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Professional Development Grant Application

The English Department offers grants of up to $4,000 to support graduate students who plan to take internships or to participate in other professional training opportunities during the summer and, in certain cases, during Fall and Winter terms. Sponsored opportunities should enhance or complement your doctoral training in preparation for a variety of career pathways inside and outside the academy. To date, over 35 English PhD students have been awarded grants totalling over $90,000 through this program.​

Students can identify opportunities with guidance from the department’s Office of Graduate Studies and the Internship Program Director, Lisa Makman. You can arrange to work with a business or organization on our list of regional partners or identify your own position or project. Placements since 2018 have included publications (Los Angeles Review of Books, Victorian Literature and Culture, Michigan Quarterly Review, Theater Journal, Asian American Literary Review), other U-M units (Hatcher Library, CRLT), regional nonprofits (Detroit Justice Center, Inside Out, Japanese American Citizens League, Rx for Reading, 826Michigan, and the Ecology Center), and Ann Arbor’s most famous deli.  Unfortunately, we are unable to fund tuition or other costs associated with formal, credential-bearing training programs through this initiative.

To apply for funding, you should submit a detailed proposal and a budget along with the attached cover sheet and (in the case of an internship) organizational sponsor form. A faculty committee evaluates proposals on a rolling basis, typically within 2-4 weeks of submission. Priority will be given to students who have not yet received funding though this program; priority for academic-year funding will be given to students who have completed their third year in the program. Students receiving awards are expected to submit a complete report on their experiences after they fulfill the commitments outlined in their proposal. Half of the grant will normally be disbursed at the start of your professional development activities, and half will be disbursed upon the approval of your report.

Applications for for fall funding should ideally be submitted by August 15, for winter funding by December 10, and for summer funding by April 15.

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The Proposal

The proposal (2-3 pages long) should outline the opportunity and discuss its connection with your  research program​ and its value for your professional development, ​broadly understood. Students in years 3-5 of the PhD program who apply for Fall or Winter funding must also include a brief letter of support from your advisor.

The Budget

Budget projections should be based on an hourly rate of $20 per hour and a maximum commitment of 20 hours per week during the summer or 6 hours per week if the student is currently teaching, or 10 hours per week if the student is currently on fellowship* during the Fall and Winter terms.

*make sure to check the terms of your fellowship

The Report

The report consists of an evaluative account of your funded experiences that includes a discussion of how these endeavors supported your professional development goals (4-6 pages). You must submit the report within three weeks of completing your professional development activities. Examples of reports are available on the graduate internship webpage.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Lisa Makman, the English department's Internship Director: 3260 Angell Hall,