Fellowships and Competitions


UPDATED 2/20/22
NOTE:  Due the
Covid-19 pandemic, the Nicholson Center board will continue to offer opportunities for both travel and non-travel research during the during the 2021-22 academic year, in order to continue its support of both graduate (PhD) research and BA thesis research.


The Nicholson Center is pleased to offer the following grants and initiatives for graduate and undergraduate students pursuing topics in British Studies (broadly conceived): 

Graduate Research Opportunities (Spring 2022):

Undergraduate Research Opportunities (Spring 2022):

Other Competitions:

 


**NEW** Graduate Research Opportunity

Nicholson Graduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel)

Deadline Spring (2022) Quarter: Thursday, 14 April (2022)

______________

NOTE: Students may only apply for ONE graduate research opportunity during the Spring (2022) quarter--EITHER the Graduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel) OR the Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel). Students are advised to consult with their advisor to determine which option is appropriate.

______________

Students are invited to apply for sums up to and including $2500 to support digital copying of essential archival material from an archive in the British Isles or Ireland. Proposals must include a description of the project, a detailed description of the archival material to be copied (making clear both the quantity of material to be copied and the material’s importance to the project), and a detailed budget (see details below). All applications must include an email from the student’s departmental Director of Graduate Studies certifying status in the program

Applicants should begin the process by contacting archives to find out about their copying procedures and requirements.  Many archives have lists of people who do digital copying for them.  Applicants should also include some indication that the archive in question is open for digital copying (see below).  We are aware that some archives charge for making digital copies.  Applicants are welcome to include this fee as part of their budget. This competition is open to all graduate students including those who have received support from the Nicholson Center in the past.

Eligibility

University of Chicago Ph.D. students from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Divinity School, and Law School are eligible.  To receive Nicholson funding, you must maintain appropriate registration status.  In all cases, the research funds are to be used before the dissertation defense.

Scope

The Nicholson Center Graduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel) supports doctoral students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Divinity School, as well as students in the Law School (conducting historical research), who require archival research at an archive located in the British Isles (including Ireland).  Research projects that focus on British Studies (broadly conceived) including Britain, Ireland, or the former British Empire, will be given preference. Applications that demonstrate the need to access materials from an archive in the British Isles or Ireland, but whose topics do not necessarily focus on British Studies (broadly conceived), might also be considered by the committee.

Application

Applications must be submitted by the day of the deadline to Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).

NOTE: Application materials should be e-mailed as a single Word or PDF attachment (no larger than 5 MB) to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu.

  • Nicholson Graduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel) Cover Page
  • Three-page project proposal (line-spacing is up to the applicant)
  • Two-page discussion of the materials or data to be examined. This should include a detailed description of the research to be conducted and a shorter description of how this research will contribute to your broader research project.  
  • The applicant should include information about people with whom they have been in contact at their proposed archive/s. 
  • Due to COVID-19 some archives may have shorter hours or other restrictions, please check with the archive to determine if the archive will be open for accessing materials (or when materials might be accessible electronically).   
  • E-mail sent directly from the student's departmental Director of Graduate Studies certifying status in the program

Budget:

  • Include a detailed budget of the costs of copying including any separate fees that may be incurred for digital research should be included.
  • NOTE: (update 2/20/22) Students may either use the in-house services of the archive or an outside research company/individual.
    - Many archives have added scanning services. If so, you may include the expenses for such services.
    - If you plan/need to hire an outside research company/individual (rather than staff from the archive) to access materials from an archive, please include at least two bids to carry out the work. 
  • Please list any other sources of funding that you either have already received, or for which you plan to apply, for the 2022-23 academic year (including the Summer 2022 quarter).

 

 


Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel)

The Nicholson board is pleased to announce the Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel) competition.


UPDATED 2/20/22

NOTE: Students may only apply for ONE graduate research opportunity during the Spring (2022) quarter--EITHER the Nicholson Graduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel) OR the Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel). Students are advised to consult with their advisor to determine which option is appropriate.

** Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel) funds, awarded, will only be released in accordance with university policies. For the most current concerning university funded travel, please refer to: https://uchicago.app.box.com/s/b6egl8ym7rfk2elb4j329e6f9xk343m0 .


Deadline Spring Quarter (2022): Thursday, 14 April (2022)

Eligibility
University of Chicago Ph.D. students from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Divinity School, and Law School are eligible. At the time of application, students who plan to travel for three months or less should have passed their exams, but need not have completed the dissertation proposal. Students who have completed at least one year of graduate study are eligible to apply for funding under certain conditions (see below). Students who plan to travel for more than three months should have been admitted to candidacy.  In order to apply for and receive Nicholson funding, you must maintain appropriate registration status from the time of application through the full tenure of your award.  In all cases, research travel must be completed before the dissertation defense.

Applications from students who have completed at least one year of graduate study (by the date of intended travel), but have not yet passed their exams, may apply for funding for periods of support up to three months. Such applications should include a statement of how travel to the British Isles or Ireland, at this point in their studies, is necessary for the completion of their exams and will also contribute to their dissertation research.  All such applications must include a formal letter of recommendation (digital/PDF letters accepted) from the student’s advisor stating the importance of travel to the British Isles for the completion of the student’s exams.

Scope
The Nicholson Center supports doctoral students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Divinity School, as well as students in the Law School conducting historical research, who require dissertation research in the Britain Isles or Ireland for periods of up to nine months. Although the research projects themselves need not focus on Britain, Ireland, or the former British Empire, those that do may be given preference. All applicants must demonstrate the need to conduct research in the British Isles or Ireland.

Application
Applications must be submitted by the day of the deadline to Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).
Please note that all applications must meet the criteria listed below.

-Application materials should be e-mailed as a single Word or PDF attachment (no larger than 5 MB) to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu.

The application materials include:

  • Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel) Cover Sheet
  • Three-page project proposal (line-spacing is up to the applicant)
  • Two-page discussion of the materials or data to be examined in the British Isles.  This should include a detailed description of the research to be conducted in the British Isles and a shorter description of how this research will contribute to your broader research project.  Please also include an estimate of how long it will take to complete the research.
    Please note: The graduate fellowship committee will judge the merits of each application based on realistic claims about the time needed.
  • A detailed budget. This should cover all expenses for the proposed trip including travel/living expenses, fees, supplies, etc. and the total amount being requested. Please note that the Center generally awards between $2,000 and $3,000 per month of travel.
  • NOTE: (Update 2/22/22) Applicants may also include expenses related to COVID-19 testing.
  • Current CV
  • (Updated 3/22/22) A brief email (emailed directly to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu) from the student's departmental Director of Graduate Studies certifying status in the program, including if the student has passed all departmental exams (in the cases where the student is applying at a point prior to their exams then a statement that the student is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program), or if the research trip is to last longer than three months, that the student has advanced to candidacy.
  • (Updated 3/22/22) A formal letter of recommendation (digital/PDF letters accepted) from the student's faculty advisor (or dissertation supervisor if at that point).
  • NOTE: (Updated 1/14/22) The Center is now requesting that all letters of reference (from faculty advisors) be "formal."  Please let your referees know that "informal" emails of reference are no  longer sufficient. Digital/PDF letters of recommendation (on letterhead) sent from the referee (emailed directly to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu) are fine.
  • Update (1/14/22): Due to COVID-19 some archives may have shorter hours or other restrictions, please check with the archive to determine if the archive will be open for accessing materials during your proposed research trip.
  • Please list any other sources of funding that you either have already received, or for which you plan to apply, for the 2022-23 academic year (including the Summer 2022 quarter).

In addition, those planning trips lasting longer than three months should submit:

  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the dissertation supervisor (emailed directly to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu)
  • For those students who have applied for outside funding, please include a copy of any additional funding applications. (electronic copies).

Students planning trips lasting longer than three months may also be interviewed before final award decisions are made.

Graduate Research Fellows (travel), ordinarily, should begin their travel within three consecutive academic quarters (including summer) after the award has been made.
NOTE: (Updated 2/22/22) Given the current/evolving COVID-19 situation, the Center anticipates that travel is likely to be delayed.
--In order to offer maximum flexibility, and ensure the safety of the fellows, students will be given an extension of the time to use their funds beyond the intended travel dates (or three quarters) indicated in their application if they are unable (or it is not advisable) to travel.

If awarded a Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship, funds will only be released in accordance with university policies. For the most current concerning university funded travel, please refer to: https://uchicago.app.box.com/s/b6egl8ym7rfk2elb4j329e6f9xk343m0.


 


Nicholson Graduate Initiative Project

 


Deadline (for 2022-23 initiatives)Thursday, 14 April (2022)

The Nicholson Center for British Studies invites funding applications from graduate students interested in organizing a British Studies event in the 2022-23 academic year. Projects should be related to British Studies broadly conceived (including topics related to the former colonies), and should be targeted toward graduate students: possibilities include, but are not limited to, conferences, colloquia, bag lunches, and lectures by external visitors.

The Nicholson Center is especially interested in funding events that cross departmental and divisional boundaries, bring at least two workshops into conversation with one another, through an event or conversation or series of conversations that promise to be of interest to more than one disciplinary constituency at the University.

All graduate initiative events funded by the Center are to be planned and organized by the students. The Nicholson Center does not provided administrative support or process expenses/payments. Funds awarded will be transferred to the account of the sponsoring department/Center that will administer/process funds. 

Submit a one-page letter of intent, along with a detailed budget and other departments/Centers that have committed/have been asked for support, via e-mail attachment to Jeanne Fitzsimmons at fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu.

 


For Graduate Initiatives still in need of funding during the academic year 2021-22 you may still apply for funding:

(Updated 2/22/22)
NOTE: Although a call for proposals/ formal competition is, ordinarily, held in the Spring quarter (for initiatives the following academic year), due to the COVID pandemic, the Center will continue to accept proposals for support of graduate-led initiatives for the current academic year 2021-22 on a rolling basis.

-If you are planning an initiative to take place during the remainder of the current 2021-22 academic year, please send your send a one-page letter of intent, along with a detailed budget and other departments/Centers that have committed/have been asked for support to the Director of the Nicholson Center, Professor Josephine McDonagh (jmcdonagh@uchicago.edu). 
Please CC Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu) 

 


 

Nicholson Graduate Digital Gatherings

NOTE: The Nicholson Center introduced this new/temporary opportunity to support face-to-face interaction among graduate students during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Although this is opportunity is not continuing, graduate students may still apply for similar funding:
-for supplementary support for workshops/reading groups (see below)**
-for larger requests via the Nicholson Graduate Initiative Competition (for support for larger conferences/seminars/etc., usually needing a commitment in advance)

If you have questions about which opportunity to apply for, please contact the Associate Director of the Center, Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).

**To apply for supplementary funding for workshops, please send an email with details including the speaker, the topic, and the audience expected to participate in the event. Participation across disciplines (or divisions) is of particular interest to the Center.
- Please send the description of the event, including the amount being requested, to the Director of the Nicholson Center, Professor Josephine McDonagh (jmcdonagh@uchicago.edu).  Please CC Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).

 

 


**NEW** Competition Announced.

Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant
(Non-travel)-- Spring (2022) competition

The Nicholson Center for British Studies is pleased to announce a new opportunity to support BA thesis research in British Studies (broadly conceived).   This grant will allow students, who need research materials located in an archive/institution in the British Isles (including Ireland) to go obtain them without needing to travel.

Deadline Spring (2022) competition: Thursday, 21 April (2022)

Maximum Award: up to $2,500
_________________________________________________________________________

Eligibility
University of Chicago undergraduate students from the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions and the New Collegiate Division are eligible. Students should be completing their degree
between December 2022 and June 2023.

Scope
The Nicholson Center is happy to support a senior project proposed by any Humanities, Social Sciences, or New Collegiate Division undergraduate who is within a year of graduating, provided that the student requires research – whether in the form of archival or visual, or oral materials – from the British Isles (or Ireland) to complete his/her senior thesis.  Applicants need not have the British Isles themselves as the subject of their research. We will happily support work on Africa, South Asia, East Asia, North America, the Middle East, or the West Indies that requires materials from an archive located in the British Isles. Research projects about Ireland, or materials from an archive located in Ireland, also meet the requirements.

Application

All applicants are encouraged to work closely with a faculty member (lecturer or preceptor) in determining access to archives, availability of materials and budgeting.

Applications must be submitted no later than the day of the deadline to Jeanne Fitzsimmons, (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).

Please note that all applications must meet the criteria listed below.

Your application materials should be e-mailed as a single Word or PDF attachment to Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).
[Note: If you are having difficulty combining the PDF of your academic history/electronic transcript with the rest of your electronic application, you may send your transcript as a separate PDF but this must be ATTACHED TO THE SAME EMAIL as the one containing the rest of your electronic application materials and we will combine the files.]

The application materials include:
-Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel) Cover Sheet
 -2-page statement of purpose, which includes a description of the unique materials to be examined in the British Isles
-An estimate of the funds needed to complete the project
[NOTE: Consult with a faculty member/lecturer/preceptor from the University of Chicago who is your advisor and also the archive/archivist at the institution in the British Isles (including Ireland), where the materials are located, to determine this estimate]
-Unofficial Transcript (for electronic application copy submitted, you may send  a PDF of your academic history or electronic transcript)
-Letter of recommendation from a University of Chicago faculty member, lecturer, preceptor or academic advisor who is familiar with the student's project (to be emailed directly to Jeanne Fitzsimmons [fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu])

If applicants have any questions about eligibility/ the application process, please contact Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).

 


 

 

Nicholson Undergraduate Research Grant
(Travel)--Autumn (2022) competition

Deadline Autumn (2022) competition: TBA

** Nicholson Undergraduate Research Grant (Travel) funds, awarded, will only be released in accordance with university policies. For the most current concerning university funded travel, please refer to: https://uchicago.app.box.com/s/b6egl8ym7rfk2elb4j329e6f9xk343m0 .

**NOTE: Students may only apply for ONE undergraduate research opportunity during the Autumn (2021) quarter--EITHER the Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant (Non-travel) OR the Nicholson Undergraduate Research Grant (Travel). Students are advised to consult with their advisor to determine which option is appropriate.


Eligibility
University of Chicago undergraduate students from the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions and the New Collegiate Division are eligible.  Thesis projects Students should be completing their degree between June 2023 and December 2023.

Applicants need not have the British Isles themselves as the subject of their research. The Center will also support work on Africa, South Asia, East Asia, North America, the Middle East, or the West Indies that requires substantial research in the British Isles.  Research projects on Ireland also meet our requirements. Priority will be given to applicants who can demonstrate the need to travel to archives to procure copies of archival materials, but other research expenses will also be considered.

Scope
The Nicholson Center is happy to support a senior project proposed by any Humanities, Social Sciences, or New Collegiate Division provided that the student requires research – whether in the form of archival, visual, or oral materials – to complete his/her senior thesis. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their need for additional research funding in order to complete their senior project.

Application

Applications must be submitted via email no later than by the day of the deadline to Jeanne Fitzsimmons,  (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu, 773-834-3403). Please note that all applications must meet the criteria listed below.

  • Applicants should submit an electronic copy of the application.
  • Electronic copies should be e-mailed as a single Word or PDF attachment (no larger than 5MB) to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu.

The application materials include:

  • Nicholson Undergraduate Research Grant Cover Sheet
  • Letter of recommendation from a University of Chicago faculty member, lecturer or academic advisor who is familiar with the student's project (hard copy or electronic copy sent directly to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu).  This recommendation can be informal and in the form of an email sent directly to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu
  • 2-page statement of purpose, which includes a description of the unique materials to be examined or other research needs.
  • An estimate of the funds needed to complete the project
  • Unofficial Transcript (hard copy or PDF)

 

 

 

 


Nicholson Undergraduate Travel Grant-- Spring (2022) competition

(Updated 2/20/22)

Deadline Spring (2022) Quarter: Thursday, 21 April (2022)

**Those undergraduates needing to conduct archival research to complete their BA Thesis but not needing/willing to travel, are encouraged to apply a newly announced:

**NEW** Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant (non-travel) competition.
(see detailed description above)


Eligibility
University of Chicago undergraduate students from the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions and the New Collegiate Division are eligible. Students should be completing their degree between December 2022 and June 2023.

Scope
The Nicholson Center is happy to support a senior project proposed by any Humanities, Social Sciences, or New Collegiate Division undergraduate who is within a year of graduating, provided that the student requires research – whether in the form of archival, visual, or oral materials – in the British Isles to complete his/her senior thesis. Applicants need not have the British Isles themselves as the subject of their research. We will happily support work on Africa, South Asia, East Asia, North America, the Middle East, or the West Indies that requires substantial research in the British Isles. Research in and projects on Ireland also meet our requirements. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their need to conduct research on their senior project in the British Isles.

Application

All applicants are encouraged to work closely with a faculty member (lecturer or preceptor) in determining access to archives, availability of materials and budgeting.

Applications must be submitted no later than the day of the deadline to Jeanne Fitzsimmons,  (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu). 

Please note that all applications must meet the criteria listed below.

  • Your application materials should be e-mailed as a single Word or PDF attachment (no larger than 5MB) to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu.
    [Note: If you are having difficulty combining the PDF of your academic history/electronic transcript with the rest of your electronic application, you may send your transcript as a separate PDF but this must be ATTACHED TO THE SAME EMAIL as the one containing the rest of your electronic application materials and we will combine the files.]

The application materials include:

  • Nicholson Undergraduate Travel Grant Cover Sheet
  • 2-page statement of purpose, which includes a description of the unique materials to be examined in the British Isles.
  • An estimate of the funds needed to complete the project
    NOTE: Consult with a faculty member/lecturer/preceptor from the University of Chicago who is your advisor and also the archive/archivist at the institution in the British Isles (including Ireland), where the materials are located, to determine this estimate.
    Applicants may may include expenses related to COVID-19 testing.
  • Unofficial Transcript (for electronic application copy submitted, you may send  a PDF of your academic history or electronic transcript)
  • Letter of recommendation from a University of Chicago faculty member, lecturer or academic advisor who is familiar with the student's project (hard copy or electronic copy sent directly to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu)

 

 


Nicholson B.A. Thesis Prize

NOTE: In order to be considered for a Nicholson B.A. Thesis Prize (2022), theses must be nominated by the thesis advisor.

Deadline:  Thursday, 12 May (2022)

The Nicholson Center for British Studies is pleased to announce a $250 prize for the best senior B.A. thesis based on the use of primary materials in the area of British Studies in any concentration or discipline. For the purposes of this competition, British Studies is broadly defined to include the British Isles or any of its former colonies. In the latter case, topics should involve the former colonial relationship in some way.

Applicants should submit a copy of their senior thesis via email, and should include their name, department, advisor's name, expected graduation date, phone number, and e-mail address on the title page.  The thesis should be e-mailed as Word or PDF attachment (no larger than 5MB) to fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu by  the day of the deadline. 

The winner will receive a check for $250. University of Chicago seniors who will (or have) graduate(ed) between August 2021 and June 2022 are eligible.

Please contact Jeanne Fitzsimmons at fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu with questions.