Carnegie Mellon University

Support for Graduate Student Research

The Department of History and Carnegie Mellon University support graduate student research in a variety of ways. The History Department offers funding for short-term research trips or conference presentations. Here are other sources of support:

The Milton A. and Nancy D. Washington Fellowship in History

The Milton A. and Nancy D. Washington Fellowship in History provides financial support for a Carnegie Mellon History Department graduate student who

  • has overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic or educational disadvantage or disabilities, or who is the first generation in the family to attend college; or
  • is a member of a group that is underrepresented at the university, such as African Americans; or
  • is studying African American history.

The fellowship awards a grant of $2,000 to the Washington Fellow each year for the first two years of the graduate career, as long as the student remains in good standing in the program. The funds are distributed in the summer following each academic year. The student may use the funds in any way he or she chooses, such as to pay rent or other living expenses or to fund travel to archives or academic conferences.

Applications for this fellowship should be kept completely separate from the online admissions document. Applicants for the Washington Fellowship should submit a brief statement (no more than a one double-spaced page) describing the nature of his or her eligibility for the scholarship, based on the criteria laid out above, to Lisa Everett, Department Administrator for Graduate Studies, Department of History (ls2y@andrew.cmu.edu). 

The Washington Fellowship is funded through a generous gift from Milton A. and Nancy D. Washington.

Note: Decisions about admission to the Graduate Program and decisions about the awarding of the Milton A. and Nancy D. Washington Fellowship are made completely separately. The Admissions Committee will have no access to applications for the Washington Fellowship until after it has made its admissions decisions.

University–level Fellowships and Grants

Presidential Fellowships

The Presidential fellowships, for which History PhD students are eligible, are of three types: two are awarded within Dietrich College; one is awarded within the entire university. The History Department and its graduate students are eligible for each Presidential Fellowship on a three-year rotation schedule. The competition for each will be announced in the spring before the History Department is eligible for that Presidential Fellowship.

I. William S. Dietrich II Presidential Fellowship
  • Terms of the fellowship: the Wm. Dietrich Presidential Fellowship provides two semesters/one academic year of support; recipients are exempt from teaching responsibilities; they also receive some financial support during the summer.
  • Competitive Pool: other students in the History Department.
  • Eligibility: Any graduate student in the department who has ABD status can apply.
  • Research Stipulation: dissertation research/project must include a Big Data component (such as digital humanities methods/data) or Technology-Enhanced Learning component.
II. Dietrich College Humanities Presidential Fellowship
  • Terms of the fellowship: the Humanities Presidential Fellowship provides two semesters/one academic year of support; recipients are exempt from teaching responsibilities; they also receive some financial support during the summer.
  • Competitive Pool: other students in the History Department.
  • Eligibility: Any graduate student in the department who has ABD status can apply.
  • Research Stipulation: None.
III. University Presidential Fellowship
  • Terms of the fellowship: the University Presidential Fellowship provides two semesters/one academic year of support; recipients are exempt from teaching responsibilities; they also receive some financial support during the summer.
  • Competitive Pool: students in a variety of departments in several colleges throughout the university.
  • Eligibility: Any graduate student in the department who has ABD status can apply.
  • Research Stipulation: None.
Selection Criteria & Process

Fellows will be selected by a committee within the student’s department, with input from the digital humanities specialist (for DH fellowships) or the Eberly Center director (for TEL fellowships). Awards will be announced mid-Fall-semester so Fellows have time to choose and register for relevant coursework for their DH or TEL project. As this fellowship is for students who are further along in their studies, candidates with previous digital skills and experience, or with a very clear capacity and self-motivation to learn quickly, will be given priority in selection. Students must be in good standing and may apply more than once.

The University offers funds for research through a competitive process through the GuSH fund. It also grants funds for conference presentations, by lottery.

External Sources of Support

We encourage students to apply for external grants, and work with them on grant-writing in the Research Seminar. In recent years, students have received grants from: the German Academic Exchange Service [DAAD], the Stephen F. Cohen - Robert C. Tucker Dissertation Research Fund(CTDRF), Social Science Research Council [SSRC], Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, Bentley Historical Library; the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, John Carter Brown Library, Wisconsin Veterans Museum and Wisconsin Historical Society, and German Historical Institute of Pennsylvania.