Research Grant, Scholarship, and Fellowship Opportunities for English Graduate Students

By: Jordan Traut

The first few weeks of the semester are an excellent time to figure out what research and creative projects you want to undertake and apply to have them funded. The spring semester, especially, is a great time to scope out what scholarships and fellowships are being made available for the next academic year with graduation in May.  

In Spring 2022, Graduate Studies is accepting applications for one graduate scholarship and one graduate fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year. Although it is rarely advertised and subject to change, these awards usually pay upwards of $1,500.00. With the application usually no longer than one written page, there is no excuse not to apply.  

Sponsored Programs and University Research offers several research and creative project funding opportunities each semester. The Noonan Endowment Fund and the Student Grant for Research and Creative Activity are the two best suited for students in the humanities. Often if you apply to one, you can modify the proposal easily and submit it for the other, effectively doubling your chances of being awarded enough money to successfully complete your research or creative project.   

As with all grants and scholarships, be prepared to write about yourself and your work. You want readers to understand why you are the best choice for the research project or position; how the funding or fellowship will impact your educational and professional development; and what contributions you hope to make to your field and community. Help them believe in you and what you do.  

Noonan Endowment Fund 

This research grant awards faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students up to $500.00 for scholarly pursuits on or off campus. It is great for paying conference registration fees, museum admission expenses, or theater performance ticket costs. Additionally, the Noonan Fund will cover the cost of your transportation, reimbursing students $0.56/mile for driving a personal car to and from an event off-campus.  

Remember to save your receipts because this grant expects students to pay upfront and be reimbursed upon submission and approval of their receipts using Accounting’s Direct Payment or Travel Request/Expense forms. It is important to note that this grant does not fund lodging and meal expenses but be sure to include those in your final budget justification, so judges understand you have additional expenses beyond what the Noonan Fund covers.  

Applications are accepted in both fall and spring, around the third or fourth week of the semester. Anyone who receives funding from this grant is required to participate in the university’s undergraduate conference, Made in Millersville, in April. However, the presentation can be as short and informal as a ten-minute PowerPoint detailing your project outcomes or as formal as a published article in the Made in Millersville journal. Registration for the conference is free. More information can be found here 

Student Grant for Research and Creative Activity (SGRCA) 

Operating similarly to the Noonan Endowment Fund, the SGRCA grant reimburses graduate students up to $1,000.00 for expenses related to their traditional research or creative projects. Unlike the Noonan Fund, however, this grant will pay for student lodging expenses. Look over the guidelines here 

SGRCA asks students to explain their methodological approaches, theoretical frameworks, and expected learning outcomes in the application. It is critical to connect the research or project to your thesis and overall educational and professional development in a narrative no longer than 3 double-spaced pages.  

As with the previous award, students should expect to be reimbursed for their expenses after submitting their receipts to Dr. Muñoz in Sponsored Programs for approval. Anyone who uses SGRCA funding is required to present at Made in Millersville or publish with the journal.  

McCollough Family College of Graduate Studies and Adult Learning Scholarship 

Using Millersville’s new Scholarship Universe feature on Financial Aid’s website, students can apply for this scholarship online. Full-time graduate degree-seeking students must be able to demonstrate financial need through their FASFA and be in good academic standing to be eligible.  

There is not much written about this grant on the Graduate Studies website regarding the application process and content expectation. Email Lucie Lehr for more specific information tailored to your situation if you are interested.  

Most likely, this scholarship will be applied directly to your semester bill, split over the fall and spring semesters.  

Richard Cecil & Claudia Pennock Todd Graduate Fellowship Fund 

This Graduate Studies fellowship recognizes graduate students with outstanding academic and research accomplishments. The application requires students to compile a brief list of their scholarly achievements and elaborate in a short personal essay (250-500 words).  

The application suggests listing “research, scholarly projects, presentations, or other unique academic endeavors with which you have been involved.” You might consider including accomplishments like, papers that have been published in journals or accepted into conferences, independent study courses where you worked with a faculty member to customize your learning pathways, study abroad or field research experiences, community service, and any creative projects or endeavors. 

Applied directly to your semester bill, the Richard Cecil & Claudia Pennock Todd Graduate Fellowship is renewable for up to two years if the recipient remains a student for the duration of time the award is paying out.