships like the Fulbright. Students should make applying for external funding a regular part of their graduate student careers, and should consult with their advisers and with their fellow students about funding opportunities available in their fields.