Fellowships and Competitions


UPDATED 5/5/21
NOTE:  Since the
Covid-19 pandemic has imposed restrictions on travel and has curtailed our ability to engage in face to face gatherings, the Nicholson board has introduced several new opportunities, for the academic year 2020-21, in order to continue its support of both graduate research, BA thesis research and to encourage intellectual exchanges.


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

Graduate Opportunities 2020-21:

Undergraduate Opportunities:
Updated (5/5/21)

 


Graduate Research Opportunities:

The Nicholson Center announces two Graduate Research Opportunities competitions during the Spring 2021 Quarter**

In order to continue to support Ph.D. research and offer maximum flexibility, given these uncertain times and restrictions on travel, the Nicholson Center announces that there will be two options for applying for graduate funding during the Spring 2021 quarter.

**NOTE: Students may only apply for ONE graduate research opportunity during the Spring (2021) quarter--EITHER the Graduate Digital 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.

 

 


**NEW** Graduate Research Opportunity

Nicholson Graduate Digital Archival Research Grant (non-travel)

Spring Quarter (2021) Competition

DEADLINE: Friday-April 30th, 2021_Competition closed

Students are invited to apply for sums up to and including $2500 to support digital copying of essential archival material. 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 at least two bids to carry out the work.  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 Digital 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.  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.

NOTE: Students may only apply for ONE graduate research opportunity during the Spring (2021) quarter--EITHER the Graduate Digital 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.

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 Digital Archival Research Grant Cover Page
  • Proposal (See details to be included in the call for proposals above)
  • 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.  
  • NOTE: Since students may decide to contact outside/third party services for scanning and copying, please provide at least two bids to carry out the work.
    UPDATE (2/23): Many archives have recently added scanning services. If so, you may include the expenses for such services, rather than two bids.
  • A detailed budget of the costs of copying including any separate fees that may be incurred for digital research should be included.
  • The applicant should include information about people with whom they have been in contact at their proposed archive/s. 
    Update (2/23): Due to lockdowns/COVID 19 shutdowns, please check with the archive mid-late April (2021) to determine if the archive will be open (or when materials might be accessible electronically).   
  • E-mail from the student's departmental Director of Graduate Studies certifying status in the program.

 

 


Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowships (Travel)

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


UPDATED 5/5/21
NOTE:  Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and US policy/university policy concerning international travel, the Center has moved the deadline for the Graduate Research Fellowship competition (Travel) to the end of the Spring quarter (Friday--May 28, 2021).

NOTE: (Updated 5/5/21) The University is continuing the suspension of University-sponsored international and domestic travel until further notice due to COVID-19.

** Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship (Travel) funds, awarded during the Spring (2021) competition, will only be released in accordance with university policies. For the most current concerning university funded travel, please refer to: https://goforward.uchicago.edu/.


Deadline: Spring Quarter (2021): Friday--May 28th, 2021

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 an informal letter or email 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 Britain or in 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 in Ireland.

NOTE: Students may only apply for ONE graduate research opportunity during the Spring (2021) quarter--EITHER the Graduate Digital 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.

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 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 $1500 and $2000 per month of travel.
  • Current CV
  • E-mail 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.
  • Informal letter from advisor (for support periods up to three months). Email sent from advisor is fine.

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 (paper copy or electronic)
  • For those students who have applied for outside funding, please include a copy of any additional funding applications. (Paper or electronic copies are accepted.)

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

Graduate Research Fellowship applicants, ordinarily, should begin their travel within three consecutive academic quarters (including summer) after the award has been made.
NOTE: (Updated 3/3/21) Given the current/evolving COVID-19 situation, Center anticipates that travel is likely to be delayed.  The Center asks that those who receive Nicholson funding keep the Center informed of travel plans/dates by contacting Jeanne Fitzsimmons (
fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu) BEFORE making travel arrangements.
-In order to offer maximum flexibility, and insure 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.

The number of awards given and the amount of each award will be based on the needs of the strongest applicants.

 


 


Nicholson Graduate Initiative Project

The Nicholson Center announces the deadline for graduate initiative project for the 2021-22 academic year.

NOTE: (Updated 5/5/21) Given the uncertainties of travel/in-person event restrictions during the next academic year, the Center wants to offer the maximum flexibility during these uncertain times.  Please plan the event that you hope to have (in-person/via Zoom, etc.) during the 2021-22 academic year. If you need/decide to change your plans/format later, that is fine.

Spring Quarter Deadline Extended: Thursday, May 20th

The Nicholson Center for British Studies invites funding applications from graduate students interested in organizing a British Studies event in the 2021-22 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, across 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 have committed/have been asked for support, via e-mail attachment to Jeanne Fitzsimmons at fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu.

 


**NEW** Graduate Initiative for Digital Gatherings (2020-21)

Nicholson Graduate Digital Gatherings

The Nicholson Center is pleased to announce a new initiative for graduate students to encourage digital gatherings. The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed restrictions on travel and has curtailed our ability to engage in face to face intellectual exchanges that are vital to academic flourishing.  To mitigate and assist in overcoming some of these barriers, the Center will make available awards up to $500 for digital workshops and conferences. We welcome applications from graduate students who are interested in convening scholarly and creative discussions with scholars, artists, and other professionals from the fields of law, public policy, film, media, critical race studies, gender studies, literature, history, area studies, and politics about British Studies. We encourage interdisciplinary initiatives as well as proposals grounded in disciplines. Funds may be utilized for honoraria for virtual speakers or books for online reading groups for University of Chicago graduate students. The Center will consider proposals for pilot projects that will continue into future quarters in the academic year 2020-21 as well as proposals for single events. Please note that the Nicholson Center will support these endeavors for the duration of AY 2020-2021.

Requests for funding may be submitted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year 2020-21.

Please direct requests for support with a detailed budget and proposal to Professor Rochona Majumdar (rmajumda@uchicago.edu).
Please CC Jeanne Fitzsimmons (fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu) on the request.

 

 


**NEW** SPRING (2021) Competition Announced.

Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant (non-travel)--Spring (2021) 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.

Maximum Award: up to $2,500

Deadline: Monday, May 17th--Competition closed

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 2021 and June 2022.

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 our 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 B.A. Thesis Prize

NOTE: In order to be considered for a Nicholson B.A. Thesis Prize (2021), theses must be nominated by the thesis advisor.

Deadline:  Friday, May 7th (2021)--Competition closed

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 graduate between December 2020 and August 2021 are eligible.

Please contact Jeanne Fitzsimmons at fitzsimmons@uchicago.edu or 773-834-3403 with questions.

 

 


 

 

Nicholson Undergraduate Research Grant (Autumn competition)

SUSPENDED-2020

NOTE:  Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this competition was suspended for the Autumn (2020) competition.

**Those undergraduates needing to conduct archival research to complete their BA Thesis in order to graduate between June 2021 and June 2022, please refer to the detailed description above for the:

**NEW** Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant (non-travel)--2021 competition.


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 2021 and December 2021. 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 2021 competition)

SUSPENDED-Spring 2021

UPDATED 5/5/2021
NOTE:  Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this competition was suspended for the Spring (2021) competition.

**Those undergraduates needing to conduct archival research to complete their BA Thesis in order to graduate between June 2021 and June 2022, are encouraged to apply for the newly announced:

**NEW** Nicholson Undergraduate Archival Research Grant (non-travel)--2021 competition.
(see detailed description above)


[Note: For Undergraduate Research Grant (Autumn deadline), see 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 2021 and June 2022.

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

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
  • 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)