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 is a 10-hour per week .25 year-long position that takes the place of one course in English each 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, presenting, and evaluating workshops on plagiarism, personal statements, argumentation, and research strategies 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, 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 2018. Preference will be given to advanced graduate students.

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. Applications are due February 15.

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 Staff

Comp Staff is a 10-hour per week .25 year-long position which includes working closely with the Director and Assistant Director of Composition and the Composition Committee. Comp Staff members support professional development, evaluation, assessment, and administrative functions of the Composition Program. Duties include attending bi-weekly staff meetings and monthly Composition Committee meetings, mentoring new instructors one-on-one and in peer mentor groups, observing ENG 1000 instructors, planning and facilitating pedagogical workshops, and contributing to program research, assessment, and evaluation. Comp Staff members may also contribute to maintaining and updating the Composition portions of the department website. Comp Staff must be available for orientation and pre-semester workshops beginning two weeks before the start of the fall semester (August 6 for AY18-19) and teach at least one section of ENG 1000 in the fall semester concurrent with their Comp Staff appointment. 

This job will provide extensive experience in writing program administration and program management, potentially including experience in program evaluation and assessment, that will be helpful in careers inside and outside of academia. 

Comp Staff members must be strong instructors of ENG 1000 and highly organized collaborators who are also able to proactively complete tasks and projects independently. Comp Staff must be available for orientation and pre-semester workshops beginning two weeks before the start of the fall semester (August 6 for AY18-19) and teach at least one section of ENG 1000 in the fall semester concurrent with their Comp Staff appointment. 

To apply, please send a PDF with a CV, two sample syllabi, and statement of up to 500 words explaining your qualifications and interests to Becca Hayes: hayesrj@missouri.edu. Applications are due February 15.

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies and Webmaster

The Assistant to the Director Graduate Studies (ADGS) is a 10-hour per week .25 year-long position which includes 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, assisting in the planning and hosting of Welcome Day for prospective students, and helping to keep the DGS informed about graduate student concerns.  The ADGS is also responsible for maintaining and updating the graduate student handbook and the department website, including the department calendar.

This job will provide graduate students with professional experience useful to them as future faculty members, and will look good on a cv.

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 explaining your credentials and why you are interested in the position to Emma Lipton: liptone@missouri.eduApplications are due February 15.

 

Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing

The Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing is a 10-hour per week .25 year-long position (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.

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 Prahlad: prahlada@missouri.edu. Applications are due February 15.

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 5. 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 2016-17 or 2017-18.  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 

for travel to study in England. Two awards of $1000 per person can be used to take courses, travel to an archive or attend a conference abroad or for other professional development.  Application materials: a description of the research project, conference, course or opportunity (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 2017). 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

These dissertation awards are given annually by the DGS, in consultation with the Graduate Studies Awards Committeer:

  • Three Dissertation Fellowships which provide a 1-1 teaching load to students for the year in which they are completing their dissertations
  • Harry J and Richard A Hocks Dissertation Fellowship to support a doctoral student in American or English Literature at the dissertation-writing stage. Preference is given to students with dependents, especially young children, $3,000

Applications for dissertation year fellowship awards for AY 2018-19 are due March 2.  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.

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 1. 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 aim to match those funds. This is limited to $1000 per graduate student 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)

Donald K. Anderson Teaching Award

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 November 26, 2018. The department nominee will be selected by a committee of English faculty and graduate student representatives who are not being considered for nomination, around December 3rd. Nominations are due to the Graduate School in early February.

For information on Creative Writing Awards, click here.