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Funding for PhDs

All joint PhD students are fully funded via a combination of fellowships and teaching or research assistantships for at least five years. All first-year students will receive a fellowship. Funding in subsequent years differs from program to program; generally support comes from two to three years of teaching and then an additional one to two years of fellowship. Women’s and Gender Studies doctoral students have been very successful in receiving fellowships, both internal (e.g. Rackham Predoctoral, Institute for the Humanities, Barbour) and external (e.g. Ford, NSF, AAUW). Summer funding opportunities vary from program to program. Women’s and Gender Studies doctoral students have been successful in securing funding through the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG), Women’s and Gender Studies annual summer funding process, Sweetland Dissertation Writing Institute, etc. We work with each student to identify appropriate summer funding sources.

At the time of application to the program, no separate application for financial aid is required. All admitted students will receive a complete funding package that is explained in detail in their admissions letter. Once a student has matriculated, some competitive fellowships may require separate applications as described below. Please note that these lists are not exhaustive.

Funding from Women's and Gender Studies


Dorothy McGuigan Graduate Prize (awarded by the DPC): For the best essay written by a graduate student on an interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies topic. Includes an award of approximately $750. WGS deadline: mid February

Women’s and Gender Studies Travel and Research Grants and Job Search Expense Coverage: The WGS Department is able to offer graduate students in the joint PhD programs a grant each year for travel to conferences, to research collections, or for other research expenses. Joint PhD students can also receive some reimbursement funds to cover job search expenses. These funds may be used for Interfolio, business cards, express shipping, or graduate letter service expenses.

Rackham Fellowships Awarded through Women’s and Gender Studies

The following funds are provided by Rackham and awarded by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. They are distributed on a competitive basis and decided by the Doctoral Programs Committee (DPC). Additional funding opportunities may be found on the Rackham website.

Humanities Research - Candidacy and Dissertation Fellowships: For students in the humanities and humanities-related social sciences to decrease time towards degree. WGS deadline: early March

One-Term Dissertation Fellowships: Women’s and Gender Studies receives a total of 4 awards every year. To speed the process of completing the dissertation and to fund the defense term. Awarded at the writing stage of the dissertation. Students must have filed a dissertation committee with Rackham. Support includes stipend for the term, tuition and fees, and GradCare. WGS deadlines: October and mid-January

Fellowships Awarded through Rackham

Each department is invited to nominate candidates for the following awards. Students submit applications to the DPC, which will decide on the final nominee(s). Joint PhD students are encouraged to seek nomination via the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, but may also seek nominations via their other joint department. For all Rackham awards, please view the Rackham website.

Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship: For outstanding students who will complete the dissertation in the year in which they hold the fellowship and who will complete the doctorate within six years of beginning their program. Fellowship includes a stipend, tuition and fees, and GradCare for 3 terms. Rackham deadline: January; WGS deadline: November

International Student Fellowship: For students who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents in their second or third term of study. Fellowship includes a stipend. Rackham deadline: October; WGS deadline: September

Outstanding GSI Award: For students who have demonstrated exceptional ability and creativity as teachers; continuous growth as teachers; service as outstanding mentors and advisors to students and colleagues; growth as scholars. Students must have served as a GSI for at least two terms. Past value of the award was $1,000. Rackham deadline: March; WGS deadline: November

Barbour Scholarship: The Barbour Scholarships were endowed at the University of Michigan in 1917 by Levi Lewis Barbour for women of the highest academic and professional caliber from the area formerly known as the Orient (encompassing the lands extending from Turkey in the west to Japan and the Philippines in the east) to study modern science, medicine, mathematics and other academic disciplines and professions critical to the development of their native lands. Students must not be a permanent resident or citizen of the US; must not be married to a permanent resident or citizen of the US; must intend to return to their native country upon receipt of degree and devote themselves to a professional career. Must have completed two full terms of graduate work at U-M. Scholarship includes a stipend for Fall and Winter, tuition and fees, and GradCare. Rackham deadline: January; WGS deadline: November

Susan Lipschutz, Margaret Ayers Host and Anna Olcott Smith Awards: For women graduate students pursuing a doctoral degree in any Rackham program who have achieved candidacy and have demonstrated particular commitment to their community and the university. Stipend amount varies. Rackham deadline: January; WGS deadline: November

Institute for Research on Women and Gender

The following awards are sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG). Students apply directly to IRWG.

IRWG/Rackham Graduate Student Research Awards: The IRWG/Rackham Graduate Student Research Awards program provides grants to graduate students who are planning or conducting research, scholarship, and creative activities focusing on women and gender. These grants are for expenses such as books, travel, production or exhibition costs, software, data collection, or payment of subjects. Students at any stage in their graduate careers may apply. Deadline: late fall term

IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars: The Community of Scholars (COS) is a four-month summer fellowship program. It is intended to support graduate students who are engaged in research, scholarship, or other creative activities that focus on women and/or gender. All awardees participate in a weekly seminar during May and June. Research may be conducted outside of Ann Arbor during July and August. Awardees will also present their work at a public symposium during the Fall semester following their award. Deadline: late fall term

Boyd/Williams Dissertation Grant for Research on Women and Work: The Boyd/Williams fellowship is awarded to a U-M doctoral student writing a dissertation related to women and work. Successful proposals promote knowledge and enhance understanding of the complexities of women’s roles in relation to their paid and unpaid labor (e.g. philanthropy, volunteerism, community involvement, domestic work, and political activity). The fellowship provides a stipend. Deadline: late fall term

Other Funding Opportunities

Rackham Research Grants: All PhD students are eligible for research support in the amount of $1500 pre-candidacy and $3000 post-candidacy by application through the Rackham Research Grant program.

CEW's Mary Malcomson Raphael Fellowship: For women graduate students in the humanities or social sciences who have completed at least two terms at the U-M. Students must demonstrate academic excellence and capacity for intellectual growth; clarity of scholarly and professional goals; potential to make a contribution of exceptional usefulness to society. Application includes a financial need statement. Stipend is dependent on student-generated budget. CEW deadline: February; WS deadline: January

Sweetland Dissertation Writing Institute: For students stalled in completing the dissertation. For Spring term: 6 hours a day for 8 weeks, stipend provided. Deadline: March

Barbara A. Oleshansky Award (available only to Psychology students): To assist outstanding women graduate students who demonstrate financial need. Two research awards. Students apply directly to the Psychology Department. Psychology deadline: October

Institute for the Humanities: The Institute for the Humanities promotes interdisciplinary research and discussion in the humanities and the arts. Graduate student fellows are in residence for 10 months and attend a weekly two-hour Fellows seminar. Students must have achieved candidacy. They must demonstrate interest in interdisciplinary work in terms of the breadth of their academic experience and the dissertation project. The dissertation project must include humanities content. Former or current holders of the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship are not eligible. Fellowship includes a stipend for 10 months beginning either July or September, tuition for two terms, and GradCare. Deadline: January

Sweetland Center for Writing Fellows Seminar: The Sweetland Center for Writing Fellows Seminar brings together faculty and experienced GSIs committed to the integration of writing into their courses. Fall: seminar; Winter: teach Eng 125. Deadline: February

Teaching Opportunities

The purpose of these guidelines is to distribute teaching opportunities fairly while meeting the specific teaching needs of the department. If you have further questions or concerns, please direct them to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (who oversees GSI hiring) or the Director of Graduate Studies (who is responsible for graduate student funding). Final decisions will be made jointly by the two directors.

Generally, all joint PhD students are guaranteed at least two terms of teaching in their other department and two terms of teaching as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) in Women’s and Gender Studies. Students may apply for additional terms of teaching in both their other departments and Women’s Studies,and some students may be guaranteed additional terms of teaching. Priority for GSI positions will be given to students as designated in their offer of admission. Terms of employment are subject to successful progress per the terms of the GEO contract.

Even if you have been guaranteed teaching in Women’s and Gender Studies, you must go through the application process, and you may be required to interview for a GSI position.

Consult email announcements and/or website in early February for available teaching positions for Fall term. Winter term teaching positions will be posted in October.

  • Application materials available early February and early October
  • Fall term applications due early March; Winter term applications due in October
  • Applicants notified by mid-April or mid-November

Notes on the GSI Positions in Women’s and Gender Studies

The majority of GSI appointments in Women’s and Gender Studies are a 0.5 fraction, offering full tuition, health insurance and stipend.

Your letter of admission may guarantee you two terms of teaching in WGS, but we cannot promise you either an assignment to a particular course or when you will be offered the opportunity to teach. It may not be possible to offer everyone two terms in the same year or in the same course. 
Women's and Gender Studies has GSI positions in the following courses: WGS/Anthro 212 The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, WGS/Nurs 220 Women and Health; WGS/AmCult 240 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies; WGS 245 Introduction to LGBTQ Studies; WGS/Soc 270 Gender and the Law; WGS 300 Men’s Health; WGS 400 Women's Reproductive Health. Additional GSI opportunities may arise from term to term.

In order to provide teaching experience to as many students as possible, no student may teach the same course for more than six terms.

Most GSI positions involve leading discussion sections in a large, faculty-taught lecture class. In some courses, you may be invited to give a lecture. Instructors for WGS 220 typically prefer students as GSIs who can commit for both fall and winter terms. Teaching WGS 240, in addition to leading discussion sections, involves collaborating with the instructor and the other GSIs on the syllabus over the summer or the previous term and delivering up to two lectures during the term. Students will be offered positions in WGS 240 according to the following criteria:

  • Women’s and Gender Studies joint PhD students have priority over all other applicants.
  • In most cases, priority will be given to students in the designated WGS GSI year outlined in their funding packages.
  • Need for diversity:  We try to form a team made up of people from different disciplines and who represent diversity in race, ethnicity, sexuality, and nationality.
  • Faculty teaching Women’s and Gender Studies courses other than 240 sometimes have to consider expertise that WGS students may not have. Thus, joint PhD students are not always given priority over other applicants in these courses. However, faculty are directed to give priority to joint PhD students when they do have the necessary qualifications for the position.

Pedagogical Training

All students teaching for the first time are required to take a CRLT GSI training course. The week before fall term, all WGS GSIs are required to attend a Women's and Gender Studies teaching development workshop. In addition, students are encouraged to take the graduate elective course on Feminist Pedagogy.

Child Care Subsidy

Students who have young, dependent children in child care may be eligible for this program, which provides funds to assist students with the cost of child care licensed by the state of Michigan. Students who wish to apply for the subsidy must meet several eligibility criteria and must submit both a federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an application for the subsidy. The amount of Child Care Subsidy awarded to eligible applicants is based on applicants' financial need, the number of children they have enrolled in licensed Michigan child care facilities, their child care expenses, and available funding. Applicants will be notified in writing of their eligibility for the subsidy and the amount they will receive. The subsidy amount cannot exceed the cost of your licensed child care.

To be considered for this funding, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program
  • be the parent of a child 12 years old or younger or a child with special needs under the age of 19
  • incur child care expenses from services provided by a licensed provider
  • demonstrate financial need for this subsidy
  • be making satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the University of Michigan
  • be a single parent, or, if married, because your spouse is either a student or employed outside the home for a minimum of 20 hours per week

Applications for the Child Care Subsidy Program are handled through The Office of Financial Aid, 2011 Student Activities Building. The application may be downloaded from the Financial Aid website.

The Work/Life Resource Center is available to assist faculty, staff and students with obtaining licensed childcare—on and off campus.

LSA Ten-Term Rule

The ten-term rule specifies that no graduate student may receive more than ten terms of support from the College of LSA, including teaching and fellowships. A term (or the equivalent partial terms) of support is defined as a full term in which the student has a complete tuition remission and a stipend, whether or not that stipend is earned by teaching. Non-teaching terms of support from departmentally administered Regents and departmental fellowships thus count towards this limit.

Only terms of LSA GSI support count toward the policy.

Rackham fellowships (e.g. Rackham Merit, One-Term Dissertation, Humanities Research, and Predoctoral fellowships), Humanities Institute, CEW, external Mellons, TOFs, and IRWG fellowships do not count toward the College’s ten-term rule. More information

Tax Information for Graduate Students

Fellowships: All income that does not go directly to tuition, fees, and benefits is subject to taxation and must be reported on income tax forms. This potentially includes stipend fellowships, travel grants, and any other funds you receive from the University. The University of Michigan does not issue 1099's to scholarship holders. The general rule is that any income is subject to federal taxation. For tax purposes you must keep copies of all award notices and announcements. For items you wish to deduct you must have receipts. Please be aware that you should estimate at least 15% for US citizens.

Employee (GSI/GSSA/GSRA/Temp): Salary from any employment at the University is subject to taxation, and will be withheld from your paychecks, and reported with your W‐2 form at the end of each calendar year.

Tax Resources: