Teaching and Research Assistantships: Each year early in the spring semester, the Department evaluates all current students and awards assistantships for the coming year. As the fall semester ends, be sure to meet with your adviser so that he or she is fully apprised of your current plans and progress in the program. Students on multi-year funding packages should expect to receive news about renewal in early spring; students whose funding is year-to-year will usually receive news sometime in March or April.
Conference Travel: If students are accepted to give a paper at a significant academic conference, the department may be able to provide financial support for their travel. The amount available for conference travel support varies from year to year, but generally speaking the department hopes to be able to provide any student presenting at a worthwhile conference with several hundred dollars toward their travel expenses, with $500 as the maximum that any student would receive in a given year. In an email to the DGS, the student should explain the reasons for wanting 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.
Research Travel: 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 also apply for external funding whenever possible. 2) A budget that shows projected expenses for travel, lodging, photocopying, etc. To find 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 spend. 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.