Graduate Research Opportunities

In any single competition, students may apply for either the Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship or the Nicholson
Graduate Archival Research Grant.

Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship

Nicholson Graduate Archival Research Grant

Nicholson Graduate Initiative Project

Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship

Deadline: Spring (2024) Quarter: Thursday, 18th April, 2024
Scope

The Nicholson Center supports doctoral students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Divinity School, as well as students in the Law School, who require dissertation research in the Britain Isles or Ireland for periods of up to nine months. Although the research projects themselves need not focus on Britain, Ireland, or the former British Empire, those that do may be given preference. All applicants must demonstrate the need to conduct research in the British Isles or Ireland.

Eligibility

University of Chicago Ph.D. students from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Divinity School, and Law School are eligible. At the time of application, students who plan to travel for three months or less should have passed their exams, but need not have completed the dissertation proposal. Students who have completed at least one year of graduate study are eligible to apply for funding under certain conditions (see below). Students who plan to travel for more than three months should have been admitted to candidacy. In order to apply for and receive Nicholson funding, you must maintain appropriate registration status from the time of application through the full tenure of your award. In all cases, research travel must be completed before the dissertation defense.

Applications from students who have completed at least one year of graduate study (by the date of intended travel), but have not yet passed their exams, may apply for funding for periods of support up to three months. Such applications should include a statement of how travel to the British Isles or Ireland is necessary for the completion of their exams and will also contribute to their dissertation research. Such applications must also include a formal letter of recommendation (digital/PDF letters accepted) from the student’s advisor stating the importance of travel to the British Isles for the completion of the student’s exams.

In all cases, in order to apply for and receive Nicholson funding, you must maintain appropriate registration status from the time of application through the full tenure of your award. Research travel must be completed before the dissertation defense.

Application Requirements
  • A PDF document that contains the following:
    • Three-page project proposal
    • Two-page discussion of the materials or data to be examined in the British Isles, including a detailed description of the research to be conducted in the British Isles; a shorter description of how this research will contribute to your broader research project; an estimate of how long it will take to complete the research. The graduate fellowship committee will judge the merits of each application based on realistic claims about the time needed.
    • A detailed budget. This should cover all expenses for the proposed trip including travel/living expenses, fees, supplies, etc. and the total amount being requested. Please note that the Center generally awards between $2,000 and $3,000 per month of travel. Applicants may also include expenses related to COVID-19 testing.
    • Current CV
  • A formal letter of recommendation (digital/PDF letters accepted) from the student’s faculty advisor (or dissertation supervisor) addressed to the Director of the Nicholson Center and sent via email to Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).
  • Confirmation from your Director of Graduate Studies of your status in the program, including if you have passed departmental exams, and are currently enrolled in the PhD program.  If the research trip is to last longer than three months, confirmation that you have advanced to candidacy.
  • A list of any other sources of funding, including external sources, that you have already received, or for which you plan to apply, during the next academic year (including the Summer quarter).
  • Candidates planning trips lasting longer than three months should also submit a second letter of recommendation from an academic serving on your committee addressed to the Director of the Nicholson Center. Directions on where to send your application will be announced shortly.
Award

The result of the competition will be announced before the end of the spring quarter. Awardees ordinarily should begin their travel within three academic quarters (including summer) after the award has been made. Nicholson Graduate Research Travel Fellowship funds will only be released in accordance with university policies. For the most current concerning university funded travel, please refer here.

Nicholson Graduate Archival Research Grant

Deadline: Spring (2024) Quarter: Thursday, 18th April, 2024
Scope

The Nicholson Graduate Archival Research Grant supports doctoral students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Divinity School, as well as students in the Law School (conducting historical research), who require access to archival materials located in the British Isles and Ireland and who are unable to travel to view them. Preference will be given to candidates focusing on British Studies projects. Applications that demonstrate the need to access materials from an archive in the British Isles or Ireland, but whose topics do not focus on British Studies, will also be considered by the committee.

Students are invited to apply for sums up to and including $2500 to support digital copying of essential archival material from an archive in the British Isles or Ireland. Applicants are advised to contact archives to find out about their copying procedures and requirements before application. Many archives have lists of people who do digital copying for them. Some archives charge for making digital copies, and applicants may include this fee aspart of their budget.

Eligibility

University of Chicago Ph.D. students from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Divinity School, and Law School are eligible. To receive Nicholson funding, you must maintain appropriate registration status. In all cases, the research funds are to be used before the dissertation defense. This competition is open to graduate students including those who have received support from the Nicholson Center in the past.

Application Requirements
  • A PDF document that contains the following:
    • Three-page project proposal
    • Two-page discussion of the materials or data to be examined, including a detailed description of the research to be conducted; a shorter description of how this research will contribute to your broader research project; and names of contacts within the archive from whom you have received information.
    • A detailed budget of the costs of copying including any separate fees that may be incurred for digital research. You may use either the in-house services of the archive or an outside research company or individual. If you plan to hire an outside research company or individual to access materials from an archive, please include at least two bids to carry out the work.
  • A formal letter of recommendation (digital/PDF letters accepted) from the student’s faculty advisor (or dissertation supervisor) addressed to the Director of the Nicholson Center and sent via email to an address that will be announced shortly.
  • Confirmation from you Director of Graduate Studies of your status in the program.

Nicholson Graduate Initiative Project

Deadline: Spring (2024) Quarter: Thursday, 18th April, 2024
Scope

The Nicholson Center invites applications from graduate students interested in organizing a British Studies event in the next academic year. Projects should be related to British Studies broadly conceived (including topics related to the former colonies and their legacies), and should be targeted toward graduate students. Possibilities include conferences, colloquia, bag lunches, and lectures by external visitors.

We are especially interested in funding events that cross departmental and divisional boundaries, and bring at least two workshops or groups into conversation with one another.

Application Requirements

A PDF document that contains the following:

  • A one-page letter of intent.
  • A detailed budget and the names of other departments and Centers that have committed support, or have been asked for support.
Award

Funds awarded will be transferred to the account of the department or Center co-sponsoring the event.

All graduate initiative events funded by the Center are to be planned and organized by the students. The Nicholson Center does not provide administrative support or process expenses or payments.

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