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Grants & Funding

Many sources of grants and funding are available for graduate student support. This page provides a partial list of department, UW-Madison, and outside support opportunities.

Department Sources

The department offers financial aid for graduate students in a variety of forms, including teaching assistantships (TA) and research assistantships (RA) along with a small number of fellowships. Please consult Chapter 7 of the Graduate Student Handbook for more information on graduate student support provided by the Department.

Among the available fellowships, the department offers the William Coleman Dissertation Fellowship in conjunction with the Institute for Research in the Humanities. This one-semester fellowship is currently offered every other year and the next deadline for application will be April 3, 2017.

Other fellowships include the John Neu Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, the David and Greta Lindberg Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, and the Theodore and Genevieve Herfurth Project Assistantship (Theodore Herfurth biography).

The department also supports graduate student travel to scholarly meetings for presentation of research papers and for research, up to $1500 over each student's graduate career. See the Graduate Student Handbook for more information.

UW-Madison Sources

The UW-Madison Graduate School offers funding information for both prospective graduate students and new and current graduate students, including links to many important funding resources.

Find out if you can TA or PA in other departments or campus offices. Check out the UW Student Job Center website. Depending on your skills and experience, you may be able to find non-graduate-assistant jobs with longer job security. Note, however, that only graduate assistantships (TA's, PA's and RA's) provide tuition remission. In addition, many jobs are never posted to the Campus Jobs Center, so you also need to seek advice from your fellow graduate students.

Extramural Sources

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) provides two kinds of grants for graduate students working in the history of science and technology (but not clinical medicine):
    • The Graduate Research Fellowships Program provides general support for graduate study, aimed at incoming students or students currently in their first year of graduate study. Deadline: early to mid November.
    • Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants support up to $12,500 for travel for dissertation research (including living expenses while you are traveling). Graduate students must apply for these grants through their Ph.D. advisor, who serves as the principal investigator on the grant. History of Science grads have had good success with these grants. Deadlines: February 2 and August 3; notification takes about 6 months. Sometimes the NSF asks applicants to re-submit their proposal for the following deadline.
  • Fulbright IIE: U.S. Dept. of Education program that awards grants for conducting dissertation research abroad for 1 academic year. Deadline: end of September, for the following academic year. Note: requires establishing contacts with institutions in the host country(ies), which can take months. On the web at:
  • Fulbright-Hays DDRA: U.S. Dept. of Education program that awards dissertator level grants for conducting research abroad for 6 months to 1 year, for graduate students planning a teaching career. Note: also requires establishing contacts in the host country(ies). For more information, visit: Also, there are several of the D.O.E. programs on the web at:
  • Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC): supports one academic year of dissertation research. Deadline: early November. (note: the SSRC used to have a pre-dissertation fellowship, but I don't know if this is currently available).
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS): Federal funds channeled through the UW for 1) academic year and 2) summer study in language and area studies, especially in lesser-studied geographical areas. Usually for graduate students in the first several years (pre-dissertation). FLAS provides tuition, fringe benefits, and a really decent living stipend. Deadline: early/mid February for the following academic year, and mid-spring for the summer.
  • Dana-Allen Fellowship: the Institute for Research in the Humanities (UW) is offering one full year's support to a dissertator (in residence on campus) every other year. Humanities and Social Sciences departments will be able to nominate one candidate. Please view the Call for Nominations for further details (DEADLINE: Friday, November 1, 2016)
  • Jacob K. Javits: U.S. Dept. of Education program that awards grants to entering or 1st-year graduate students who demonstrate both ability and need. Deadline: end of November; grants are typically awarded for 2 years. On the web at
  • Vilas Grants Competition Information: Two options are available via the UW Graduate School: 1) Vilas Research Travel Award; 2) Vilas Conference Presentation Funds. For more information, see

Sample Grants for Particular Geographic Areas or Topics:

  • DAAD: grant program in conjunction with Fulbright, for graduate students working on Germany.
  • Spencer: for graduate students working on the history of education (sometimes fairly broadly construed).
  • Delmas: for graduate students planning to do research in Venice.
  • The Bourse Chateaubriand is a "fellowship designed to conduct research of scientific orientation in France." History of Science apparently counts, but it's a very competitive fellowship. Deadline: Dec. 1 for the next academic year.
  • IREX: Eastern Europe, Central Asia, China, etc.

Other Kinds of Grants:

  • Travel to Collections: many archives, University libraries, and some museums have funds available to pay for researchers to come use their collections. Well worth investigating.
  • Professional Societies and Foundations: the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Chemical Heritage Society, SHOT (Society for the History of Technology, the American Physical Society, and other organizations have essay prizes and/or, in some cases, research support grants. Find out which societies/organizations are relevant for your research, and what they offer. See the "Paper Prizes for Graduate Students" by Eric Schatzberg for additional insights and details.
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