Department of Sociology Assistantships, Fellowships, and Awards

Most graduate students are supported financially by sources connected with the department. Nearly all research and teaching assistantships, as well as university fellowships, include tuition remission and benefits. Stipends for graduate assistantships and fellowships range from $27,000 to $28,000. Very competitive students who receive fellowships through the graduate school or through the department can receive multi-year enhancement awards ranging from $40,000 to $60,000. 

Each year the department provides fellowships and awards through the generous support of private donors. These fellowships and awards are in honor of departmental faculty that have made extraordinary contributions to our program and to the field of sociological research. Students should review the available fellowships below or contact our Graduate Office (gradsoc [at], 301-405-6430).


Harriet B. Presser Fellowship

Professor Harriet Presser, during her lifetime, established an endowment to establish a fellowship to support a graduate student at dissertation writing stage who is specializing in Population and Gender. We are seeking applications for the academic year 2023-24. This Fellowship is meant to support a graduate student who has successfully completed comprehensive examinations and is specializing in the field of population and gender. The award will cover stipend and tuition/health insurance with no teaching or research responsibilities for one semester, allowing the recipient to focus solely on their dissertation. The recipient must have successfully defended their dissertation proposal; although those planning defend their proposal prior to commencing the fellowship will also be considered. Students should submit the following materials to the Graduate Office (gradsoc [at] umd.eduby Monday, March 25, 2024, to be considered for this award:

  • 1-2 page research summary, with an explanation of how the award will benefit the progression of the dissertation. The description of dissertation research should note how this work relates to both population and gender. 

  • Student CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • Letter of support from advisor 

Presser Review Committee: 

  • Director of Graduate Studies, Kris Marsh
  • Demography Coordinator, Michael Rendall
  • Demography Comps Committee Representative, TBD

William H. Form Summer Research Fellowship (Award)

Dr. William H. Form received the first doctoral degree awarded by the Department of Sociology. This summer, the department will award two Form Summer Research Fellowships for students to engage in research activities with a high likelihood of producing pre-dissertation publications. We want especially to fund students who are preparing manuscripts for submission to journals, with priority given to those that will go out for review by the end of summer.  

The purpose of this summer funding will be to allow graduate students time to work on independent research. We are encouraging students to work on a paper for which they are sole or lead authors. Note that this funding is not for dissertation research, although students working on the dissertation might conceivably request money for a project on which they are working that is separate from it.

Students applying for the Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship will also be considered for this award unless they have already received the grad school award in a previous year. 

Funding decisions will be made according to the following criteria:

  • An evaluation of the likelihood that summer funding would result in submission of a paper to a peer-reviewed journal as well as likelihood of a successful outcome.  Again, we will give first priority to students who will use the summer to prepare a paper for submission to a journal by the end of the summer.
  • An evaluation of the extent to which summer funding would free the student from other activities to focus on developing the paper.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, two students will be awarded $2000 in summer funding.  Students should submit the following materials to the Graduate Office (gradsoc [at] by Wednesday February 7, 2024, to be considered for this award:

  • 1-2 page proposal stating: a) the nature of the work to be accomplished during the summer; b) a plan for its execution; and c) the specific benchmark(s) that this award will enable the student to meet; and d) a clear indication of how the summer project fits within the program’s timetable for completing graduation requirements
  • Student’s CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • Letter of support from the faculty member most familiar with the project addressing the likelihood of the paper successfully being submitted for publication, as well as how funding would benefit the student. 

Recipients of the award will be notified in April. 

Dr. Ramon Henkel Quantitative Research Award

Dr. Ramon Henkel was a professor in the University of Maryland’s Sociology Department. He was an excellent teacher in sociological quantitative methods. As such, the Henkel family has established an award in Dr. Henkel’s memory to be given to a student completing their dissertation using quantitative methods. The award will support research expenses for a student in the dissertation stage. For the 2023-24 year, the award will be in the amount of $4,000. Students should submit the following materials to the Graduate Office (gradsoc [at] by Wednesday February 7, 2024, to be considered for this award:


  • 1-2 page research summary, with an explanation of how the award will benefit the progression of the dissertation
  • Student CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • Letter of support from advisor


  • Student must be ABD
  • Student must have successfully defended the dissertation proposal
  • Student must be using quantitative methods

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

This is a new award that will be given each spring to an outstanding graduate teaching assistant (in years where there are multiple exceptional nominees, more than one award may be given). Nominations may only be made by the instructor of record for a given TA. Nominations may be for performance in any course offered in the previous year (i.e. spring 2023, fall 2023, spring 2024). Nominators submit some basic information and a paragraph explaining why the student should receive the award using this form, which must be submitted by March 25, 2024.

Award criteria include but are not limited to the following:

  • Committed to learning the subject matter being taught 
  • Teaching style engages students; students feel they are part of the learning process
  • Coordinates closely with the professor in planning their instructional activities 
  • Available to the students with flexible office hours and other means of communication
  • When grading assignments, provides clear and helpful feedback to students 
  • Treats students fairly and equitably 
  • Dedication to inclusive teaching practices in the classroom
  • Brings enthusiasm and energy to the classroom
  • Works independently and takes initiative

No student may receive the award more than once. Recipients will have their name included on a new plaque displayed in the Lengermann Conference Room.


UMD Graduate School Fellowships

The University of Maryland Graduate School has a number of fellowships available for students to apply for during various stages in their graduate program. Students interested in applying for these fellowships should review the criteria set by the Graduate School. Students should note that the department sets earlier deadlines than those of the Graduate School since each graduate program may submit a limited number of nominations.

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships:  Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships provide support to outstanding doctoral students at “mid-career,” that is, in the period approximately before, during, or after achievement of candidacy, and are intended to enable students to prepare for or complete a key benchmark in their program’s requirements. Summer Research Fellowships carry stipends of $5,000. 

International Graduate Research Fellowships:  The Graduate School is pleased to announce the establishment of International Graduate Research Fellowships. Successfully piloted on a limited basis in 2012, these fellowships are intended to provide UMD graduate students a meaningful research experience in an international context, broadening the student’s knowledge and perspective. The fellowships take advantage of ongoing collaborations between UMD faculty and their international colleagues, and, through graduate student exchange, also enhance those collaborations.

Wylie Dissertation Fellowships:  Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships are one-semester awards intended to support outstanding doctoral students who are in the final stages of writing their dissertation. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships carry a stipend of $15,000 plus candidacy tuition remission (899 only) a credit for mandatory fees and reimbursement for the purchase of an individual student health insurance plan for the semester. The Graduate School awards approximately 40 Wylie Dissertation Fellowships per year. 

Travel Grants:  The Graduate School administers the Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grant and the International Conference Student Support Award which provide funding for graduate students presenting academic work at conferences and professional meetings. Please click HERE for more information about Graduate School Travel Grants.

Endowed Awards:  The Graduate School administers competitions for four endowed awards: The Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Education, The James W. Longest Memorial Award for Social Science Research, The Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Study, and The Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship. Please click HERE for more information about the Graduate School Endowed Awards.




Last modified
03/13/2024 - 1:02 pm