Dissertation Fellowships

Although many students complete their doctoral study in four years, some need a fifth year of support to complete the dissertation. Rutgers University Dissertation Fellowships are available to help these students. Each fellowship provides a stipend of $20,000 for the 2013-2014 academic year. Although we cannot guarantee that a student will obtain this fellowship, we do award a substantial number each year. In order to be considered, a student must defend a dissertation proposal and apply for an external dissertation fellowship by March 1 during their fourth year. All students may apply, but priority is given to students who were admitted with financial support and are making the best progress towards completing their dissertation.

Dissertation fellowships are awarded by the Rutgers – Newark Graduate School, which considers nominations from all the doctoral programs on campus. The director may nominate a student as soon he or she

  • defends a dissertation proposal and
  • applies for an external dissertation fellowship.

Students in their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years should consider applying for external fellowships. Such fellowships can be held concurrently with a TAship or dissertation fellowship from Rutgers. Application for an external fellowship is required in order to be eligible for a 5th year fellowship, and it is best done as soon as the idea for a dissertation has taken shape. Because application deadlines are at all times of the year, you should make plans for applying by the end of your third year at the latest. For information on external fellowships for which you may apply, see the Dana Library site and the Rutgers GradFund website.

Students who do not defend a proposal by the end of the third year are placed on academic probation for lack of satisfactory progress. The exact timing of the probation is at the discretion of the director. It normally begins on September 1 and must begin by December 1 at the latest. If a student on probation comes off probation by defending a proposal within one semester, the director may still nominate them for a fellowship. After March 1, however, there is little chance for the nomination to succeed, because the Graduate School will have run out of fellowships to award.