National & International Opportunities
UIC, U of I System, and Federal Opportunities
Graduate students at UIC are eligible to apply for a number of awards provided solely for students at UIC as well as awards for students enrolled in the University of Illinois system. The following awards are not handled by the Fellowships Office in the Graduate College.
Three-Minute Thesis (3MT)
In order to submit an entry for the 3MT competition, please complete this two-part application process:
- Complete the application form using the link below.
- Upload your video submission to the Box folder using the link below. Your submission can be either a text document with a link to a video-hosting website (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or the video itself.
If you are unable to load to box send a YouTube or other hosting link to firstname.lastname@example.org with 3MT Video and your name in the subject line.
Contact Theresa Christenson-Caballero for more details.
Office of Financial Aid and Special Scholarships
Skip down to “State Programs” and “Institutional Programs.” For many of these, you will need to visit UIC SnAP.
U of I System
As a state institution, the University of Illinois provides waivers for children of U of I employees, children of veterans of Illinois, and senior citizens.
Regional and Institutional Nomination Opportunities
The Graduate College regularly nominates outstanding theses and dissertations to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools and the Council of Graduate Schools. Nominees are selected from among past winners of the annual Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Award.
US Federal Funding Opportunities - "The Fulbrights"
The Fulbright “brand” allows US students to go abroad and for foreign students to attend UIC. (There are also Fulbrights for post-docs and scholars to move in either direction, but they are not of our concern here.)
Fulbright Foreign Student Program
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Approximately 4,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies. All Foreign Student Program applications are processed by these offices.
Program eligibility and selection procedures vary widely by country. Please use the drop-down menu here to find information about the Fulbright Program in your home country, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines. If your country is not listed there, you are not eligible to apply.
The role of UIC’s Graduate College is to serve as liaison between the U.S. funding agency and the Office of Graduate Admissions, during the placement process, and then once matriculated at UIC, it services the fellowship waiver.
Fulbright US Student Program
Fulbright fellowships, through the U.S. State Department provides for teaching, research, and study opportunities internationally for U.S. citizen students in various disciplines. Almost 200 countries are viable sites for placement. The national deadline is in October, but UIC graduate students must meet an earlier campus deadline and pass through a campus evaluation process. UIC’s campus deadline is September 9, 2019. Graduate students and alumni from UIC’s graduate programs should contact Benn Williams (email@example.com), their dedicated university Fulbright Program Advisor. (Undergraduates and undergraduate alumni should contact Kim Germain in the Office of External Fellowships.)
Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship
The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. early and mid-career professionals and practitioners to serve in professional placements in a foreign government ministry or institution in partner governments around the world. Fulbright Public Policy Fellows build mutual understanding and contribute to strengthening the public sector while cultivating public policy experience in their desired area of expertise. The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship also includes an independent research component that focuses on an issue that is beneficial for the host ministry and the Fellow.
National deadline: September 16, 2019.
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program
The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program provides opportunities for full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Students may request funding for a period of no fewer than six months and no more than 12 months. Funds support travel expenses to and from the residence of the fellow and the country or countries of research; maintenance and dependents(s) allowances based on the location of research for the fellow and his or her dependent(s); an allowance for research-related expenses overseas; and health and accident insurance premiums. Applicants should plan to have a teaching career in the U.S. after completion of the doctorate. A distillation of the FOA can be found below. The application process is onerous — please communicate with the Fellowships and Awards Coordinator if you plan to apply.
The campus deadline is February 3, 2020.
US Federal Funding - "Non-Fulbrights"
A number of federal agencies offer funding for graduate students to study foreign languages and/or conduct research abroad. Below is a selection.
This award provides for a structured language study component to graduate education, in areas related to U.S. National Security (broadly defined). Fellowships provide up to $30,000 for domestic and overseas study/immersion (minimum 12 weeks and maximum one year overseas.) Preference is given to proposals for 6 months in duration for linguistic and cultural immersion, 3-6 months for applicants in the STEM fields. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.
Graduate students apply through the Boren/IIE Slate portal for this fellowship in the early spring. The Fellowships and Awards Coordinator can assist with the fellowship application. (The Boren scholarship is for undergraduates.) UIC hosts a Boren representative-led info session almost annually. (Fall 2019 session was October 23, 2019.)
Boren has a preference for students who wish to pursue a career in the federal government or in a contracting agency. The following is NOT an exclusive list of federal agencies for which Boren alumni find jobs: USAID; Corporation for National and Community Service; Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Defense, Health and Human Services (NIH, FDA), Justice, Interior, Labor, State, Treasury, Transportation, and Veteran Affairs; Congress.
Campus deadline: 11:59 p.m. on January 13, 2021
Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction (20 hours per week) and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. Students apply for a language — not a country. (Benn Williams is the liaison for graduate students.)
Currently, CLS funds these languages:
- Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu: No experience required;
- Arabic, Korean, Portuguese and Russian: One year of study required (by the time of the scholarship’s start);
- Chinese and Japanese: Two years of study required (by the time of the scholarship’s start).
Why CLS? A new section of the website communicates the impact of the CLS Program (see links below). The page has links to specific pages on language learning outcomes and alumni stories. In short, the CLS Program contributes to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.
DEADLINE: Last year’s deadline was November 19, 2019. We anticipate a similar deadline for 2020.
Summer 2020 institutes were cancelled due to the global pandemic.
This is a very generous award that currently funds students at a level of $34,000 for up to three years . A variety of disciplines are eligible to apply, so please check out the website. Students apply at-large–they do not submit via the Graduate College, nor the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The Fellowships and Awards Coordinator enters the picture after the student receives the award to their studies at UIC.
Smithsonian Institution Office for Fellowships and Internships
These are a number of options especially geared primarily (but not exclusively) toward art history and museum studies students.
Woodrow Wilson Fellowships
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation administers a number of fellowships. Below is a selection.
American Councils for International Education – Title VIII in Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII), the American Councils CRLT Program provides full support for U.S. graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars seeking to conduct in-country, independent research in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe, while increasing proficiency in languages of the region.
Applicants should indicate their proposed research location(s) in the application. Applicants to the Research Scholar Program may only apply for research in a total of two countries maximum [from this list]: Albania; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Estonia; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Kosovo; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Montenegro; North Macedonia; Poland; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Tajikistan; Ukraine.
Academic Fellowships in Russia (AFR)
AFR is designed to expand the accessibility of Russia-based research while increasing U.S. knowledge and expertise on Russia. Fellowships last three to nine consecutive months and include round-trip international travel; housing and living stipends; visa support; overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance; archive access; and logistical support. Following the completion of the research term, AFR fellows will return to the U.S. and share their findings through presentations, articles, and lectures in order to strengthen and broaden current scholarship in the social sciences related to Russia and U.S.-Russia relations.
Combined Research and Language Training (CRLT) Program
Designed to expand the accessibility of overseas research while increasing U.S. knowledge and expertise on the region, the CRLT Program supports fellows who, in addition to conducting overseas, policy-relevant research, seek to increase their language proficiency through targeted language instruction. Fellowships last three to nine consecutive months and include round-trip international travel; housing and living stipends; visa support; overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance; archive access; weekly language instruction in the host country language; and logistical support. Following the completion of the research term, fellows will return to the U.S. and share their findings through presentations, articles, and lectures in order to strengthen and broaden current scholarship on the region.
Research Scholar Program
Designed to expand the accessibility of overseas research while increasing U.S. knowledge and expertise on the region, the Research Scholar Program supports fellows seeking to complete overseas, policy-relevant research. Fellowships last three to nine consecutive months and include round-trip international travel; housing and living stipends; visa support; overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance; archive access; and logistical support. Following the completion of the research term, fellows will return to the U.S. and share their findings through presentations, articles, and lectures in order to strengthen and broaden current scholarship on the region.”
US Department of Education
While not the easiest sight to navigate, this outlines many of the federal options awarded to departments/programs that students can work under, along with individual grants available to students to apply at-large for consideration.
A fellowship will affect federal student loan or work-study. Typically, students with fellowships may not be permitted to borrow small amounts of federal loans due to cost of attendance regulation. Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid on eligibility requirements.
If you have already received a refund for the current year in federal loans and you accept a fellowship, you may be responsible to return this refund to UIC. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information.
If applying for loans and/or work-study a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. See the Graduate Student Guide from the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information.
Select National and International Competitions
UIC is a preferred institution for certain competitions
This award funds study and research in Germany. Since UIC has been invited to be a priority institution, it has an internal competition each fall to evaluate students before they are then put forward to DAAD for consideration. (Students apply on their own for short-term grants with a duration of 1-6 months.) Study scholarships and long-term research grants (7-10 months) have the following campus deadline (noon) by field: Architecture (September 24, 2019), Music (October 8), Performing Arts (October 24), Fine Art, Design/Visual Communication & Film (November 14), All other fields (October 25). Contact Benn Williams for more information (bwilli7uicedu).
For the campus deadline, please submit to Mr. Williams the following documents:
- PDF version of your online application form (from the DAAD portal)
- CV (max. 3 pages) as Word document
- List of publications as Word document
- Extensive and detailed description of the research proposal which has been discussed with the
academic adviser and a description of previous research work (max. 5 pages) as Word document
- Schedule of planned research work as Word document
- Letter confirming supervision by an academic adviser in Germany, which refers to the applicant’s
proposal and confirms that the host institute will provide a workplace as PDF
- University degree certificates, scans of university-level diplomas as JPG or PDF
- Transcripts from all university studies and include the explanation of the grading system (undergraduate and graduate)
- DAAD Sprachnachweis ( If you have any knowledge
of German, submit this document signed by a faculty member (professors or teaching assistants) of the
German Department at your institution. If you have no knowledge of German and your research language in
Germany is English, be sure to submit this certificate anyway, indicating that your research language is
English, and write at the top “No knowledge of German.” (Please note that German is not a requirement for
the Research Grant)
NB: A signed reference / referee report from a university professor in your major subject or discipline will need to be mailed by the referee to:
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship
The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund was created for the purpose of funding advanced education and graduate study grants, which must be carried out entirely in the United States of America. The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships are to be awarded only to candidates who have outstanding undergraduate records, have demonstrated a need for financial assistance, are citizens of the United States of America, are enrolled in accredited colleges and universities in the United States and have received baccalaureate degrees. Graduate and professional students are eligible.
The amount of each Fellowship will cover the cost of tuition and a stipend to be allocated towards room, board, living expenses and income taxes. The Trustee has set the stipend at $18,000 for the award year.
The UIC campus deadline is January 10, 2020.
Required application materials:
- One certified copy of each undergraduate and graduate transcript to date.
- One copy of your graduate exam test scores.
- A Statement of Purpose up to three pages long (double spaced) which considers the relationship between your graduate level study and your intended personal and/or professional goals. Your Statement of Purpose must include a 10-15 line abstract at the top (included in the three pages) that explains, in LAYMAN’S terms, the essence of your proposed topic of study or dissertation, the methodology of its treatment and its anticipated impact on your field of study.
- Letter of Recommendation from Dean of Graduate School or Department Chair. [Latter preferred; arrange to have it sent to the attention of Benn Williams – If you seek a letter from the Dean, she will provide it if you are selected to as the UIC nominee]
- Letters of Recommendation from at least two professors who have taught or worked closely with you. [Arrange to have sent to the attention of Benn Williams]
- One copy of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- One copy of your Financial Aid Summary from UIC.
- One copy of your Federal Income Tax Return for the prior two years (including spouse’s returns, if applicable) [thus returns filed in 2018 and 2019 for the January 2020 deadline].
Applicants can send electronic files using the naming convention below to FERPA-approved Box: 2020_DZ.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naming convention of files (using example of Rosa Parks): DZL_Year_NomineeLastNameFirstInitial-Component.pdf, e.g., DZL_2020_ParksR-Application.pdf, DZL_2020_ParksR-GRE.pdf, etc.
Confidential and hand-delivered materials should be sent to:
Benn Williams / UIC Graduate College (m/c 192) / 601 S. Morgan Street, 633UH / Chicago, IL 60607
The UIC campus deadline is January 10, 2020 to allow sufficient time to review materials.
Institutional contact and DZL alum: Benn Williams, Fellowships and Awards Coordinator, bwilli7uicedu.
Per the funder’s instructions: Do not contact JPMorgan or members of the selection committee.