Funding Package

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) is committed to funding each admitted student for five years. RLL provides funding from a variety of sources and designs funding packages with the following goals in mind:

  • to give each student an opportunity to adjust to the demands of graduate school; and
  • to give each student the chance to develop the teaching experience necessary for success in the academic job market

Additional funding opportunities enable students to extend their funding beyond the fifth year of departmental funding. Funding sources include: departmental grants, Rackham School of Graduate Studies fellowships, graduate student instructorships (teaching assistantships), and fellowship programs administered by other University of Michigan units.

RLL also offers a variety of auxiliary funding sources for enrolled graduate students including travel grants, summer research grants, spring/summer teaching positions, and exchange lectureships.

Funding PackagesA typical funding package for RLL graduate students

Though funding packages vary from student to student, a typical 2014-2015 RLL package for a student admitted to the French, Italian, or Spanish Ph.D. program consisted of:

1st year Department fellowship consisting of a $19,500 annual stipend, a full tuition award and health care coverage. Note that under the current plan, partners and children can be included for no additional cost.

2nd - 4th years Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI) in which the student teaches one class per term for an annual stipend of $19,350, a full tuition award and health care coverage.

5th year Two terms of teaching for a stipend of $9,675 per term and a full tuition award (same as 2nd-4th years); or one term of teaching and a possible one-term competitive fellowship award including a stipend of $9.500, a full tuition award and health care coverage.

Summer Funding $6,500 support for 2 summers of the student's choice. This stipend does not require residency in Ann Arbor, so it may be used for research or study travel.

While no additional application materials are required to be considered for University of Michigan-related funding sources, the Department does encourage students to apply for funding from independent sources. Should you be awarded funding from one of these private sources, the Department will work with you to supply support for the years not covered by the tenure of the award received.

Questions? Contact the Graduate Assistant.

RLL's Recent Awards2013-2014 Grants and Fellowships Received

We are proud to share that for the 2013-2014 academic year, our students received the following grants and fellowships:

Susan Abraham received a FLAS Fellowship for research and travel related to her dissertation during Summer 2013.


Elizabeth Barrios was a participant in the Mellon Seminar on “Science Studies, Cultural Theory, and Scholarly Writing,” taught by RLL’s own Professor William Paulson, in Summer 2014.


Abigail Celis received a Rackham Centennial Fellowship for research and travel related to her dissertation on the contemporary literature of Francophone sub-Saharan Africa.


Diogenes Costa Curras received a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship for the completion of his dissertation, “Redeeming Realism: Unfulfilled Political Change in Spanish Literature and Film.”


Pierluigi Erbaggio received a Lacroute One-Term Dissertation Fellowship for Winter 2014 to support the completion of his dissertation on representations of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in American media between 1922 and 1936.


Catalina Esguerra received an International Institute Individual Fellowship for research on memory and peace processes in Bogota, Colombia during Summer 2013.


Jocelyn Frelier received a Critical Languages Scholarship from the Department of State for an 8-week intensive Arabic program in Meknes, Morocco that will support her dissertation research on North African women writers.


Camela Logan received a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship that she will use for the completion of her dissertation on Francophone black African men’s use of clothing styles for expressions of masculinity.


Gabriel Horowitz received a Rackham One-Term Fellowship for Winter 2014 when he will complete the fourth chapter of his dissertation entitled “Fantasies of Independence and Their Latin American Legacies.”


Paige (nee Rafoth) Andersson received a Rackham Centennial Award and a Tinker Grant for summer research on the Ciudades Rurales Sustentables in Mexico and similar attempts to concentrate rural indigenous populations in the 20th century and the colonial era.


Angelica Serna received an International Fieldwork Fellowship from the Wenner Gren Foundation and an International Institute Individual Fellowship. She will spend three semesters in Latin American researching her dissertation, “Writing practices in the colonial archive: the politics of Literacy in the Andes.”


Roberto Vezzani received a Rackham Centennial Award for Spring/Summer 2013 and a Rackham Humanities Research Award for Winter and Summer 2014. Both fellowships will support his dissertation research on the distribution and reception of Italian films in the US in the 1930s.


Brian Whitener will be the Mary Fair Croushore Graduate Student Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities in 2013-14. Brian will be completing his dissertation, “After the Fall: Mexico, Brazil and Financialization in the Long 1990s.”

Additional Funding OpportunitiesUniversity of Michigan funding sources outside of RLL

Academic Year Awards
 Sweetland Seminar Fellowship  $4,000
 Lurcy Scholarship (one years' study in a French university)  $20,000
 Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship  $9,080 + full benefits; RLL has 2 per year
 Humanities Institute Fellowship  $28,8200 + benefits
 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship  $25,200 + full benefits
 Rackham Humanities Research Fellowship Candidacy  $15,200 + full benefits; RLL has 6 per year
 Rackham International Students Fellowship  $10,000 by departmental nomination


Travel and Research Support
 Rackham Conference Travel Grants (One per year)  $700 - $1200
 Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant  Up to $1500 as pre-candidate; up to $3000 as candidate
 International Institute Individual Fellowship  Up to $5000 as pre-candidate
 Institute for Research on Women and Gender  $500
 Medieval and Early Modern Studies research grants  Up to $2500


Summer Support
 Rackham/International Institute Research Award  Up to $7500
 Rackham Faculty-Graduate Student Research Partnership Summer Grant  Up to $4000
 Institute for Research on Women and Gender: Summer "Community of Scholars" Fellowship  $6400
 Rackham Summer Interdisciplinary Institute  Up to $30,000 for faculty-grad team
 Humanities Institute Support for Collaborative Groups in the Summer  Up to $15,000 + office
 Spring/Summer teaching in Summer Language Institute  


Funded Summer Study
 Foreign Language Area Study Support (FLAS) for language study abroad
 RLL: Dartmouth Summer Program in Theory and Criticism
 RLL: Avignon Graduate summer program


Questions? Contact the Graduate Assistant.

Funding Search ToolsUniversity of Michigan resources to locate fellowships and grants

Rackham's Fellowship Finder provides information about Rackham Graduate School fellowships, University of Michigan funding sources, and additional resources to search for funding. 

The COS/Pivot Database provided by the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan combines three databases to assist your search for research funding.  

Below are some sample keywords you may want to use when searching:

dissertation | International Institute | Spanish | French | Italian | summer | Fulbright | languages | travel | humanities | literature | women | international | minority

A few of the fellowships RLL graduate students have been awarded in the past include: Ford Predoctoral Fellowships for Minorities, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship,and Mellon Fellowship.

Questions? Contact the Graduate Assistant.

Dissertation and Residential FellowshipsInformation about later stage fellowships and grants.

External Fellowships:

A nationally recognized fellowship is a great way to distinguish yourself from other candidates when you embark on your job search. The average job candidate has received support from his or her own institution, and thus internal funding does not differentiate a job candidate's CV as much as an external fellowship would.  A number of foundations offer support. Here are a few of the most prestigious and well-known:         

Mellon Foundation Fellowships
Andrew W. Mellon/ACLS Early Career Fellowship
IHR Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in the Humanities
International Dissertation Field Research Fellowships
Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources


Additional Fellowship Opportunities
American Council for Learned Societies
Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation
Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
Social Science Research Council
Doris Zohab Liebmann Fund
Ford Diversity Predoctoral & Dissertation Grants


Residential Fellowships:

Residential fellowships provide an opportunity to be more productive by removing you from your normal routine and obligations to focus entirely on research. Most independent research libraries offer fellowships ranging from a one week visit to a full year (often listed under "research centers" located within the library). Here are a few of the most well-known: 

Getty Research Institute Library (Los Angeles)
Newberry Library (Chicago)                          
Warburg Institute (London)
Camargo Foundation (Cassis, FR)                 
John Carter Brown Library (Providence, RI)
New York Public Library                              
National Humanities Center (Research Triangle, NC)
Huntington Library (Los Angeles)                
Folger Shakespeare Institute (Washington, DC)
Library of Congress (Washington, DC)         
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (Wassenaar, ND)                      
Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton   
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Cambridge, MA)
Humanities Research Centre, Australia National University (Canberra)


Questions? Contact the Graduate Assistant.