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Funding Opportunities

This section describes funding opportunities for current students. Information about the funding package for incoming students is described under graduate admissions

All graduate students in the department are required to apply for other sources of support for which they are eligible. Graduate students should work closely with their faculty advisor(s) to identify appropriate funding sources, and to prepare strong funding applications. 

Rackham Conference Travel Grant

Rackham normally funds students to give one conference presentation each academic year, either in the U.S., or abroad (funding for additional conference presentations can be requested from the department.)

For more information, or if you wish to apply, please click here.

Rackham Professional Development Grant

This funding, which each student can request once during their graduate training, supports short-term experiences that promote the development of professional skills which will further a student's career goals. It may cover partial costs to attend a training workshop in which students are not presenting a paper.

For more information, or if you wish to apply, click here.

LSA Tuition-only Fellowship (Waivers)

Tuition-only fellowships are made available to students who will be away from campus for a term. These cover the cost of tuition and allow the student to maintain continuous enrollment in the program. For example, a student might apply for a tuition-only fellowship if they plan to conduct field-work away from campus.

Students who have advanced to candidacy and have defended their prospectus are eligible to apply. In exceptional cases, the Graduate Committee, in consultation with the student's dissertation committee (if it has been established; if not, the A and B advisors), can waive the prospectus requirement. 

Application Procedures

Eligible candidates may apply by submitting a proposal to the Graduate Committee. The proposal should include: 

  • A detailed description of the proposed off-campus research, its duration, and its relevance to the PhD thesis; 
  • Written endorsement from both A and B advisors.

Students should submit the proposal to the Graduate Committee by April 1 for a Fall-term tuition fellowship and November 15 for a Winter-term fellowship. 

Graduate Student Instructor Positions

Application Procedures

All students should return completed application form(s) to the student services coordinator; non-Linguistics students should (a) apply online through the job posting on; (b) send a letter of recommendation from the faculty director of the program of enrollment. 

Submission process: Application materials should be submitted through the online job posting system. 

Posting Periods for Each Term

Fall Dates: mid-February 
Winter Dates: mid-October 
Spring/Summer Dates: mid-February 

Duties and selection criteria

For GSI positions during the Fall and Winter terms, duties include, but are not limited to: 

  • Leading 3 discussion sections 
  • Grading assignments & exams 
  • Office hours 
  • Weekly meetings with instructor(s) 

Selection criteria relevant academic preparation for teaching the course material, extent of prior instructional experience, and satisfactory fulfillment of prior teaching responsibilities. Preferential consideration will be give to applicants for whom a GSI position has been promised as part of their financial aid package. Final decisions are made by the Graduate Chair, in consultation with the Graduate Committee and the Department Chair. 

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last-minute openings. Upon request, an unsuccessful applicant will receive, within fourteen (14) calendar days, a written explanation of the reasons for denial of employment, or an in-person interview if preferred. 

Research Funding Awarded Through the Department of Linguistics

Students' applications for the following awards require endorsement of the application by the A advisor; students should consult with their advisor(s) before submitting applications. All award decisions, with the exception of the GSRA appointments, are made by the Graduate Committee.

Linguistics block grant

Department graduate students are eligible to apply for block grant funds to support various research expenses, including travel and registration expenses for conferences and workshops, participant fees for experiments and interviews, expenses for research off campus, and so on. 

Department graduate students are eligible to apply for block grant funds to support various research expenses, including travel and registration expenses for conferences and workshops, participant fees for experiments and interviews, expenses for research off campus, and so on. To apply, students should complete the fillable PDF Application Form (please be advised that the fillable PDF forms will not automatically save) providing an appropriately detailed budget and justification for the request, and an indication of other funding applications related to the request. The completed form should be emailed to the Graduate Chair and the Student Services Coordinator with your "A" Advisor copied on the email for approval. If the advisor gives approval, the request will then go before the graduate committee for final approval.

For travel to conferences where students are presenting a paper/poster, eligible students should first apply for a Rackham Travel Grant. Students who receive a Rackham Travel Grant may also apply for Linguistics Block Grant funds for additional support.

Students are urged to apply for block grant funds as early in the academic year as possible.

Humanities Candidacy Research Fellowship

A Candidacy Fellowship includes stipend, tuition, and GradCare for one academic (Fall or Winter) semester, plus stipend and GradCare (no tuition) for the flanking Spring-Summer (i.e., a total of 8 months stipend support). Candidacy Fellowships are restricted to students who advanced to candidacy by the end of their third year and are not past the sixth year of their doctoral program.

Three Candidacy Fellowships are available each year. Requests for applications are sent (via email) to all graduate students by the Graduate Chair[EMAIL LINK]. Before applying, students should consult with their advisors to determine if an award is appropriate at this stage of the dissertation research. Applications include a statement of the dissertation topic, along with a statement of the progress that has been made to date on the dissertation or the prospectus.

More information can be found in the Humanities Candidacy Research Fellowship description.

One-Term Dissertation Fellowship

The One-Term Dissertation Fellowship includes stipend for one semester, tuition, and GradCare. Rackham requires that recipients have established a dissertation committee and submitted the Nomination of Dissertation Committee form to the Records and Dissertation Office prior to the beginning of the term of the fellowship. One award is made each year, typically to a student who is in the final defense term. 

Requests for applications are sent (via email) to all doctoral candidates by the Graduate Chair. Applications include a statement of the dissertation topic, discussion of the current state of the dissertation work and how much remains to be done, and explanation of how the fellowship would help the student move more quickly towards degree completion.

More information can be found in the One-Term Dissertation Fellowship description.

Summer Research Grants 

The Department of Linguistics awards a small number of Summer Research Grants of up to $3000. The grants are intended to provide students, usually in the pre-dissertation stages of their doctoral program, with financial support that will enable them to focus on a research project during the summer months. 

Requests for applications are sent (via email) to all graduate students by the Graduate Chair. Linguistics graduate students who are working on an appropriate research project are eligible to apply; applications include a brief description of the project and the work that the student hopes to complete during the summer months.

Graduate Student Research Assistant (GRSA) Positions

Some department faculty hire students as Graduate Student Research Assistants, typically to assist in grant-related research. Students should consult with their advisors, or with the faculty member with whom they would like to work, about this possibility.

Rackham and Other University Funding Sources

Numerous funding opportunities are available across the University. It is the responsibility of students and their advisors to be aware of sources of support. Listed below are sources most commonly sought by Linguistics students. Other possibilities should also be actively pursued. A good source of information is the Rackham funding opportunities page.

Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships provide tuition and a stipend to students studying designated foreign languages in combination with area studies or international aspects of professional studies. The priority is to encourage the study of less commonly taught modern languages. FLAS Fellowships are administered by the University of Michigan Area Studies Centers and are awarded competitively through annual fellowship competitions.

See the FLAS program description for details about the application process.

Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

The Predoctoral Fellowship is a highly competitive award that provides stipend, tuition, and GradCare for the 12-month term of the award. The fellowship is intended for outstanding doctoral candidates who will complete the dissertation in the year in which they hold the fellowship and who will complete the Ph.D. within 6 years of beginning their programs.

Applicants must be nominated by their department. The Linguistics Graduate Committee solicits applications, which include a detailed statement of the proposed dissertation project, in the Fall term of each year (via an email message sent out by the Graduate Chair). The Graduate Committee selects the student(s) to be nominated on the basis of several factors, including competitiveness of the academic record and the extent to which the research statement is intellectually engaging and succeeds in addressing a broad audience of scholars who may lack knowledge of that particular area of inquiry.

Barbour Scholarship

The Barbour Scholarship is awarded to exceptional women from Eastern countries. It is an 8-month award that includes stipend, tuition, and GradCare. 

Applicants must be nominated by their department. The Linguistics Graduate Committee solicits applications, which include a detailed statement of purpose, from eligible students in the Fall term of each year; the nominee is selected by the Graduate Committee.

See the Barbour Scholarship description for details about eligibility and the selection process.

Center for the Education of Women: Mary Malcomson Raphael Fellowship

This highly competitive fellowship is for outstanding women graduate students with a strong potential to make exceptional contributions to society. 

Applicants must be nominated by their department. The Linguistics Graduate Committee invites applications in the Fall term from appropriate doctoral candidates, although eligible interested students should contact the Graduate Chair at

For more information, see the CEW Scholarships page and scroll down to the "Mary Malcomson Raphael Fellowship"

International Institute Fellowships & Grants

The International Institute offers a wide range of Student Fellowships & Grants, including funding opportunities that are specific to the individual centers for various world regions (Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Asia, etc.). 

Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Funds

The Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Fund is intended to help meet the financial needs of Rackham graduate students who encounter an emergency situation or one-time, unusual, or unforeseen expenses during their degree program.

See the program details for more information about eligibility and procedures for application.

External Funding Sources

Many external funding sources are available and, beginning in students' first year in the program, students and their advisors should consider external sources of funding for students' graduate education and research. The two external sources most commonly sought by our students are NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and Fulbright Fellowships; the latter is administered at UM through the International Institute. The Rackham Fellowships Office also has information on a wide range of external funding sources, under Other Funding Resources.