CLAS Non-Departmental Dissertation Fellowships

Associate Dean for Graduate Education

Key Contact

If you have questions, please contact the Assistant to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education.


Graduate students.

Policy Purpose and Description

The purpose of the program is to provide twelve students each year with the precious gift of time to complete a PhD dissertation, thus having the beneficial effects of improving degree completion rates and reducing time to degree. This investment is fully consistent with collegiate strategic goals.

Eligibility: Applicants must have completed their comprehensive examination in order to be eligible to apply for an award. This fellowship is meant to facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation. Awardees must register for at least 1 s.h. credit during the fall semester of the award. Recipients of a CLAS Dissertation Writing Fellowship may not combine the award with any other UI fellowship, assistantship, or paid work during the award period, nor may they hold an external dissertation fellowship concurrently. Students planning to graduate in August of the award period should not apply for this award.

Award and Timing of Payments: The total amount of each award is $13,750: ($750 + (2*1,500 + (5*2,000))). The awards will be provided during the summer and fall of each year. The award period will commence in late May and continue with monthly payments through the end of December. 

In-Kind Contributions: CLAS units are required to contribute any tuition and 50% of fee payments for the recipient of the fellowship.

Restriction: One fellow per PhD program each year.

Penalty Clause: If an individual who is awarded a fellowship fails to complete all requirements for graduation by the last day of finals in the spring semester of the academic year of the award, the unit will be ineligible to submit applications for a CLAS Dissertation Writing Fellowship during the subsequent award period.




Award Process

Applications will be solicited in August/September, with a due date in October. Individuals will not apply directly; applications must be routed through the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The applications are collated by each unit and include the following materials:

  • A one-page Application Form. Eligible students should send the completed application form to their DGS no later than two weeks before the application deadline.
  • A support letter from the thesis advisor of no more than 2 pages that discusses the project’s significance to the field, progress to date, work to be done during the fellowship period, and the feasibility of timeline to completion. Thesis advisors should submit support letters to the DGS no later than two weeks before the application deadline.
  • A brief support letter (no more than 2 pages) from the DGS. In the case of more than one application from the same PhD program, the DGS letter ranks the applications from that program and describes the formal process by which the ranking was determined. If the applicant’s DGS is also their thesis advisor, all proposals from that unit should be reviewed by a committee of at least three graduate faculty members who do not have a conflict of interest.

DGSs should verify the accuracy of the information submitted, supervise the departmental evaluation process, prepare the DGS nomination letter, and email the results to the Assistant to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education with the subject line: CLAS Dissertation Writing Fellowship Application.

All completed applications will be evaluated, discussed, and ranked by the Graduate Educational Policy Committee (GEPC), which is a general scholarly audience. For this reason, applicants and recommenders should write to a general scholarly audience. The Associate Dean for Graduate Education will make the final decision and notify fellowship recipients, DGSs, and DEOs of the results by the first week of December.


Application Form

Progress Report Form

Frequently Asked Questions


Related Information


Revision History