Getting Funded, Getting Published, and Getting Hired

Last updated in 2012

By Janet Gunn

Getting funded, getting published, and getting hired—these are goals shared by most graduate students! The links below may be helpful.

Getting Funded: Major North American Fellowships and Scholarships

Your first stop should be the Awards Office in your own university. Every school has funding opportunities (and deadlines) unique to its students. Every year many bursaries and scholarships go unclaimed due to a lack of applicants. Beyond this, research the following opportunities:

AAR International Dissertation Research Grants - These annual grants, designed to support AAR student members whose dissertation research requires them to travel outside of the country in which their school or university is located, are intended to help candidates complete their doctoral degrees by offsetting costs of travel, lodging, and other dissertation research-related expenses.

American Council of Learned Societies - The American Council of Learned Societies, of which the AAR is a member, is one of the leading institutions supporting scholars in the humanities and related social sciences with grants and fellowship at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels. Students may be particularly interested in the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships.

Social Science Research Council - SSRC fellowships and grant programs mainly target young researchers and junior scholars in the social sciences, yet many of their programs are also open to those in the humanities, natural sciences, relevant professional and practitioner communities.

SSRC offers the Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF), Pre-dissertation Training Fellowships, and Dissertation Write-Up Fellowships (click on Current Funding Opportunities).

The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program supports distinguished graduate students in the humanities and social sciences conducting dissertation research outside the United States.

American Association of University Women - Dissertation Fellowships are available to women who will complete their dissertation writing between the yearly guidelines set by the association. To qualify, applicants must have completed all course work, passed all required preliminary examinations, and received approval for their research proposal or plan by deadline. Students holding any fellowship for writing a dissertation in the year prior to the AAUW Educational Foundation fellowship year are not eligible. Scholars engaged in researching gender issues are encouraged to apply.

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

The Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Fellowship in Women’s Studies encourages original and significant research about women that crosses disciplinary, regional, or cultural boundaries.

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help Ph.D. candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. The Newcombe Fellowships are provided to Ph.D. candidates at institutions in the United States who will complete their dissertations during the fellowship year.

The National Academies Fellowships

  • Administers various fellowships in policy and global affairs, science, engineering, technology, medicine and the humanities
  • Administers the Ford Fellowship Programs include Pre-Doctoral, Post-Doctoral, and Dissertation Fellowships

The Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship Program is designed to support the final year of writing on promising Ph.D. and Th.D. dissertation projects dealing with aspects of American religious life that are related to the concerns of the Louisville Institute.

The Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Program seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $25,000 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.

Although the dissertation topic must concern education, graduate study may be in any academic discipline or professional field. In the past, fellowships have been awarded to candidates in anthropology, architecture, art history, economics, education, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, religion, and sociology, but eligibility is not restricted to these academic areas. Candidates should be interested in pursuing further research in education once the doctorate is attained.

American Philosophical Society: John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship - This fellowship is designed to support an outstanding doctoral student at an American university who is conducting dissertation research. There are two special features to this fellowship.

First, the objective of the John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship is to help remedy the serious shortage of faculty of color in core fields in the arts and sciences, by supporting the Ph.D. projects of minority students of great promise (particularly African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans) as well as other talented students who have a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities and enlarging minority representation in academia.

Second, the John Hope Franklin Fellow is expected to spend a significant amount of time in residence at the APS Library and therefore all applicants should be pursuing dissertation topics in which the holdings of the Library are especially strong, such as quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, computer development, the history of genetics and eugenics, the history of medicine, Early American political and cultural history, natural history in the 18th and 19th centuries, the development of cultural anthropology, or American Indian linguistics and culture. The APS Library's extensive collections in these and many other fields are fully described on their website.

Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR Awards and Fellowships): Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Resources

To be eligible, an applicant will:

  • be enrolled in a doctoral program in a graduate school in the United States (master's thesis research is not eligible)
  • complete all doctoral requirements except the dissertation and be ready to start research for it as early as June 1 and no later than September 1, with approval of the dissertation proposal no later than April 1
  • plan to do dissertation research primarily in original source material in the holdings of archives, libraries, historical societies, museums, related repositories, or a combination
  • write the dissertation and receive the Ph.D. degree in a field of the humanities or in a related element of the social sciences (candidates for the Ed.D, J.D., or D.D. degrees are not eligible)

United States Institute For Peace - The Jennings Randolph program awards Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowships to students at U.S. universities researching and writing doctoral dissertations on international conflict and peace.

The Forum for Theological Education - FTE supports outstanding African-American students pursuing graduate degrees in religion and theology. This work is designed to address the significant shortage of African-American scholars in faculty teaching and research positions. Diversity is crucial to the vitality of the academy and the Christian church.

The McNeil Center for Early American Studies - Doctoral candidates from any PhD-granting institution who are in the research or writing stage of the dissertation are eligible to compete for these fellowships. Any project dealing with the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850 will be considered. Proposals dependent on the use of Philadelphia-area archives and libraries are particularly welcome. Applications are encouraged from students of all relevant disciplines, including African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Law, Literature, Music, Political Science, Religion, Urban Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Resources for the Future: Joseph L. Fisher Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships - Fellowships are offered in support of doctoral dissertation research on issues related to the environment, natural resources, or energy. RFF's primary research disciplines are economics and other social sciences.

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships - The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFG) welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence, aggression, and dominance. Highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence, aggression, and dominance in the modern world.

Dartmouth College: Chavez/Eastman/Marshall Dissertation Fellowships - Dartmouth College invites applications for the Cesar Chavez / Charles A. Eastman / Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellowships from US citizens who plan careers in college or university teaching. The goal of the Chavez / Eastman / Marshall fellowship program is to promote student and faculty diversity at Dartmouth, and throughout higher education, by supporting completion of the doctorate by underrepresented minority scholars (including African-American, Latina/o, and Native American scholars) and other graduate scholars with a demonstrated commitment to advance educational diversity.

Kenyon College: Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship - A diverse faculty benefits students, faculty, and administrators alike by enriching the nature of the education experience for all. We recognize, though, that young scholars who are members of underrepresented groups frequently choose to pursue their careers as teachers and scholars at research universities rather than at small liberal arts colleges. In order to encourage such scholars to consider college rather than university teaching, Kenyon College offers the Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship. The program is for scholars in the final stages of their doctoral work who need only to finish the dissertation to complete requirements for the Ph.D. We hope the experience of living and working for a year at Kenyon will encourage these Fellows to consider a liberal arts college as a place to begin their careers as teachers and scholars. In the past, fellowships have been awarded in: African and African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Biology, English, History, Math, Modern Languages and Literatures (Spanish), Music, Religious Studies and Sociology.

Five Colleges, Incorporated—Amherst/Hampshire/Mount Holyoke/Smith/University of Massachusetts, Amherst - The Five College Fellowship Program provides year-long residencies at one of the member campuses for doctoral students completing dissertations. The chief goal of the program is to promote diversity in the Academy while familiarizing Fellows with the five institutions. The program's intention is to support scholars from under-represented groups, and/or scholars with unique interests and histories, whose engagement in the Academy will enrich scholarship and teaching.

The University of Iowa Graduate College: Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Year Fellowships

Williams College: Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation Fellowships - Fellowships to promote diversity on college faculties by encouraging able minority students to complete the doctoral degree and to pursue careers in college teaching. The Bolin Fellowships are one-year residencies at Williams. At least two graduate students from underrepresented groups are appointed each year. Fellows devote the bulk of their residency to the completion of dissertation work and teach one course as a faculty member in one of the College's academic departments or programs.

Collegium: Fellowships and Grants - A list of fellowship and grant opportunities in religion and intellectual life for advanced graduate students, junior and senior faculty, and independent scholars.

Religious Research Association: The Intersection of Research and Application

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.

University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center: Funding Opportunities in African Studies

McGill University (Canada) Internal Dissertation Fellowships - Dissertation Fellowships provide support for students who are entering the final year of completion of their PhD dissertation, and for whom other competitive fellowships are no longer available.

Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) - SSHRC offers a range of graduate and postgraduate fellowships to citizens and permanent residents of Canada. Canadian students should also investigate scholarships offered by their provincial governments.

Renate Voris Foundation Dissertation Fellowship - This fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student in German or Jewish Studies or related fields in the Arts and Humanities. Students from all universities may apply. Its purpose is to provide financial support to a doctoral candidate during the first or second year of her or his dissertation work. The research must include the intellectual and artistic products of women thinkers, writers, and artists—in philosophy, including Jewish Studies, literature, including the dramatic arts, cinema, art, architecture, or music. Eligible candidates may be of any gender, pursuing a Ph.D. in all disciplines within the Arts and Humanities. The amount of the award is between $10,000 and $15,000 and may be used for any purpose.

Getting Published: Journals That Accept Student Submissions

Many journals are interested in receiving submissions of scholarly work from late stage graduate students. Book reviews are another excellent way for graduate students to begin accumulating a list of publications. The following are just some of the journals that we consider "student friendly." Please bear in mind that there are hundreds of journals, and you should search within your area of specialization for more options.

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

The Journal of the American Academy of Religion is generally considered to be the top academic journal in the field of religious studies. Our international quarterly journal publishes scholarly articles that cover the full range of world religious traditions together with provocative studies of the methodologies by which these traditions are explored.

Axis Mundi

Axis Mundi is an online journal edited and maintained by Religious Studies students at the University of Alberta. Axis Mundi accepts contributions from students in any year of studies — undergraduate and graduate — in Universities and Colleges across Canada. Submissions pertaining to any aspect of the academic study of religion are encouraged.

Epoche: The University of California Journal for the Study of Religion

Epoche is a peer-reviewed, semi-annual journal published by the department of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Epoche is dedicated to promoting cross-cultural and interdisciplinary work in religious studies. To this end, Epoche seeks to publish work from scholars working within a variety of religious traditions as well as to develop a conceptual and theoretical language that can bring together different fields of inquiry within the study of religion.

Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies

The Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies is designed to promote the academic study of religion at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The journal is affiliated with the Religious Studies Program at Utah State University. Our academic review committee includes professionals from universities throughout the Intermountain West specializing in the religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Mormonism, as well as specialists in the fields of Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology of Religion.

JAGNES: Journal of Associated Graduates in Near Eastern Studies

The Journal of Associated Graduates in Near Eastern Studies (JAGNES) is located in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Contributors and editors of JAGNES are dedicated to the goal of increased interaction and cooperation among Near Eastern scholars by presenting cutting-edge research from graduate students across the country.

In line with this goal, the journal includes research in all of the related Near Eastern disciplines, which include but are not limited to: Arabic, Islamic Studies, Cuneiform (Assyriology and Sumerology), Hebrew, Biblical and Judaic Studies, Egyptology, Egyptian Art and Archaeology, Persian, Iranian Studies, Turkish, Hittitology, Comparative Semitics, Syro-Palestinian Art and Archaeology, and Mesopotamian Art and Archaeology. JAGNES also seeks to initiate an interdisciplinary dialog with graduate colleagues in related fields such as Art History, Anthropology, History, Classics, Linguistics, and Political Science. The journal's promotion of graduate work, interdisciplinary approaches, and emphasis on cultural discourse mark its unique contribution to the field of Near Eastern Studies.

Journal of Interreligious Studies

The Journal of Interreligious Studies is a forum for academic, social, and timely issues affecting religious communities around the world. It is designed to increase the quality and frequency of interchanges between religious groups and their leaders. The Journal seeks to build an interreligious community of scholars, in which people of different traditions learn from one another and work together for the common good.

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a web-based, peer-reviewed journal committed to the academic exploration, analysis and interpretation, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, of the interrelations and interactions between religion and religious expression and popular culture, broadly defined as the products of contemporary mass culture. The journal is based in Canada, but international in scope, and open to explorations of religion and popular culture in a variety of nationalities and cultures.

Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

Published by Brill, MTSR solicits articles, notes, book reviews and letters which explicitly address the problems of methodology and theory in the academic study of religion. This includes such traditional points of departure as history, philosophy, anthropology and sociology, but also the natural sciences, and such newer disciplinary approaches as feminist theory and studies. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion also concentrates on the critical analysis of theoretical problems prominent in the study of religion.


NEXT is a peer reviewed, academic journal edited, managed and organized by graduate students for graduate students. Its main focus is the academic study of religion, and as such we chiefly consider papers from within our field. It does, however, recognize the importance of research from all relevant fields in the Humanities, including Sociology, Anthropology, History, Philology, and the like. Indeed, the journal's guiding philosophy is centered on the importance of mutually beneficial relationships. NEXT understands the importance of sharing both experience and understanding amongst the diverse members of the broader field of Humanities, as well as fostering relationships and dialogue amongst graduate students therein, as we constitute the NEXT generation of academic scholars. With this view in mind, this journal is dedicated to providing a space for the voice of the Humanities graduate student in the greater academic conversation.

Religion Compass

Unique in both range and approach, Religion Compass publishes peer-reviewed surveys of the most important research and current thinking from across the entire discipline. Religion Compass guides students, researchers and non-specialist scholars through the accumulating body of literature, and navigates the field by laying out the territory, describing divisions and subdivisions of Religious Studies and identifying the major issues within those sections.

The Student Journal of Canadian Jewish Studies

The Student Journal of Canadian Jewish Studies is an exciting new initiative in the field of Canadian Jewish Studies. This student web-based journal, supported by the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies at Concordia University, provides an excellent opportunity for students to publish work in an academic context.

Vanderbilt Historical Review

The primary author(s) must be an undergraduate, or must have graduated within the past six months. The Vanderbilt Historical Review (VHR), created in the fall of 2015 by a group of undergraduate students, seeks to show the importance of studying the past through its semiannual publication. Topics may cover a wide range of disciplines, including religious, economic, political, social, or cultural history. The editorial board leads a blind review process in which historically accurate, interesting, and creative articles are critiqued. In doing so, the journal provides a forum of academic debate on relevant historical questions.

Getting Hired: Links to Help You in Your Search

Again, check within your own school for departmental and broader institutional resources that may be helpful. Many universities offer a range of professional development and career services, including CV workshops.

Employment Listings is the most comprehensive public record of job listings for credentialed scholars in religion.

The Chronicle of Higher Education is published every weekday and is widely considered the top destination for news, advice, and jobs for people in academe.