Rice University

Department of English

Summer Research Funds

Each year the Department of English asks its graduate students to submit proposals for summer research funds. This money, given in advance, supports graduate student travel to perform archival research in the student’s field of interest. The graduate committee will determine the allocation of funding with priority given to students whose research proposals relate directly to their dissertation work and also to those students who have not previously received research funds. Award amounts have varied from $600 - $3000, and 2-5 students receive these awards each year. Students who are not in good standing or not making good progress will not be considered eligible for research funds.

Proposals should include the following documents:

  • 1-2 page cover letter with a detailed description of the planned research
  • one page budget outline specifying all anticipated expenses
  • C.V.
  • progress toward degree form, to be completed by your advisor (students completing their first year should use a member of their PAC)

Students who receive funding are asked to sign an honors pledge stating that the award will be used to pursue the plan of research and writing as outlined in their proposal and budget. Following the trip, students are asked to turn in all their receipts and to write a brief summary of the work that they did and how it was beneficial to their studies.

For 2014-15: the deadline to submit proposals for summer research funding is Monday, February 9.

A sample summary of a graduate student's summer research project:

Jane Smith’s summer research took her to two locations: the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin and the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University in Waco. At the Harry Ransom Center, she was able to examine not only a number of editions of Lewis Carroll's Alice books but also his juvenilia -- including the Dodgson family periodical The Rectory Umbrella -- and an array of his lesser known pamphlets on word and number games. The detailed instructions Carroll provides for his logic games and his family juvenilia helped her to determine and focus her dissertation topic on adult-child collaboration. At the Armstrong Browning Library, she was able to further refine her research interests by examining works by Christina Rossetti and Robert Browning that exist at the intersection of adult and child audiences, such as Rossetti's Goblin Market and Browning's The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The myriad of materials the Armstrong Browning library holds on the Pied Piper she found particularly useful, especially those archival materials relating to a young boy named William C. Macready, Jr., who illustrated Browning's poem. The funds provided to her by the English department ensured that she could spend ample time in both Austin and Waco to take advantage of these resources.


The English Department receives its summer research funding from the Margaret C. Ostrum Summer Research Grant and the Caroline S. and David L. Minter Summer Research Grant.