Student Support and Awards

Graduate student support and awards come in the form of semester-length assistantships and fellowships, financial support for conference travel, financial support for research, and awards for research and teaching. Scroll down to see each of these categories.

Semester-length Student Support

Financial assistance for graduate students is available in the form of fellowships and assistantships. An assistantship is an appointment to specified teaching or research duties. Assistantships carry a bi-weekly stipend and cover tuition costs. A fellowship is a non-service award made to superior students to assist in the pursuit of an advanced degree. This award carries a monthly stipend and usually covers tuition costs. Fellowships are awarded by The Graduate School on a university-wide competitive basis and by the College of Arts and Sciences. The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for nominating students for these awards. However, a few fellowships are open by self-nomination. Consult the Graduate School's website and the Dean's office for more information. 

Students applying to the Ph.D. program will be considered for all available assistantships and fellowships, unless they notify the Director of Graduate Studies otherwise. After the student's first year, decisions about funding are based on performance in the program (including GPA, timely progress towards degree, and professional development). For more information please consult the departmental guidlines on graduate funding. Ph.D. student progress reports and funding applications are due by February 1, 2022. While M.A. students are not eligible for funding, they are required to submit a progress report as well.

Statement of Guidelines for Semester-length Graduate Funding

The department of Anthropology attempts to fund as many graduate students as possible and the majority of our students are funded throughout their time at U.K.  The percentage of students funded for coursework is lower for first-year graduate students because they often do not have the teaching and/or coursework experience to qualify.  However, first year students do have access to certain university fellowships and some departmental funding lines that are reserved for recruiting incoming students.  The Department views graduate assistantships as an integral part of graduate students’ education, but maintains a position that student employment should in no way slow the student’s progress toward timely completion of the Ph.D. degree.  Overall the Department of Anthropology at University of Kentucky rates very favorably in terms of graduate student support, when compared to anthropology departments in other large research universities in the US.  

The following time frames for funding includes all funds that come from or are administered through the department of anthropology and associated units including departmental teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and assistantships with different parts of the program (e.g., the Program for Archaeological Research).  While the department attempts to provide graduate students up to the maximum years allowable, there are no guarantees that students will be funded for all of their eligible years. Nor does funding in one year guarantee funding in the next year.  Funding decisions are made on a year by year basis. The department does not currently offer funding for M.A. students.

  • Ph.D. students have a maximum eligibility of 3 years of funding PRIOR to beginning their Ph.D. fieldwork (i.e.: completion of Dissertation Proposal and Ph.D. qualifying exams)
  • Ph.D. students have a maximum eligibility of 1 year of funding upon return from completed PhD research, with the possibility of additional funding for students showing good progress to degree.

Student Employment

Student fellowships (whether RA ships or TAships) require students to work up to twenty hours per week. If students who currently have a RA or TA position on campus also hope to work as a paid employee for another unit on campus they will need to fill out an overload request form. This form should be submitted to the DGS via email by the student's advisor. The advisor should send an accompanying statement that (a) explains how the overload (up to 28 hours) will further the student's career advancement and (b) assesses their current progress toward to degree within the context of the department's sample timeline. The overload request is then forwarded to the Associate Deans in the College and The Graduate School for approval.

Research Support beyond the Department

Students should also investigate funding possibilities outside of the University of Kentucky, especially for the first year. International students, in particular, should investigate Fulbright funding from their home country. The National Science FoundationSSRCThe Wenner-Gren Foundation each offer PhD student funding opportunities and we encourage students to explore these early in their graduate training. Please consult The Graduate School's website for additional sources of funding and this list.

Departmental Awards, Travel Support, and Research Support

Support funding is available to degree-seeking graduate students for assistance with expenses relating to research and conference travel. In addition, the department presents two annual awards that recognize excellence in teaching and excellence in research.

Grants for Travel to Conferences

The Anthropology department has competitive grants for travel to present at professional conferences and for travel related to thesis or dissertation research. Some of these awards are self-nominating, and some require nomination by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The Graduate Student Congress also has travel and research awards for graduate students

Susan Abbott-Jamieson Pre-Dissertation Research Fund Award
In 2001, a generous gift from UK alumna Ashley Judd was used to create and endow the Susan Abbot-Jamieson Award. Named for anthropology Professor Emerita Abbott-Jamieson, who taught Judd in cultural anthropology courses, the fund provides dissertation research grants to doctoral students. The gift is eligible for matching funds from the state's Research Challenge Trust Fund.

The Susan Abbott-Jamieson Award provides support to graduate students in one or more of the following activities:

  1. To investigate the potential of particular field sites for dissertation research.
  2. To explore the potential of archival and other databases and/or archaeological collections for dissertation research.
  3. To visit research institutes, government organizations, and researchers who might, later on, assist in obtaining necessary research clearances and/or facilitate dissertation research.
  4. To engage in necessary summer language training required for dissertation research.

This is a highly competitive award. To prepare the strongest application possible, students should work closely with their advisors on all materials well before the deadline. The number of awards and funding amount varies based on the number of applications. In general, the maximum award is $1000 for domestic travel and $2000 for international travel. Applications for Summer 2022 funding are due by February 14, 2022. Please see the eligibility, application, and reporting guidelines for more information.

The Hochstrasser Scholarship
The Hochstrasser Scholarship was established in UK Libraries to award Kentucky native Anthropology graduate students with a $2,000 scholarship. Applicants should have grown up receiving most of their childhood education in Kentucky and they should work or have an interest in working in a University of Kentucky Museum or in Special Collections (including the Webb Museum of Anthropology). Applications are due by TBD. Please contact the DGS for more information.

The Adelski Endowed Fellowship Fund in Anthropology
The Adelski Endowed Fellowship Fund in Anthropology supports PhD students who have submitted external dissertation funding proposals and passed their qualifying exams. The award provides $3000 in "bridge" funding to enable students to begin their dissertation fieldwork immediately. The funds can only be used for approved dissertation fieldwork expenses (e.g., travel expenses, food, and housing) and the money must be spent in full by the end of the current fiscal year (June 30). Applications are due by February 14, 2022. Please click here or contact the DGS for more information.

The Odear Award for Graduate Student Research in Latin America
The Odear Award supports graduate students conducting preliminary dissertation research, dissertation research, or MA research in Latin America during 2021. Applications are due by February 14, 2022. Please click here or contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information. 

The Donald P. Cliggett International Travel Research Fund
The Donald P. Cliggett International Travel Research Fund supports international research of graduate and undergraduate students in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Applications are due by February 14, 2022. Please click here or contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information. 

Margaret Lantis Award for Excellence in Original Research by a Graduate Student
This award recognizes accomplishment for original research. Students are nominated for this award by a member of the faculty based on a published article or report, a paper presented at a professional meeting, or a paper of publishable quality submitted for a class by the student. Criteria for conferring the award include originality of the research design, effectiveness with which the research has been executed, originality and logic of interpretation, and/or substantive contribution of the research to the study, application, or practice of anthropology.

William Y. Adams Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student
This award recognizes exceptional teaching. A faculty member or any person familiar with the student's teaching effectiveness may nominate students for this award. Qualification for the award should be supported by student course evaluations, faculty assessment of the nominee's teaching, or other evidence of superior teaching. Criteria for conferring the award include evidence of particularly effective teaching and/or originality of teaching methods.

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