University and External Funding Opportunities
University and external fellowships and internships are worthwhile because they often provide prestige, higher stipends, and/or the opportunity to focus on dissertation research without the usual duties of an assistantship.
Graduate School Awards
The Wylie Dissertation Fellowship, awarded by the Graduate School, is intended for students in the final year of the PhD program. It provides a $10,000 stipend for 1 semester, with no assistantship duties. The Wylie Fellowship is competitive and open to students from all departments on campus. Each department can nominate two students, and our department's nominees have been quite successful in recent years. Each spring, the Director of Graduate Studies invites faculty to nominate outstanding dissertation advisees, typically fourth year students, and selects 2 nominees based on the strength of their completed dissertation work.
The Graduate School also offers a Summer Research Fellowship, intended for students at an earlier stage of their careers. This award provides a $5,000 stipend to enable students to spend the summer focusing on research; recipients must agree not to take another summer job, although they make keep a research assistantship provided their RA work contributes directly to their dissertation research. Each department can nominate 2 students; both of our nominees won this award for summer 2008, the first year of the program. Applicants must submit a detailed research proposal. Each spring, the Director of Graduate Studies invites faculty to nominate students with well-formulated research agendas (a third year student, or a second year student who has gotten an early start on research), and selects nominees based on the strength of their proposals.
In addition to the Wylie and Summer Research Fellowship, the Graduate School offers the Dr. James W. Longest Memorial Award, providing $2,000 for social science research with potential benefits for disadvantaged communities; the Michael J. Pelczar Award, providing $1,000 for students who have been a teaching assistant for at least 1 year and demonstrated excellence in their teaching and research; the Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship, offering $1,000 to a student doing interdisciplinary research; and the Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award, providing $15,000 in honor of the memory of Dr. Spencer, who taught at Maryland from 1948 to 1968 and was a pioneer in inspiring and helping graduate students from underrepresented groups.
For more information about these and other Graduate School awards, click here. For a list of students who have won Graduate School and other awards, click here.
One particularly noteworthy external fellowship opportunity is the Economic Club of Washington Doctoral Research Fellowship. This provides a $10,000 stipend for 1 semester for students in the dissertation writing phase. Eligibility is restricted to students in the Washington, DC, area writing in economics and related disciplines, and our students have been very successful in winning this award over the years. For more information about the fellowship and how to apply, click here.
Our students have won other external fellowships and internships in recent years, some of them specific to particular fields or topics. Recent sources of such support include the Federal Reserve Board, the International Monetary Fund, the Workers Compensation Research Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency. Your advisors may have suggestions about sources of support (including summer job opportunities) that are particular to your field.