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Academics

Graduate Awards

The History Department has several sources of research and internship funding for graduate students that are made possible through the generosity of our alumni, friends, and patrons.

How to Apply

We invite graduate students to apply for our awards on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks, umass.academicworks.com. The AcademicWorks system provides award descriptions, instructions to apply, application deadlines, and award notifications for applicants. When logging in to the system for the first time, students will be asked to take a few moments to complete the General Application. Once the general app is submitted, the system will present the applicant with a list of scholarship and award opportunities from across campus, including History Department awards, for which the student is minimally qualified and may apply for. Notifications about awards, including those that students are nominated for, will be sent to the student’s university email account and post to the their AcademicWorks dashboard. 

Important Dates

All of our graduate research, language instruction, and internship funding is awarded annually in the spring with the exception of the History Alumni Graduate Travel Grant, to support graduate student travel for conference presentations, which is available year-round. The application submission deadline for our Spring awards, unless otherwise noted in AcademicWorks, is typically the last Monday in March. Award decisions will be made by the third week in April and students will be notified by email soon thereafter.

History Alumni Graduate Travel Grant

Generous donations from History alumni allow us provide travel funding to graduate students who are presenting papers at conferences. The amount of funding available each year varies. Graduate students may request up to $1,000 for domestic travel or $1,500 for international travel annually and funding may be used for more than one conference provided the expenses claimed do not exceed these limits. Reimbursable expenses include conference registration, air or train travel, mileage, and food and lodging. To apply, students should submit documentation of their conference participation (an invitation letter or conference program, for example) and an itemized travel budget. These materials should be submitted with the History Alumni Graduate Travel Grant application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks. Please notify Mary Lashway (gradprogram@history.umass.edu) after you’ve submitted your request on AcademicWorks.


History Graduate Travel Grant

Each spring the History Department funds up to two travel grants to assist graduate students travelling to research collections.

Annual funding varies; however, recipients can expect to receive approximately $600. Applicants should submit a two-page statement detailing their research and how it relates to their dissertation or thesis and a travel budget. Students should mention in their statement if they have received a travel award from the Department before and explain how more travel funding would allow them to build on the research of the previous award(s). These materials should be submitted with the History Graduate Travel Grant application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Bauer-Gordon Summer Research Fellowship

A number of Bauer-Gordon Fellowships for summer research are funded annually by the Frederic Bauer Endowment and the History Department. The awards are intended for graduate students in the Department of History with preference going to those who are studying Russian, German, or military history.  

Annual funding for the Bauer-Gordon Fellowship varies; however, recipients can expect to receive approximately $2,500. Interested students should submit a brief proposal (not more than 4 pages) outlining their research plan, travel itinerary, travel budget, and a statement addressing how the proposed research is tied to their dissertation or thesis. If you have received a previous travel award, please mention that and explain how another award would allow you to further pursue your research goals. These materials should be submitted with the Bauer-Gordon Summer Research Fellowship application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Joyce A. Berkman Endowment in Women's History and Women's Studies

Named after Professor Emeritus Joyce A. Berkman, this award supports graduate students in the Departments of History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, whose research, coursework, and academic interests are focused primarily on female experiences and consciousness. Their work should take a multi-faceted approach to intersectional analysis that considers, for example, gender, race, social class, and sexuality, but which is not limited to these areas.

Examples of purposes for which these funds may be used include, but are not limited to, conference-related expenses (travel, registration, accommodations, per diem etc.), expenses associated with a visit to archival holdings for research purposes, and participation in networking activities related to pedagogy or research. Successful applicants are required to submit a report about their experience in the fall semester following receipt of the award.

Annual funding for this award varies; however, recipients can expect an award of approximately $2,000. To apply, students should prepare a 1-page (single-spaced) proposal describing the activity they wish to fund and how it will advance their larger scholarly or academic aims, a budget outlining the expenses they anticipate incurring, a 1- to 2-page C.V., and a brief statement (of no more than 250 words) of financial need which describes any important or extenuating circumstances that heighten need for funding. These materials should be submitted with the Joyce A. Berkman Endowment in Women’s History and Women’s Studies application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Caldwell Writing Prize

The Caldwell Writing Prize is funded by an endowment named after the late Professor Emeritus Theodore Caldwell. Awards are made in the spring and go to two History MA students who have produced the best article-length research papers in the previous calendar year. The Caldwell Writing Prize may also be awarded for the best MA thesis. Works may be nominated by their authors or by faculty.  

Annual funding for the Caldwell Prize varies; however, recipients can expect an award of approximately $400. Students who wish to be considered should submit their paper or thesis with the Caldwell Writing Prize application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.  Faculty members who wish to make a nomination should submit the paper to Mary Lashway.


Simon and Satenig Ermonian Graduate Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching

This scholarship is made possible thanks to an endowment established by the late Dr. Krikor Ermonian, a UMass Alumnus, in memory of his parents Simon and Satenig Ermonian. The award is given to graduate students in History for their outstanding work as graduate Teaching Assistants.  Decisions are based on the strength of the candidate’s letter of recommendation from the nominating professor(s) and TA evaluations. Factors such as the student’s academic performance, excellence in coursework, and examinations, progress toward completion of degree are also considered.   

Annual funding for this award varies; however, recipients can expect to receive approximately $1,000.  Faculty who wish to nominate a student for the Ermonian Award should submit a letter of recommendation to Mary Lashway.


Richard Gassan Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship honors the memory of Dr. Richard Gassan, a 2002 Ph. D. alumnus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst History Department. Established by friends and family of Dr. Gassan, the scholarship supports travel to research collections by UMass Amherst History doctoral students.

Interested students should submit a 1-page (single-spaced) proposal describing their research project and how it will advance their larger scholarly or academic aims, a CV, and a budget outlining the expenses they expect to incur. Annual funding varies; however, recipients can expect to receive approximately $1,500. These materials should be submitted with the Richard Gassan Memorial Scholarship application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


History Graduate Hands-on Grant

Every spring the History Department funds the Hands-on Grant to support MA and Ph.D. students who have a desire to learn by doing.  Qualifying activities include archaeological or architectural field schools; GIS courses; curatorial experiences (e.g. Historic New England's summer program in New England Studies, the Attingham Summer School, etc.) or workshops in film or digital media.  The funds may be used to offset tuition, travel and housing.

Funding for the Hands-on Grant varies annually; however, recipients can expect an award of between $2,000 and $3,500. To be considered, students should prepare a 1-page (single-spaced) proposal describing the activity they wish to fund and how it will advance their larger scholarly or academic aims, as well as a budget. These materials should be submitted with the History Graduate Hands-on Grant application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Jumpstart Grant for Dissertation Research

The Jumpstart Grant is made available by the History Department to support the dissertation research of History doctoral students who defended their prospectus in the Spring semester of the current year or who defended their prospectus in the two semesters of the previous calendar year. The award may cover travel to collections as well as the acquisition of equipment or library materials needed to advance research.   

Annual funding for the grant varies; however, recipients can usually expect an award of approximately $2,500. To be considered, applicants should submit a CV, a 1-page single-spaced proposal describing the activity they wish to fund and how it will advance their larger scholarly or academic aims, and a budget outlining the expenses they anticipate incurring. Recipients must submit in the Fall a report on the work accomplished with these funds. These materials should be submitted with the Jumpstart Grant application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Potash Graduate Travel Grant for Latin America, Spain, or Portugal

The Potash Graduate Travel Award is made possible by an endowment established by the late Professor Emeritus Robert Potash and Jeanne Potash as well as by funds from the History Department. The grant is awarded annually in the spring to a History graduate student in good standing who plans to engage in research or pursue a course of study at an established university in Spain, Portugal, or Latin American country. Applicants must have a working knowledge of the appropriate language as defined by the Graduate Certificate Program in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies. Qualifying activities include a field research project involving the use of archives and/or libraries or completing a course of study at an established institution of higher learning. In either case, the student will be expected to spend a minimum of six weeks in the country or countries visited. The grant will go to the student with the best travel and research proposal. Proposals that involve simply the study of Spanish or Portuguese will not be considered.

Recipients can expect an award of approximately $3000. Students who are interested should prepare: 1) a travel and research proposal of no more than four pages detailing how the endeavor relates to their dissertation or thesis, 2) a budget outlining the expenses they anticipate incurring,    3) a detailed transcript showing their course history from the beginning of their academic career through the immediately preceding semester, 4) evidence of a working knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese (this may be demonstrated by presenting a letter from a member of the Spanish & Portuguese Department or by a transcript showing completion of the necessary coursework as defined by the Certificate Program in Latin American Studies), 4) two letters of recommendation from faculty members. The materials mentioned should be submitted along with the contact information of the two faculty members who have agreed to provide letters of reference with the Potash Graduate Travel Grant application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Marvin Ogilvie Memorial Grant for Foreign Language Studies

This grant is funded by an annual gift from Professors Brian Ogilvie and Jennifer Heuer in memory of their father and father-in-law, Dr. Marvin L. Ogilvie. The award is intended to offset the cost of intensive summer foreign language study or research in foreign-language sources for a student with a bona fide need to undertake dissertation or thesis research in a foreign language. Priority is given to students in European history and the history of science however students in U.S. History may also apply if they have bona fide need to work with foreign language sources. The grant is not intended for students whose sole aim is to pass a foreign language examination. The grant will be made to a student who needs working knowledge of a foreign language for dissertation or thesis research and satisfies one of the following criteria, in descending order of importance:

1. Has a basic or intermediate mastery of a relevant foreign language, and requires intensive summer study to be able to read written sources and communicate with archivists and librarians confidently;

2. Has a basic or intermediate mastery of a relevant foreign language, and needs intensive summer study in a second language, also necessary for the dissertation or thesis research, in order to be able to use sources in that language;

3. Has an advanced mastery of necessary foreign language(s) and would use the grant to support travel to collections to conduct research in foreign-language sources.

The amount of funding available for this award varies annually however recipients can expect approximately $4,000. Interested students prepare a statement describing how the grant will be used, a copy of an application or confirmation of acceptance to an intensive summer language program or a detailed research proposal with an itinerary and budget, and the name and contact information of a faculty member who has agreed to provide a letter of recommendation. These materials should be submitted to the Marvin Ogilvie Memorial Grant for Foreign Language Studies application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.


Dr. Charles K. Hyde Public History Intern Fellowship

Each spring the Public History Program offers two or more Charles K. Hyde Public History Program Fellowships to Public History certificate students pursuing an unfunded or underfunded internship opportunity. 

Funding for the Hyde Fellowship varies annually; however, recipients can usually expect an award amount of approximately $4,000. To be considered, students should submit a C.V. (1-2 pages), a cover letter describing the proposed internship and how it would contribute to your overall training and, a letter of commitment from the internship host confirming your internship, outlining how the work you would perform fits into the larger institutional aims, describing their role as supervisors (identifying, if possible, the specific staff to whom you would report) and noting any funding or housing that will be provided. These materials should be submitted with the Dr. Charles K. Hyde Public History Program Fellowship application which can be found on the UMass Amherst scholarship system, AcademicWorks.