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Hill Fellowship Guidelines

The Hill Fellowship supports the doctoral research of junior to senior graduate students. Funds from this endowment are specifically earmarked for dissertation research, from training and planning to final execution. A student interested in applying for Hill Funds should consult his or her committee chair or the Graduate Affairs Committee. Decisions on who receives funding will be made on a competitive basis each spring by the Graduate Affairs Committee. 

Students must submit requests for funding to the graduate program assistant by March 1st.

The Hill award covers the costs of conducting field or laboratory research. This award is competitive, so requests do not automatically receive funding.

There are three categories of research awards:

  1. Graduate Training Award
  2. Pre-Comprehensive Examination Award
  3. Post-Comprehensive Examination Award.

The graduate training award is available to graduate students in the early stages of study.  It is designed primarily for use as summer funding to obtain field or laboratory experience.  The pre-comprehensive award is designed to get students to the field or in the laboratory as part of their effort to assess the feasibility of a dissertation research project or, preferably, to conduct a pilot study that will bolster subsequent proposals for external funding. The post-comprehensive examination covers the costs of doing doctoral research. All things being equal, preference is given to applicants who are already moving forward on their doctoral research; that is, the post-comprehensive examination students.

All of the awards cover the collection and analysis of data or research-related travel, but not subsistence unless the student is in the field.


Graduate Training Award

The Graduate Training Award is available to graduate students in the early stages of their program for field work or laboratory training.  Students are required to submit a 3-5 page proposal with a budget on how the funds would be used and how it would benefit the student’s professional progress.  The proposal must be signed by the student’s advisor who must confirm in a separate memorandum how the fundings will benefit the student. A maximum of $2,000 can be requested.


Pre-Comprehensive Examination Award

The Pre-Comprehensive Examination Award is open to all students who have completed their MAs and have a committee of at least three department members (the outside member is optional for this purpose). Students are required to submit a five-page proposal signed by the student’s doctoral committee chair, a budget, and a photocopy of the signed sheet required to set up a committee. The proposal should clearly state what will be done and how it will further the student's dissertation plans. The budget should include an itemized list of expenses, a timeline of the project and when the funding will be used, and it should also indicate where additional funds will be obtained if the Hill award does not completely cover expenses. A maximum of $2,000 can be requested. Students are only eligible to receive the pre-comprehensive award once.

For funding to be released, all requirements must be met by May 1st. Funding will be withdrawn if a student does not meet this requirement.


Post-Comprehensive Examination Award

The Post-Comprehensive Examination Award is open to students who have already passed their comprehensive exams, acquired doctoral committee approval for the proposed research project, and submitted the proposal to an external granting agency such as the NSF, NIH, or NEH. That is, the student must have finished all phases of the doctoral program excluding, of course, the dissertation itself. The proposal should follow the format of the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Proposal, or some other suitable granting agency. The student should also include a cover memo, signed by the doctoral committee chair, indicating the agency or agencies where the proposal has been sent, and when the proposal has been sent.

A budget should be included with the Hill request that provides an itemized list covering the total cost of the project, a timeline of the project and when the funding will be used, the amount requested of the Hill fund, and the funds sought from other sources. The cover memo should explain how the research will move forward if external funding is not received (most research needs exceed the Hill awards). The upper limit of Hill funding is generally in the neighborhood of five thousand dollars; do not exceed a reasonable amount in the fellowship request. Students are only eligible to receive the post-comprehensive award once.

For post-comprehensive examination funding to be released, all requirements must be met by May 1st. Funding will be withdrawn if a student does not meet this requirement.