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Funding Package

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) is committed to funding each admitted student for six 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 Packages

Though funding packages vary, the 2019-2020 RLL package for a student admitted to the French, Italian, or Spanish Ph.D. program consisted of:

1st year Department fellowship consisting of a $22,432 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 - 5th years Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI) in which the student teaches one class per term for an annual stipend of $22,432, a full tuition award and health care coverage.


6th year Two terms of teaching for a stipend of $11,216 per term and a full tuition award (same as 2nd-5th years); or one term of teaching and a possible one-term competitive fellowship award including a stipend of $11,216, 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 Awards

We are proud to share that our students received the following grants and fellowships:

Roberto Mosciatti won a highly competitive Rackham Predoctoral fellowship that she will use for the completion of a dissertation on the reappearance of a radical Christian cynical tradition among current-day Italian political philosophers.

Ludmila Ferrari won a highly competitive Rackham Predoctoral fellowship that she will use for the completion of a dissertation on spatial economies of violence in four instances: the War of the Triple Alianza, the promotion of Brasilia as an architectural monument of modernity in 1956, the Masacre de las Bananeras, and La Escombrera, a site successively used as sand mine, debris dump, and mass grave by a paramilitary-State alliance in Colombia.

Benjamin Ireland was named an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor by Rackham Graduate School.

Abigail Celis received a highly prestigious Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. In addition, she received a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant and was selected to participate in Sweetland’s Dissertation Writing Institute in the spring of 2017 as she completes her dissertation on the cultural representation and creative expression of Francophone Africa and its diaspora through the poetics of material objects in stories of migration told through museums, literature, visual arts and exhibitions.

Arcelia Gutierrez has been awarded a Rackham Summer Award stipend to pursue research on the history and work of Latinx media advocacy organizations in a neoliberal mediascape.

Lauren Darnell has been awarded a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant to pursue research on the topographies and reproduction of ethno-racial categories in the central Andean region of colonial Latin America.

Laura Pensa has been awarded a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant to pursue research on colonial cartography produced during the 18th century for how it illuminates the mechanisms by which the Chaco region (nowadays northeastern Argentina) was geopolitically constituted both as a frontier of the empire and as a desirable land for exploration.

Mariel Martinez Alvarez won the Goizueta Foundation Pre-Prospectus Fellowship in order to continue her research into dissident Cuban exiles in Franco’s Spain.

Juan Udaondo Alegre was awarded the Great Books of Islamic Civilization Book Prize by the Department of Near Eastern Studies in recognition of his teaching and research into medieval esoteric traditions in Iberia.

Sabrina Righi was awarded a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant in order to pursue her interest in resistance to acculturation and reverse migration between Italy and America.

Marisol Fila won a Rackham Summer Research Award to conduct research with Prof. Paulina Alberto on “Distance reading and ‘racial stories’: Using digital humanities tools to process narratives about Argentina's ‘Negro Raúl.’"

Angelica Serna Jeri was selected to participate in Sweetland’s Dissertation Writing Institute in the spring of 2016 as she completes her dissertation on the material presence and force of an early indigenous manuscript preserved by colonial Jesuit archives.

Lorena Bolaños Abarca won an Rackham International Student Fellowship/Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship and a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant to pursue her research into late medieval and early modern Franco-Hispanic historical chronicles.

Priscila Calatayud Fernández won an Rackham International Student Fellowship/Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship for her work on anarchist social movements from the Spanish Civil War to today, prioritizing participants’ testimonials.

Mary Renda won a Community of Scholars Award from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant to support her work on novels, films, poetry and performance that evoke natural resource extraction in Peru and Bolivia and the historical precedent for such extraction.

Ludmila Ferrari won a Rackham International Travel Grant to pursue research on several violent campaigns led against indigenous groups in Paraguay and Colombia and received an Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award. In addition, she will be working with the School of Art as editor of the Michigan Journal for Community Service and Learning and focusing on scholarship in community and art in Detroit.

Juan Leal Ugalde received a generous Rackham Summer Award to continue his research into photographic registers of Mexican Revolution (1910- 1920), the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992), and the Chilean Dictatorship (1973-1990).

Jaime Hernandez was awarded a FLAS Fellowship for 2016-2017 to support his studies of Portuguese in order to access to several Portuguese sources that are significant for his research.

Luis Miguel dos Santos Vicente was awarded a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant to work in the Portuguese archives at the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, the Arquivo Nacional Torre do Tombo and the Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa dealing with Portuguese exploration of Africa and Asia, as well as literary and scientific accounts about the territories reached by the Portuguese during that period.

Felix Zamora Gomez received a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant and funding from Prof. Gareth Williams’ John D’Arms Fellowship, thanks to which he will continue his work on repurposed museum spaces, particularly ones commemorating traumatic events and how they try to engage spectators.

Additional Funding Opportunities

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 Tools

Resources for Finding 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 Fellows Fund, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship,and Mellon Fellowship.

Questions? Contact the Graduate Assistant.

Dissertation and Residential Fellowships

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

  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.