Assistantships, Fellowships, and Benefits

Most students offered admission to any of our programs – MA, MA/PhD, or PhD – will be offered an assistantship package that provides tuition benefits plus a stipend for teaching in the English Department. In addition to departmental support, the Graduate School offers a resource on the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of Graduate Assistants that should be consulted.

Incoming MA students in the English Department who are not self-funded can expect two years of support.  Incoming PhD students can expect 5 years of support. Incoming MA/PhD students can expect 7 years of support (2 in the MA program and 5 in the PhD program).

Writing Center

The Writing Center Fellowship (1 position) is a 10-hour per week (.25 FTE) year-long position that takes the place of one course in English each fall and spring semester. Duties include serving as a TA for General Honors/English 2015HW, “The Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing,” a course which prepares undergraduates for a writing tutor position if they do well in the class; serving as a mentor to new graduate and undergraduate tutors; refining and presenting workshops on plagiarism and personal statements for a variety of audiences; handling other administrative duties, including Fall Graduate Tutor Orientation and observations of current tutors; and helping liaison with the multiple departments that work closely with the Writing Center.

The fellowship will give the graduate student a solid foundation in writing center theory and history, pedagogy, and practice as well as professional administrative experience and training that will be useful to them in future careers both inside and outside the academy.

The Writing Center Fellow should be a strong previous instructor of 1000 and must be available for the August new tutor orientation the week before classes begin in Fall 2019.

To apply, please send a single PDF with a CV and statement of up to 500 words explaining your qualifications and interests to Becca Hayes: hayesrj@missouri.edu. You’re also welcome to contact the Director of the Writing Center, Aaron Harms (harmsaa@missouri.edu), prior to applying to learn more about the position. Interviews will be scheduled in the second half of February. If you are applying for more than one year-long posiition and/or dissertation fellowship, please rank your preferences and include them with each application.

Teaching Assistantships

Most graduate students in the English Department will serve as a teaching assistant for part, or all, of their graduate careers. Teaching in the department provides a measure of colleagueship with other faculty and serves as crucial professional preparation for a career in the academy. MA students are thoroughly prepared for the teaching of English 1000 during their first year in the program. In their first semester, they shadow an experienced instructor of English 1000 for five hours/week and tutor in the Writing Center for five hours/week. In the second semester, MA student instructors are responsible for their own section of English 1000. MA students in Creative Writing sometimes have the opportunity to teach introductory poetry, creative non-fiction and fiction writing courses in their second year. PhD students typically teach two sections of English 1000 each semester of their first year. In addition to English 1000, PhD students teach introductory courses in literature, creative writing, folklore and film. Students may also be assigned teaching assistantships in partnership with faculty members for courses such as the surveys in British and American literature and large sections of the Topics in Literature courses. The standard schedule for graduate students in the program is two courses per semester.

Undergraduate workshops in Creative Writing are assigned to qualified students by the Creative Writing Program. Literature courses are assigned to advanced graduate students on the basis of applications made to a committee consisting of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Departmental Adviser, and the Director of Composition, who acts in an advisory capacity. Eligibility to teach literature classes is determined by good standing in the department as recorded by the DGS.

Composition Program Assistants

The Composition Program Assistantships are two 10-hour per week .25 FTE year-long positions (1 course release per semester) that include working closely with the Director, Assistant Director, and Senior Program Assistants of Composition and with the Composition Committee to provide intellectual leadership for the program, serve as peer mentors for graduate students teaching composition and assist with various tasks related to program operations.

Job duties of the Composition Program Assistants include:

  • helping to plan and deliver the August pre-semester workshop for new teachers
  • teaching a version of the first-year composition curriculum that aligns with program values and outcomes
  • helping to plan and deliver the pedagogical workshops for teachers throughout the year, including coordinating with the Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing on promotional materials
  • holding open office hours for drop-in consultations with teachers, especially graduate student teachers
  • observing composition classes, conferencing with teachers following observations, and writing up observation and conference summaries for teacher and program record
  • mentoring new MA students through classroom shadowing and one-on-one pedagogical discussions
  • coordinating meetings with graduate student instructors to advise and facilitate discussions regarding matters of curriculum, professional development, and pedagogy
  • developing resources for and managing a database of resources related to writing pedagogy and curriculum for graduate students and faculty teaching first-year composition at MU
  • contributing to revisions and updates for composition-related portions of the Department website, including coordinating with Assistant to the DGS and Webmaster
  • helping to plan and facilitate campus-wide, collaborative program initiatives such as the National Day on Writing and the Celebration of Student Writing  
  • assisting with research to support program self-study, planning, and initiatives
  • assisting with program assessment
  • serving on the Composition Committee

The ideal candidates will be available, remotely or locally, for paid work during summer 2019. Composition Program Assistants must be available for pre-semester workshops and meetings beginning at least two weeks before the start of the fall semester (week August 5 for AY 19-20) and teach at least one section of ENG 1000 in the fall semester concurrent with their appointment. Composition Program Assistants must be strong teachers of ENG 1000 and highly organized collaborators who are able to take initiative and proactively complete tasks, research, and projects independently.

The graduate students appointed to these positions can expect to gain substantial hands-on experience in the intellectual and managerial work of writing program administration and program management that will transfer to careers inside and outside of academia.

To apply, please send a single PDF with: a statement of up to 500 words explaining your qualifications and interests in composition, rhetoric, and/or literacy, pedagogy, and/or program administration, including potential contributions to the position and how the position supports your professional goals; a CV; and a sample syllabus to Becca Hayes: hayesrj@missouri.edu. Applications are due February 15 and interviews will be scheduled in mid- to late February. If you are applying for more than one year-long posiition and/or dissertation fellowship, please rank your preferences and include them with each application.

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies

The Assistant to the Director Graduate Studies (1 position) is a 10-hour per week .25 year-long position (1 course release per semester), which requires working closely with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). Duties include taking minutes for the GSC, doing research for GSC initiatives, and assisting in the planning and hosting of Welcome Day for prospective students. The ADGS is also responsible for maintaining and helping to develop the department website. This position includes some work for the department, as assigned by the Chair, such as minor graphic design work (no prior experience needed). This job will provide graduate students with professional experience useful inside and outside of the academy.

The ADGS should be organized, discreet, flexible and able take initiative as well as to carry out assigned tasks. Office, administrative and web/software experience is a plus. 

To apply, please send a pdf with an updated cv and a statement of up to 150 words by February 14, 2020 explaining your credentials and why you are interested in the position to Emma Lipton: liptone@missouri.eduIf you are applying for more than one year-long posiition and/or dissertation fellowship, please rank your preferences and include them with each application.

 

Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing

The Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing (1 position) is a 10-hour per week .25 year-long position (providing 1 course release each semester), which includes working closely with the Director of Creative Writing and the Creative Writing Committee (CWC). One of the primary responsibilities will be assisting with the planning and coordination of the creative writing reading series. Other responsibilities will include assisting with the coordination of the department creative writing contests and the AWP conference, and managing Creative Writing’s presence on social media. This position includes some work for the department,  as assigned by the Chair, such as minor graphic design work (no prior experience needed).

The ADCW must be highly organized and have strong communication skills in diverse areas (person-to-person, print, and electronic media). Some familiarity with other Creative Writing programs, literary journals, journal editing, who’s who among contemporary writers, and simple poster design is desirable. Office and administrative experience is a plus, and an ability to complete tasks by assigned deadlines is important. 

The job will provide graduate students with valuable professional experience and potential networks that will be helpful in future careers, both within and outside of the academy.

To apply, please send a single pdf with an updated CV and a statement of up to 500 words describing your qualifications and why you want the position to Phong Nguyen: nguyenpv@missouri.eduIf you are applying for more than one year-long posiition and/or dissertation fellowship, please rank your preferences and include them with each application.

Benefits for All Recipients of Assistantships

All teaching assistantships and Graduate School fellowship awards include a waiver of both resident and nonresident educational fees, but not incidental fees (health, computing or student health, or departmental supplemental fees), and eligibility for a graduate student insurance subsidy. For information on fee waivers, taxes and fellowships, and student health insurance, please see the following: Graduate Student Support ProgramTaxes and Fellowships; Medical Insurance.

International Students

As stated in Missouri law and university policy, every non-native speaker of English must have sufficient oral-English proficiency before taking on a teaching position. It is recommended that departments schedule assessments for candidates as soon as possible so appointment decisions can be made in a timely fashion. The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) offers many services to assess and develop communication and provide cultural development as a basis for a rewarding and enriching experience in the classroom. For more information, please consult the ITAP website.

Five-Year Doctoral-Level Fellowship and Scholarship Programs

The Graduate School provides $11,000 for each of five years in addition to the department assistantship:

  • William Gregory Fellowships: Awards can be made to doctoral students in any discipline
  • Adeline Hoffman Fellowships: For newly admitted doctoral students, who have and maintain a 3.3 GPA
  • G. Ellsworth Huggins Scholarships: Awards can be made to doctoral students in any field, who must have and maintain a 3.5 GPA
  • Ronald E. McNair Fellowships: The program is designed to support newly admitted doctoral degree graduate students in any field who have successfully completed a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at a university other than MU, who have and maintained a 3.5 GPA
  • Gus T. Ridgel Fellowships: This fellowship program assists qualified underrepresented minority graduate students in any field at the University of Missouri-Columbia

For a complete listing, see the Graduate School's descriptions. Nominations for University and College Fellowships are made by the DGS in consultation with the Graduate Admissions Committee to especially promising applicants to the department. Prospective students cannot apply on their own. 

Masters or Doctoral-Level Fellowship/Scholarship Programs

  • David R. Francis Fellowships: Awards are for graduate students newly admitted into master's or doctoral degree programs in either public affairs or creative literature. The nomination materials for this fellowship program from creative literature applicants must include an original composition. At the master's level, the stipend is $5,000 from the Graduate School with an equal amount of matching support required from the department, either concurrently or for a second year of support, which may consist of a teaching or research assistantship or other support. At the doctoral level, the support is equal to other doctoral programs as described in the above section.
  • Thurgood Marshall Academic Scholarships: This program is designed to assist departments in recruiting and retaining graduate students from underrepresented ethnic minority populations (African American, Native American or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Mexican American). The stipend is $5,000 for one year from the Graduate School with an equal amount of matching support required from the department.

For a complete listing, see the Graduate School's descriptions. Nominations for University and College Fellowships are made by the DGS in consultation with the Graduate Admissions Committee to especially promising applicants to the department. Prospective students cannot apply on their own. 

English Department Fellowships for Incoming Students

The following fellowships are awarded annually by the DGS to incoming students, in consultation with faculty from the appropriate areas of study:

  • Mary-Joe Purcell Fellowship for an incoming PhD student pursuing a degree in seventeenth- or eighteenth-century literary studies, a one-time grant of $5,000
  • Donald E. and Mary Frances Hayden English Fellowship Award in 19th-Century British Literature for an incoming PhD student, a one-time grant of $1,000
  • John and Cynthia Shaw Fellowship in American Literature for an incoming PhD student, a one-time grant of $1,000

These are awarded annually by the DGS, in consultation with the PhD admissions committee:

  • Up to four PhD fellowships equivalent to the standard PhD assistantship to teach three, instead of the usual four, sections per year for four years.  One course release is given during course work and three additional course releases after coursework.  The timing of course releases will be determined in consultation with the DGS.  Students on these fellowships may choose to take two of their course releases in their 5th year; they are not eligible for dissertation fellowships.

English Department Awards for current students

Applications for the awards below are due April 6, 2020. For each award, please submit a pdf with the application materials to liptone@missouri.edu. When required, recommendations should be sent separately by the advisor. All applications will be judged by the Graduate Studies Awards subcommittee .

Best Graduate Paper Award 

for the best paper written by a graduate student in English for a graduate course in AY 2019-20.  We will give a first place ($200) and a second place award ($100). Papers can be revised and will be judged on their potential for publication in an academic journal.  Application materials:  A copy of your paper with title page with your name on it (please do not put your name on the other pages).

English Alumni Scholarship

This award of $1000 can be used to facilitate a graduate student’s progress in the program. Application materials: make a case for how this open-ended award could help you complete a specific task, such as studying for comprehensive exams, ready an essay for publication, preparing to teach a new class (250 words), plus a recommendation from your advisor.

Judith A. and Richard B. Schwartz Travel Award 

Two awards of $1000 per person can be used for doctoral research. Application materials: a description of the proposed research and its relationship to the dissertation (250 words).

Shaw Opportunities for Excellence 

for professional development. This scholarship of $1000 can be used in the US or abroad for such purposes as taking a summer course outside of MU, traveling to an archive, attending a conference or for other professional development. Application materials: a description of the research project, conference, course or opportunity with an explanation of how it contributes to your course of study (250 words) plus a recommendation from your advisor.

The John Richard and Ellen Ryan Dubinski Scholarship

in the amount of $750 for a graduate student in the department at any stage of graduate work, with "preference given to parents returning to college for an advanced degree.” Application materials: a brief statement describing your stage in the program, your progress to degree and noting your status as a parent or caregiver (250 words) plus a recommendation from your advisor.

The Elizabeth T. Barnes Memorial Graduate Fellowship

awards $500 to a graduate student who has had an essay accepted or who has presented at a prestigious academic conference during the preceding calendar year (Fall or Spring 2019). Application materials: abstract of the paper (up to 250 words), brief description of the conference and its significance to your graduate work (up to 250 words)

Department Dissertation Fellowships

Applicants should submit a pdf with a cv, a 2-page letter describing their dissertation project (its significance and contribution) to Emma Lipton: liptone@missouri.edu.  A one-page recommendation from the advisor is also required and should be sent as a separate pdf directly to Emma Lipton. Applications will be judged on the quality of the dissertation materials submitted and feasibility of finishing in the year of award.  Recommendation and applicant letters should speak to both criteria. If you are applying for more than one year-long posiition and/or dissertation fellowship, please rank your preferences and include them with each application.

English Department Dissertation Year Fellowships (3 awards)

These awards provide course releases (one course per semester) in the year students are completing their dissertations.  This award does not provide additional funding. Eligibility: All PhD students who have passed comprehensive examinations may apply. Please list any fellowships you have had in your cover letter, indicating when you have previously had course releases. 

Harry J and Richard A Hocks Dissertation Year Fellowship (1 award)

This award provides $3000, but no course releases, to support a graduate student who is completing the dissertation. Eligibility (as specified in the endowment): “a doctoral student in American or English Literature at the dissertation-writing stage. Preference is given to students with dependents, especially young children.”  Please note that this last is a preference, not a requirement for the award; some past recipients have not had dependents. However, this award is for PhD students in literature only; students in Creative Writing and in English Language and Linguistics are not eligible.

If you are eligible for both the Hocks Dissertation Year Fellowship and the English Department Dissertation Year Fellowship, please indicate which you would prefer.

Dissertation Fellowship Recipients will be selected by the Graduate Studies Awards Subcommittee.

Travel Awards

English Department Graduate Student Travel Awards provide up to $700 of support for graduate students giving papers at professional conferences either in the US or abroad. Three awards are available per deadline of October 1 and February 3, 2020. Applications are competitive since only three awards are available per deadline. Please see attachment for application instructions.

Grad Student Travel Awards

If students are awarded a grant (including travel grants) from an external entity, the MU English department will match that grant up to $500. Graduate students are eligible for one matching grant per fiscal year.

Awards for conference travel are also available from other organizations on campus:

English Graduate Student Association (EGSA)
EGSA Professional Fund

MU Graduate Professional Council (GPC)
Three deadlines a year for travel and professional development funding:
Travel Awards

MU Graduate Studies
Travel Scholarships
(note only 1 travel or dissertation research grant during each grad student’s career at MU)

Teaching Awards

Donald K. Anderson Teaching Award

English PhD students are invited to nominate themselves for the Donald K. Anderson Graduate Teaching Assistant Award  

The English department may nominate one graduate student for this award; please see the guidelines below to be considered for this honor. MU graduate students who taught during the previous calendar year with at least .25 FTE appointment are eligible for this award. However, the award covers your entire teaching career as a grad student at MU. (Note: the eligibility period and the period the award covers are different, so you may submit materials from any semester.) In past years, strong candidates have been in the 4th or 5th year of the program; while any PhD student may apply, those in the early years of the program are less likely to be competitive.

If you wish to be considered for nomination, please submit a teaching portfolio that includes the following (additional items may be included if relevant but no letters at this stage, please):

  • syllabi
  • sample assignments
  • cv
  • teaching evaluations (complete sets from any two semesters)
  • teaching philosophy
  • a letter from the candidate to the department committee addressing your qualifications based upon the Anderson award criteria below.

In your letter, explain to the committee what is distinctive about your teaching.

As stipulated by the Graduate School, candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas:

  • successful performance in the classroom
  • enthusiasm and commitment
  • satisfactory progress toward a degree
  • mentoring to peers and/or undergraduates

The department¹s single nominee will need to provide additional materials at a later date, including letters of support from one or more undergraduate students. Due date for submissions is Dec 2, 2019. The department nominee will be selected by a committee of English faculty and graduate student representatives who are not being considered for nomination, in early December. Nominations are due to the Graduate School in early February.

 

The William Peden Award for Outstanding Teaching of Creative Writing

The William Peden Award ($500) is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student instructor of creative writing.

All current MU graduate teaching assistants with at least .25 FTE appointments are eligible for this award. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas: successful performance in the classroom; enthusiasm and commitment; mentoring of undergraduates; and satisfactory progress towards degree.

If you wish to be considered, please submit the following materials: a 1-page cover letter in which you comment directly on how you fulfill the criteria for the award; a CV; a 1-page statement of teaching philosophy; 2 sample syllabi from creative writing courses; descriptions of between 3-5 assignments; and full packets of teaching evaluations from 2 creative writing courses.

Please send your materials in one PDF file to Phong Nguyen (nguyenpv@missouri.edu).

The winner will be selected by a committee of English faculty and an EGSA representative who is not being considered.

Due date for submissions is April 1, 2019.

 

The Gil Porter Award for Outstanding Teaching of Literature

The Gil Porter Award ($500) is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student instructor of literature.

All current MU graduate teaching assistants with at least .25 FTE appointments are eligible for this award. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas: successful performance in the classroom; enthusiasm and commitment; mentoring of undergraduates; and satisfactory progress towards degree.

If you wish to be considered, please submit the following materials: a 1-page cover letter in which you comment directly on how you fulfill the criteria for the award; a CV; a 1-page statement of teaching philosophy; 2 sample syllabi from literature courses; descriptions of between 3-5 assignments; and full packets of teaching evaluations from 2 literature courses.

Please send your materials in one PDF file to Sam Cohen (cohenss@missouri.edu).

The winner will be selected by a committee of English faculty and an EGSA representative who is not being considered.

Due date for submissions is April 1, 2019.

 

The Gus Reid Award for Outstanding Teaching of Composition

The Gus Reid Prize ($500) is awarded annually to one outstanding graduate student instructor of composition and one outstanding faculty instructor of composition.

All current MU graduate teaching assistants with at least .25 FTE appointments and all faculty with at least a .5 FTE appointments are eligible for this award. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas: successful performance in the classroom, especially related to student engagement and experience and program goals; enthusiasm for teaching composition and commitment to continuing development and/or collaboration as an instructor of composition; and satisfactory progress towards degree, if applicable. Additionally, the award guidelines stipulate that each recipient “should not only be a good writer but an even better critic – one who views the job and self with both discipline and light-heartedness.”

If you wish to be considered, please submit the following materials: a 1-page cover letter in which you comment directly on how you fulfill the criteria for the award; a CV; a 1-page teaching philosophy; 2 sample syllabi from a first-year or intermediate composition course; project descriptions of between 3-5 major writing projects for first-year or intermediate composition; one letter of teaching observation; and a full packet of teaching evaluations from 2 composition courses.

Please send your materials in one PDF file to Cheryl Hall (hallch@missouri.edu). 

The winner will be selected by a committee of English faculty who work closely with the Composition Program.

Due date for submissions is April 1, 2019. 

For information on Creative Writing Awards, click here.