Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

For PhD Students in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies: Funding

Resources for scholars beginning their careers in the various disciplines and subjects that make up Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Making Money

Money growing from the ground.

There are various forms of funding available on the University of Illinois campus and beyond to PhD students who focus on Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Many of these are more general, applicable to students in all branches of scholarly research. A few are specifically geared toward those who work within this region. Applying for and getting this funding often depends on where the student is on the road toward their degree. Some fellowships are more suited for students who are still taking coursework, while others are specifically for students who are close to finishing their dissertations.​ We've included fellowships that cover these different criteria in this section, but there are many more out there. That's why we've also included a link to the Fellowship Finder. For some more information and links about research fellowships, particularly for international students, you can turn to the Research Trips section of this guide.



Dissertation Fellowships

These are fellowships for students who are at various stages of their dissertations, some of which would enable them to take courses, and others that are geared toward writing and completing the dissertation.

Writing with a fountain pen.

FLAS Fellowship: For students who are still in the coursework phase, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship offers the opportunity to study a language that pertains to their research, and to take coursework adjacent to their research subject. Students can apply for an academic year FLAS, or a summer FLAS. Often, students will choose to spend the award period studying the language abroad, sometimes doing research as well (though the latter is not a requirement). The fellowship is limited to American citizens or permanent residents.

IPRH Fellowship: The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities offers fellowships for students who are already writing. Fellowships are awarded to projects that revolve around specific themes, which change from year to year. This fellowship is available for all students at the PhD level, but it is particularly suited to students who have just recently attained ABD status, since it's not a dissertation completion fellowship.

IPRH Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship: This fellowship brings scholars together at different levels in their careers (undergrad interns, pre-doctoral fellows, and post-docs) to discuss emerging avenues of research in Bio-Humanities, Environmental Humanities, and Legal Humanities. In addition to funding, scholars will participate in a series of seminars where they’ll be able to discuss their work with other fellowship recipients. While the award is substantial, it requires the work of attending a regular seminar.

Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship: Dissertation completion fellowships are suitable for students who are already far enough along in their writing that they are feasibly able to finish within the next year. To apply for this fellowship, the student must first be nominated by their department, and nominations are limited to two per department. As such, students should check with their departments to see if they’re eligible to be nominated. The fellowship is available for students in all departments and in any field, and students should not apply unless they know they only have one year of work left on their dissertations.

The Fellowship Finder: The fellowship finder database allows graduate students to search for various fellowships and grants that are most suitable to their needs, their research, and to the stage in their careers. It’s an excellent resource for finding funding, exposing students to fellowships all over the country.

Research Fellowships

These are fellowships that specifically enable students to pursue their research abroad, in various disciplines. This is just a sampling. There are many more available, and some are mentioned in other parts of this guide.

Fullbright Fellowship: The Fullbright takes many forms, but the most suitable for doctoral students would be the general study or research fellowships. These fellowships allow students to work with advisors at foreign universities for up to nine months. The amount of fellowships available depends on the regions, country, and city where the student wishes to pursue research. While this is a very well-known award, the amount of fellowships available in Russia, especially Moscow and St. Petersburg, is rather low.

American Councils Research Fellowships: The research fellowships offered through American Councils enable students to pursue research in various countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Southeastern Europe. It's structured in a similar way to the Fullbright, and the research period usually lasts nine months.

Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship: This research fellowship is limited to scholars of 19th-21st century Russia who are members of ASEEES. The grant is ostensibly meant for historical studies, though scholars of any discipline may apply. It is also limited to US citizens or permanent residents.

Perils of research.

Other Outlets

Teaching assistant with a beard.

Assistantship Clearinghouse: Students will more often than not be given TA-ships, RA-ships, and GA-ships through their departments, thereby giving them the opportunity to work within their fields. However, if departmental funding runs short, or if students find that their departmental offerings are unsuitable for whatever reason, they can turn to the Assistantship Clearinghouse to see what other forms of graduate employment are available to them. Postings usually begin to appear in late October and late February.

Often, assistantships will be advertised through the departmental listservs of departments that are tangentially related to the field in which the assistantship is offered, but it's worthwhile nonetheless to keep an eye on the Clearinghouse and check for updates.

College classroom.