Research Funding Opportunities
The Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee administers three funding and research opportunities for current graduate students. Please choose from the following menu to learn more and learn about the application process.
Summer Research Fellowships, Off-Campus Dissertation Fellowships, Dissertation Fellowships and other opportunities are administered centrally by the Graduate School, with internal deadlines in the Music Department early in each semester.
- Kenan Graduate Student Activities Fund
- James and Lilian Pruett Graduate Research Fellowships
- Marcia J. Citron Graduate Research in Musicology Fund
Kenan Graduate Student Activities Fund
The Kenan Graduate Student Activities Fund was established in 2012 thanks to the generosity of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust in support of the graduate students and graduate program in musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill. This fund is administered by the Chair of the Department of Music, acting on recommendations made by the Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee.
The Kenan Graduate Student Activities Fund supports academic activities broadly conceived. The list below of areas that the Kenan Fund supports is not comprehensive but is intended to serve as a guide. Proposals not falling squarely in one of these categories will still be considered.
- Academic events, such as conferences or lectures outside of the UNC Music Research Forum, organized by graduate students. Evidence of support sought from other internal or external sources will weigh heavily in approving these requests.
- Research connected to the completion of a master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, or scholarly publication.
- Conference participation. Preference will be given to students presenting a paper or participating in a programmed event. Requests to attend specialized conferences by students who are not participating in an official way will also be considered.
- Professional development activities. Students must make a compelling case as to how the activity serves their careers in music studies, whether they plan to pursue employment within the professoriate or utilize their graduate degrees in music for other professional opportunities.
- Collaborative scholarly work between students and faculty at UNC-CH and beyond.
- Supplementary support for existing departmental-based graduate student programs to include the James W. Pruett Summer Research Fellowships in Music at the Library of Congress and the King’s College partnership.
The maximum amount of an award will depend on the nature of the activity. The Committee will give priority to students who have applied for funding from other, non-departmental sources.
Airfare must be for economy only and at competitive rates.
Funds to reimburse hotel costs for attending conferences will normally amount to one-quarter the cost of the room for national conferences (e.g., AMS, IASPM-US, SAM, SEM, SMT) and usually no more than one-half for specialized and/or international conferences. Funds can also be used to offset registration costs. The Kenan Fund does not provide per diems.
Submissions to the Director of Graduate Studies (for the Graduate Admission and Financial Aid Committee) must include the following:
- A project proposal (1-page maximum), with a specific statement of the activity’s significance to the student’s research and/or professional development and outcome (e.g., symposium, conference paper, MA thesis, article, workshop, etc.);
- Documentation about funding from other sources, if available (e.g., a copy of the letter or email concerning the award);
- The applicant’s c.v. (2 pages maximum) (for multiple application submissions, one copy of the c.v. is sufficient);
- A detailed budget with amounts for each line item (per diem requests will not be funded).
These four items must be emailed to the Director of Graduate Studies as an attachment in a single PDF.
The Director of Graduate Studies, on behalf of the Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, accepts applications on a rolling basis. It is recommended that applications be submitted well ahead of any relevant deadlines or conference dates. Please be advised that outside of the time of the semester, review of applications will be slower in accordance with committee members’ availability.
Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by the Director of Graduate Studies. Funds will be distributed by the department’s business manager via GradStar upon the notification of the award (see Reimbursement below).
Applications not funded will only rarely be reconsidered, and then only when revised in response to feedback from the Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, as conveyed by the Director of Graduate Studies. Partially funded applications will not be reconsidered for full funding.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria (in no order of priority):
- Academic good standing of the student;
- Clarity, specificity of the proposal including budget;
- Likelihood that the activity will enhance a student’s scholarly or professional development or provide a valuable service to the department, university, profession, or public;
- Relevance of the activity to the student’s course of study.
After the applicant is notified of the amount of their financial award, the department’s business manager will initiate reimbursement through GradStar. Disbursement usually takes one week to process.
Please note: disbursements cannot be made in the summer when graduate students are not enrolled. In the case of awards made during the summer, reimbursement is made at the beginning of the fall semester.
All recipients of the Kenan Graduate Student Activities Fund are required to submit a final report (1–2 pages maximum PDF) summarizing the activity’s outcomes to the Director of Graduate Studies. The report should be submitted no later than the end of the semester (or summer) in which the funded activity concludes. Further applications to the Kenan Fund will not be considered until report(s) for previous awards have been submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies.
The purpose of this report is to detail the importance that this funding has had on the student’s work in the short and long term. Thus, in addition to summarizing the work that was supported by the fund, students should indicate how that work has advanced their progress through the graduate program and has served to prepare them for careers. Students may also be asked to publicly present their funded work on behalf of the Graduate Program in Musicology and the Kenan Trust.
(Updated July 2023)
James and Lilian Pruett Graduate Research Fellowships
Established in 2007, the James and Lilian Pruett Graduate Research Fellowships offer graduate students the opportunity to spend up to two summer months in the Music Division of the Library of Congress or Wilson Special Collections Library, processing archival collections and conducting independent research. The Program is named after James W. Pruett (1932–2014), Professor of Music (specializing in renaissance music) and Director of the Music Library at UNC-Chapel Hill (1962-76), former chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Music Department (1976–86), and Chief of the Music Division at the Library of Congress (1987–94).
These Fellowships are reserved for graduate students currently enrolled in the UNC graduate program in musicology (MA or Ph.D.) and in good standing. Fellows are expected to spend 16–20 hours per week processing collections identified by library staff. For the rest of their time, they are expected to pursue research projects in the Library of Congress or in the special collections of UNC Libraries.
2023 Fellows received an allowance of $6,000 (DC) or $3,000 (NC) to cover accommodation and subsistence expenses. Fellows preserve their customary rights to health insurance and similar benefits through UNC. Current music graduate students interested in this opportunity should be in touch with the Director of Graduate Studies. Applications, which ask students to outline a research project that utilizes one of these collections, are solicited in the spring semester.
- Explore a list of previous Fellows, the collections they processed, and their individual programs.
- “Sleuthing in the Stacks”: The 2013 Pruett Fellows
- Learn more about James W. Pruett.
- Make a donation in support of the James and Lilian Pruett Graduate Research Fellowships
Marcia J. Citron Graduate Research in Musicology Fund
Awards from the Marcia J. Citron Graduate Research in Musicology Fund are granted annually to support doctoral research in musicology. The Fund was established in 2020 thanks to the generosity of Marcia J. Citron (MA 1968, PhD 1971) to provide support for outstanding research conducted by doctoral students in Musicology in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This fund is administered by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in consultation with the Chair of the Department of Music. Applications for funding will be reviewed by the department’s Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee.
The Citron Fund supports outstanding dissertation research. Applicants must be in good academic standing and hold ABD status, that is, they must have completed all PhD requirements, except for their dissertation. Applicants will normally have the option of applying for support in either the spring or summer semester in response
to calls made by the Director of Graduate Studies. Applicants who have exceeded their guaranteed departmental funding will be given priority.
Awards from the Citron Fund are not deferable or renewable and are intended to facilitate full-time study. Recipients are expected to focus on dissertation research and not to undertake more than twenty hours each week of paid or unpaid employment during the fellowship term. There are no provisions for the payment of tuition. Students who are receiving financial aid should contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid for information on how receiving an award may impact aid packages.
An equivalent award from another source may not be held concurrently. Students may elect to accept the award on a non-stipendiary basis (thus freeing scarce resources for others).
Applications will consist of the following:
- Project Description: A brief (1000 character) dissertation project description. Include your name and the project’s title on this page.
- Dissertation Summary: A current dissertation summary of up to fifteen double-spaced pages (approximately 3000-4000 words) that articulates the project’s research merit. The summary should include a detailed rationale of the project (supported by, but not limited to, an assessment of relevant secondary literature) and should contextualize the writing excerpt submitted within an overview of the whole.
- Timeline: A timeline (1-2 pages) for completion of the dissertation, including information about progress to date.
- Justification of Financial Need: A brief (300-word) paragraph that explains your financial need. You should explain costs related to research, analysis, and writing, as well as clarify your current funding package from the Department of Music (e.g. anticipated teaching assignments). Please account for funding you have already received in conjunction with this research project including, but not limited to, pre-dissertation fellowships, language-learning fellowships (e.g. FLAS), and off-campus research fellowships. Please indicate other funding sources to which you have applied or intend to apply.
- Writing Excerpt: A fifteen-page maximum, double-spaced excerpt of writing related to this project. This should not replicate the project summary nor review secondary literature. It should clearly represent your project and demonstrate the outstanding potential of your research. This excerpt should be one that clearly represents or bolsters your overall thesis. Please use endnotes for your citations. The fifteen double-spaced page maximum does not include notes, figures, musical examples, or tables.
Please note that letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, and a bibliography are not required.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Research Merit: The outstanding contribution of the research to relevant scholarly fields as described in the application and as evidenced in the writing excerpt.
- Explanation of Need: This encompasses both the financial need of the project and the need for sustained research time as conveyed in the timeline and other supporting materials.
- Feasibility: The committee will consider the feasibility of the research planned for the time supported by the Citron Fund along with that of the timeline to completion as described in the application.
- Clarity of Presentation: Completeness of the application, polish of the individual components of the application package, and cleanliness of the writing excerpt (e.g. citations).
All recipients of the Citron Graduate Research in Musicology Fund are required to submit a final report to the Director of Graduate Studies (1-2 pages) summarizing the research activities supported by their award. The report should be submitted no more than 30 days after the end of the semester (or summer) in which they receive the award.
The purpose of the report is to detail the importance that this funding had on the student’s intellectual development and dissertation progress. Thus, in addition to summarizing the activities undertaken with the support of the fund, students should reflect on their development as scholars and their dissertation project’s promise for relevant musicological fields.
Students may also be asked to publicly present their funded work on behalf of the Graduate Program in Musicology.
(Updated October 2022)