Student Financial Support and Employment

Student Financial Support and Employment: 

  • The Department of Rhetoric provides a comprehensive fully funded five-year package to all admitted students that encompasses full coverage of tuition, fees, and health insurance. Our funding offers include semesters of student financial support via stipend and semesters of employment via Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions during the fall and spring semesters. In addition, our funding offers provide financial support via stipend during the summer.
  • Since June 1, 2000, GSI employment has been governed by a union contract. We provide GSI appointments (50%, 20 hours/week) within the Department’s undergraduate program, where responsibilities include leading discussion sections for our larger, mandatory upper-division lecture courses. Furthermore, we offer GSI positions specifically for Reading and Composition (R1A and R1B) courses. 
  • Each PhD student must serve as a GSI for at least one year and complete the introductory pedagogy seminar (Rhetoric 375) prior to or during the semester of their first graduate teaching appointment. Students who meet the timetable requirements will be eligible although not guaranteed appointment as Graduate Student Instructors for four years.
  • Note that the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) limits GSI appointments to 12 semesters; however, due to COVID-19 the limit is increased to 14 semesters. There are NO exceptions beyond the 14th semester.
  • Each semester Reader positions may become available within the Department’s undergraduate program, where responsibilities will normally include the grading of student papers and examinations
  • Each semester Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions may become available. These positions are established through arrangements between faculty members with research grants and students who express interest.
  • For more information, please review the Graduate Division's Graduate Student Academic Appointments Handbook.


External Students: 

  • We typically have several GSI positions open for instruction in our Reading & Composition (R&C) courses. 
  • Interested GSI candidates who meet the eligibility requirements may submit an application to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer at rfahgradadvising@berkeley.edu
  • Please email the following items as a single PDF attachment: Cover letter that includes information on your previous teaching experience and CV/Resume.
  • For first round consideration, please submit your materials according to the deadlines: Fall Application Deadline: April 1; Spring Application Deadline: October 1; Summer Application Deadline: February 1. 

University Fellowship Resources: 

University Fellowships of Particular Interest to our Students: 

  • Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship: The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships are to be awarded only to candidates who have outstanding undergraduate records, have demonstrated a need for financial assistance, are citizens of the United States of America, are enrolled in accredited colleges and universities in the United States and have received baccalaureate degrees. Applicants must be enrolled UC Berkeley graduate students.  Eligible students include not only those in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, but also those in professional programs like law, medicine, engineering, and architecture. Students with the potential to utilize three years of funding will be given priority over students who would only use one year of funding. The amount of each Fellowship will cover the cost of tuition only (no fees) and a stipend to be allocated towards room, board, living expenses, and income taxes.  The Trustee has set the stipend at $18,000 for this year.
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships: Provides funding to students to encourage the study of critical and less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area studies, international studies or international aspects of professional studies. These fellowships are funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. The purpose of the FLAS program is to promote the training of students who intend to make their careers in college or university teaching, government service, or other employment where knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is essential.
  • Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS): GIAS provides several fellowships to support graduate students conducting research in international and area studies. This page lists grants administered by GIAS itself. For fellowships administered by individual GIAS units, please click here. 
  • Mabelle McLeod Lewis Fellowships: The Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund provides dissertation write-up grants to PhD candidates in humanities.  Grants are awarded to bring about the completion of the dissertation. Grants are available only to applicants who are in financial need as determined by the Trustees upon review of the applications. Lewis Fellows are awarded to students who are completing a dissertation whose focus is humanistic.
  • Townsend Dissertation FellowshipsAwarded to graduate students writing Ph.D. dissertations whose research projects significantly involve humanistic material or problems that have a significant bearing on the humanities. The competition is open to graduate students who are advanced to candidacy, or who will be advanced to candidacy by the June preceding the academic year of their fellowship.
  • UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellowship: The UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellowship is part of the UC-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative (UC-HSI DDI), which aims to enhance faculty diversity and pathways to the professoriate for historically underrepresented students from California Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), particularly Chicanx/Latinx, African Americans, American Indians/Native Americans, Filipinx, and Pacific Islanders in all disciplines; women in STEM; and Asian Americans in the humanities and social sciences. Fellows receive a $37,000 stipend and California resident tuition and fees and $10,000 professional development grant that will expose, prepare, and inspire the fellow to pursue the professoriate. 


External Databases and Lists (non-exhaustive):


External Fellowships (non-exhaustive):

  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellowships: The Academy is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges.Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” With the generous support of donors, the Academy offers fellowships opportunities including the Hellman Fellowship in Science and Technology Policy. 
  • Berkman Klein Center: Fellowship Program: The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society welcomes an interdisciplinary and diverse community of academics and practitioners to join the Center as fellows in its mission to engage the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace.
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowships: AAUW American Fellowships support women scholars who are pursuing full-time study to complete dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research full time, or preparing research for publication for eight consecutive weeks. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated based on scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research. 
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowships: The program provides support for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and who intend to return to their home country to pursue a professional career. A limited number of awards are available for study outside of the U.S. (excluding the applicant’s home country) to women who are members of Graduate Women International (see the list of GWI affiliates). Both graduate and postgraduate studies at accredited U.S. institutions are supported.
  • American Council of Learned Societies (ALCS) Fellowship and Grant Programs: Over the past century, ACLS has supported individual scholars and scholarly teams around the world in their pursuit of research with the potential to advance knowledge in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Our current focus includes providing more pathways for those who have traditionally had less access to external research support and scholarly resources, including first-generation scholars, people from historically marginalized communities, and non-tenure track faculty.
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Fellowship: Newcombe Fellows are late-stage Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences whose research in some way attends to those commitments and ideals and seeks to understand the communities, social practices, and political arrangements that embody them. Fellows receive a $31,000 stipend to complete the writing stage of their dissertation.
  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships: Dissertation Fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a research-based, dissertation-required Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree that will prepare them for the pursuit of a career in academic teaching or research. Practice-oriented degree programs are not eligible for support. The fellowship (one-year stipend: $28,000) is intended to support the final year of writing and defense of the dissertation.
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad: This program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months.
  • Getty Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships: Getty Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships are intended for emerging researchers to complete work on projects related to the Scholars Program’s annual theme. While in residence, fellows may pursue research projects, complete dissertations, or expand dissertations for publication. There are dedicated grants for fellows who are expanding critical inquiry of African American art and its frameworks as part of the Getty’s African American Art History Initiative (AAAHI). All recipients are invited to make use of Getty Research Institute (GRI) collections, join in weekly lectures, and participate in intellectual life at Getty. Predoctoral Fellows may be in residence at the Getty Center, while Postdoctoral Fellows may be in residence at the Getty Center or Getty Villa.
  • Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholar Awards: The Foundation welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences or allied disciplines that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence and aggression. Highest priority is given to research that addresses urgent, present-day problems of violence—what produces it, how it operates, and what prevents or reduces it. The award is $25,000 for one year and contributes to the support of a doctoral candidate to enable the completion of a dissertation that advances the Foundation’s research interests described above in a timely manner. 
  • Institute for Advanced Study (AIS) Membership: Each year, the Institute for Advanced Study selects approximately 200 Members from an average of more than 1,500 applicants. Members are selected by the Faculty of each School, and come to the Institute for periods as short as one term or as long as several years. Young scholars and applicants from non-traditional backgrounds who have outstanding promise are considered, as are senior scholars whose reputations are already well established. The major consideration in the appointment process is the expectation that each Member’s period of residence at the Institute will result in work of significance and originality. Many Members pursue research related to the special interests of one or more of the Faculty. In other instances, the research of Members is in areas not currently represented by a member of the Faculty.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships: Guggenheim Fellowships are grants awarded to around 175 selected individuals every year. The purpose of the Guggenheim Fellowship program is to provide Fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. As such, grants are made freely, without any special conditions attached to them; Fellows may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work. The United States Internal Revenue Service, however, does require the Foundation to ask for reports from its Fellows at the end of their Fellowship terms.
  • Josephine De Karman Fellowship Trust: The de Karman Fellowships are open to PhD students in any discipline, including international students, who are currently enrolled in one of the California universities listed (UC Berkeley included). Special consideration will be given to applicants in the Humanities. Approximately six (6) dissertation fellowships, in the amount of $25,000 each, will be awarded for the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund Grants: Since 1981, MMEG has been working to empower women by supporting their education so that they can build a better world.  We are very proud to present our numbers. Grantees have focused on diverse fields of study, including engineering, information technologies, health, science, education, social studies, and law.
  • National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program: The fellowship encourages a new generation of scholars from various disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to improving education. Fellows receive $27,500 for one academic year, distributed in two installments.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowships: NEH Fellowships are competitive awards granted to individual scholars pursuing projects that embody exceptional research, rigorous analysis, and clear writing. Applications must clearly articulate a project’s value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.
  • National Humanities Center Fellowships: Conceived with the needs of humanists in mind, the National Humanities Center provides scholars with an environment and resources conducive to generating new knowledge and furthering understanding of the human experience.
  • Newberry Fellowships: Newberry fellowships give researchers the time, space, and community required to pursue innovative and ground-breaking projects. Fellows advance scholarship in various fields, develop new interpretations, and expand our understanding of the past.
  • Social Science Research Council: Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship Program: Supporting the development of innovative dissertation proposals in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Social Science Research Council: International Dissertation Research Fellowship:The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) offers six to twelve months of support to graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are enrolled in PhD programs in the United States and conducting dissertation research on Native American or non-US topics. Fellowship amounts varied depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $23,000.