CMCS COVID-19 Relief Dissertation Writing Grants

In order to address the deleterious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on dissertation progress, the Center for Material Culture Studies is pleased to offer a limited number of writing grants on a competitive basis for eligible University of Delaware doctoral students whose dissertations address material culture studies.

This one-time grant for summer 2021 is intended to support expenses associated with dissertation writing. These expenses might include rent, childcare, and other daily costs that must be covered in order to advance writing, as well as basic research expenses, such as the purchase of books, software, and office supplies. This grant may not be used for membership and/or subscription fees, payments to non-UD individuals (such as honoraria for talks or interviews), or travel.

Up to $1000 per awardee is available thanks to the support of the Unidel Foundation. Funding is expected to be used between June 1 and August 31, 2021.  Preference will be given to advanced PhD students who demonstrate an intent to defend by spring or summer 2022. Dissertation projects must prioritize material culture studies. Applications should describe how the pandemic has adversely affected your work and detail other anticipated sources of summer funding. This grant may not be held in connection with other CMCS grants or fellowships during summer 2021. Members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Awardees agree to submit a one-paragraph report (250 words) summarizing their progress toward dissertation completion by December 31, 2021.

The deadline for applications is March 15, 2021. To apply, submit the following materials to with “COVID-19 Relief Graduate Student Writing Grants” in the subject field:

  • a brief statement (250-500 words, double-spaced) about your dissertation and how it contributes to material culture studies. Include a writing plan that outlines your progress to date and a timeline for completion and graduation.
  • a detailed budget that describes how you intend to use the grant support
  • a current CV
  • Please arrange to have your dissertation advisor send a letter of reference to

In accepting a grant the awardee allows CMCS to use any original materials they submit (such as a report and images) for promotional purposes, which could include posting to the website.

Please note the following terms for CMCS awards for graduate students:
  • Funding caps: doctoral students are eligible to receive a maximum of $3500 in CMCS awards (excluding DELPHI fellowships) over the duration of their degree programs; masters students are eligible to receive a maximum of $2000 in CMCS awards (excluding DELPHI fellowships) over the duration of their degree programs
  • Acceptance of CMCS awards: awardees are responsible for checking and confirming their eligibility to accept and hold a CMCS award free of conflict, and concurrently with, any other department, program, or university awards. (For example, the Graduate College does not permit recipients of its Summer Doctoral Fellowships to concurrently hold other summer funding.)