Image courtesy of Alexis Nicholson.

Doctoral students in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations are awarded a five-year fellowship that includes a stipend and coverage of full tuition and health insurance. Additional fellowships and awards are available to support language study, conference attendance, and research travel.

The First 5 years

For NELC PhD students starting the program in Autumn 2018, the stipend and teaching remuneration was $27,000 over nine months. Yearly renewal of this award is contingent on satisfactory academic progress. Please see the Humanities Division website for more information on funding packages.

Additional summer funds of $3,000 are available up to four times prior to the fifth year in the program. Students must be admitted to candidacy by the end of spring quarter of year four in order to receive the fourth summer stipend.

The funding package (called the Graduate Aid Initiative, or GAI) requires all students to complete five teaching units or "GAI Points." Typically, students focus on coursework and language requirements during the first two years and complete the teaching requirements in years three through five. Please see the teaching section for more information about the GAI requirement.

Dissertation Completion

After the five-year fellowship, students who have reached candidacy and are in good standing receive health insurance coverage through the seventh year, and are eligible to apply for a range of internal and external research and travel grants, and Dissertation Completion Fellowships which are awarded competitively by the Humanities Division and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Fellowships and Grants

NELC strongly supports students applying for additional external and internal fellowships and grants. In recent years our students have received support from the following sources:

  • Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Franke Institute for the Humanities Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Jacob Greenberg Dissertation Fellowship
  • Oppenheim Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Mellon Foundation–University of Chicago Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Provost’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Fulbright-Hays DDRA (Doctoral Dissertation Research Award)
  • Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship
  • Arnaldo Momigliano Dissertation Research travel grant
  • Nicholson Center for British Studies Graduate Research Grants
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS)
  • Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowship
  • Chicago Center for Jewish Studies Travel Grants
  • Helen Rich Travel Fund

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the fellowship support resources available through UChicagoGrad. In addition to helping with research statements and CVs, UChicagoGrad manages many external fellowship programs, including the Fulbright programs, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS), and DAAD grants, among others. They maintain an extensive fellowships database, and are available for individual meetings with students. 

The Division of the Humanities administers a number internal fellowships. Many of these internal fellowships must be vetted by the applying student’s department, so interested students must also be aware of the NELC-specific deadlines and procedures.

Fellowship announcements are distributed via the NELC graduate student listserv and posted to the NELC Graduate Student Wiki.

Other Resources and Opportunities

Eligible students may work a limited number of hours per week on campus. Job opportunities include working in the Oriental Institute, University libraries, for the department as a Social Hour Coordinator, and for campus residential services. Advanced students may also seek income from additional teaching opportunities, depending upon availability.