The Department of Sociology offers various research and travel awards for graduate students, as well as annual end of the year awards (see the tabs below). The Graduate School also offers funding resources and several times a year releases calls for applications for dissertation completion and other fellowships. We also encourage students to apply for external funding. Please make sure to keep a close eye on the graduate student listserv as well as the Grad School Awards & Grants website for announcements of department, Graduate School, and external funding opportunities.

Read about the 2020 recipients of the Racial/Ethnic Inequality Research Awards

Travel Awards – throughout the year -- each student gets up to $750/year (starting 2020). Send email to Carrie Bagli to request. Must be spent by June 30.

Research Awards – Call for applications goes out September 1 and January 15 – Up to $1500 per student per year. In terms of allowable expenses, our only firm constraint is that the funds requested must be justified as research expenditures. Money may be requested for expenses such as fieldwork expenses, incentives for research project participants, purchasing data sets, computer hardware (not computers) or software, transcription, research-related travel for training or collaboration or travel to study sites, and more. Please note that previous expenses cannot be reimbursed with these funds. For instance, the department cannot provide reimbursement for IT purchases or payment of research participants prior to the date funding is awarded. Must be spent by June 30.  

Travel Grant Application

IT FUND – throughout the year – call for applications will go out in the beginning of each semester. Students may request funds for IT needs (primarily software) related to current classes. Send email to Carrie Bagli to request. Must be spent by June 30.  

Bushee Award (Endowed Award)
Available throughout the year, but reminder will be sent out at the beginning of each semester. This fund supports additional conference or research travel, methods workshop – up to $1000. The travel should be for professional development and the priority will be for more advanced students. Students should write 1-2 paragraphs justifying their request and budget. Send email to Carrie Bagli to request.

Summer Funding

The Sociology Department’s graduate committee invites you to apply for a graduate hourly research assistant (RA) award for one of three purposes:  

  1. Research conducted jointly by a sociology Ph.D. student and a sociology faculty member (or, with lower priority, a faculty member not in CU-Boulder Sociology). The graduate student, the faculty member, or both equally may be the lead author of the project. Higher priority is given to research that is expected to result in a coauthored journal article or conference paper or a proposal that can be submitted for external grant funding.  
  2. Third-year paper research, for students in the first- or second-year cohorts. Students may request summer funding for one time only.  
  3. Dissertation writing, with higher priority given to students who need to complete substantial summertime dissertation work in order to search for jobs in the coming academic year. Students who have never received dissertation funding through this mechanisms have higher priority. 

    All sociology Ph.D. students are eligible, and awards will be granted to as many projects as can be funded with existing resources. You can only apply for one of the three purposes. For summer 2021, each award will provide up to $1488 of hourly RA support for the Ph.D. student. For students who are eligible for federal work study, this will cover the employer portion of your anticipated $3939 work study budget, so in that case your actual total pay would be $3939. The pay rate will be $30.18/hour, and the student and faculty research collaborator or advisor will be responsible for tracking and approving the student’s work hours. Students are equally eligible for the $1488 award whether or not they have been granted work study funds. International students who receive the award will receive more than $1488 because they are not work study eligible. Note that these awards are based on hourly pay and therefore do not cover additional benefits or tuition stipends. Graduate students with other sources of summer support are eligible to apply for these funds, but students without other sources of funding will receive preference. The student will be required to file a progress report by the end of 2021 that includes information on any products (presentations, manuscripts, etc.) that have resulted from the funding. 

Other Summer Awards

Dakin Research Award (Endowed Award)
The call for applications for this award will go out in March, with aim of making this award available for summer research/writing. $2000 (2 awards each year). To support ongoing research and writing related to peace, inter-cultural understanding, conflict resolution, amelioration of important social problems. Students should submit a 1 page essay discussing how their research or writing contributes to the issues above. Priority will be students working on dissertations.

Racial/Ethnic Inequalities Research Award (RIRA)
This new departmental award will support graduate students of color as well as graduate student research on race/ethnicity. Award can be used for payments to interviewees, secondary source analysis, developing literature reviews, fielding an online survey, costs of interview transcription, and more. Research may be done by individuals, or collaboratively between 2 or 3 students. Priorities for RIRA funding will be 1) high quality research proposals by students of color (on any topic) and 2) high quality research on racial inequalities. In summer 2020, individual awards may be up to $2000, groups of 2 students may receive up to $3000, and groups of 3 students may receive up to $4500. We hope to be able to offer this award every summer, depending on availability of department funds. This award will be paid as a stipend.

The Department of Sociology, through the Graduate Committee, offers four annual awards for Graduate Student Scholarship and Teaching. Deadline for submission of materials is announced each spring. The applications are evaluated by committees comprising two faculty and one graduate student.

1. Outstanding Research Paper Award: $750.00. Papers should be a maximum of 5,000 words (approximately 25 pages) plus citations, ASR format, prepared for blind reviews. Co-authored papers, published papers, or papers submitted for publication are NOT eligible. One submission per person.

  • 2021/22 - Jocelyn West
  • 2020/21 - Andrea Tilstra & Carrie Seay Fleming 
  • 2019/20 - Laurent Cilia & Michael Vinneau
  • 2018/19 - Bertha Bermudez Tapia
  • 2017/18 - Jennifer Pace
  • 2016/17 - Cristen Dalessandro
  • 2015/16 - Stephanie Bonnes
  • 2014/15 - Jessica Luna
  • 2012/13 - Nitika Sharma
  • 2011/12 - Bethany Everett
  • 2010/11 - Naghme Naseri
  • 2009/10 - Patrick O'Brien
  • 2008/09 - Justin Denney 
  • 2007/08 - Marc Eaton 
  • 2006/07 - Colter Ellis
  • 2005/06 - Marshall Smith 
  • 2004/05 - Emmanuel David 
  • 2003/04 - Jeannette Sutton 
  • 2002/03 - Lori Peek 
  • 2001/02 - Patrick Gillham

2. Ralph and Barbara Dakin Award (Endowed): $1000. For a graduate student doing "outstanding scholarship that contributes to peace, inter-cultural understanding, resolution of conflict, or amelioration of important social problems." The Award is made by the Faculty, Department of Sociology. Any member of the faculty can nominate a student. Students wishing to nominate themselves or another student should ask a member of the faculty to write the nomination letter.

  • 2021/22 - Tracy Fehr and Dan Simon
  • 2020/21 - Bertha Bermudez-Tapia & Kim Truong-Vu
  • 2019/20 - Juhee Woo
  • 2017/18 - Danielle Denardo
  • 2016/17 - Jessie Luna
  • 2015/16 - Kathryn Nowotny
  • 2014/15 - Stephanie Bonnes
  • 2012/13 - Tracy Deyell
  • 2011/12 - Brandi Gilbert 
  • 2009/10 - Devon Thacker
  • 2008/09 - Liz Morningstar
  • 2007/08 - Eric Bonds 
  • 2006/06 - Brian Klocke 
  • 2005/06 - Duke Austin 
  • 2004/05 - Jill Williams 
  • 2003/04 - Hillary Potter 
  • 2002/03 - Marci L. Eads 
  • 2001/02 - Ellis Jones, Ross Haenfler and Brett Johnson

3. Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award: For a student with outstanding FCQs and GPA. $1000. This is not the same as the Graduate School's GPTI Award.

  • 2021/22 - Jasmine Suryawan
  • 2020/21 - Asa Iacobucci
  • 2019/20 - Hillary Steinberg
  • 2015/16 - Adelle Monteblanco
  • 2014/15 - Josh Lepree
  • 2012/13 - Zachary Owens
  • 2011/12 - Kari Alexander
  • 2010/11 - Zek Valkyrie
  • 2009/10 - Kristina Kahl
  • 2008/09 - Angel Hoekstra 
  • 2007/08 - Courtney McDonald 
  • 2005/06 - Ali Hatch 
  • 2004/05 - Katherine Sirles 
  • 2003/04 - Robert Duran 
  • 2002/03 - Brett Johnson 
  • 2001/02 - Jeffrey London

General Awards

Betsy Moen “Walk the Talk” Award: $750. Nominees should be self-identified feminists seeking to improve the lives of women through their research, activism, and/or teaching. You may nominate yourself or someone else to receive this recognition. Faculty or staff may be honored with the award; however only students of the University of Colorado at Boulder may be given the cash award.

  • 2021/22 - Melissa Villarreal
  • 2020/21 - Marley Olson 
  • 2019/20 - Jax Gonzalez
  • 2019/20 - Vanessa Roberts
  • 2018/19 - Bertha Bermudez Tapia
  • 2017/18 - Stephanie Bonnes
  • 2016/17 - Nnenia Campbell
  • 2015/16 - Nnenia Campbell
  • 2014/15 - Adelle Monteblanco
  • 2012/13 - Coleen Hackett and Elizabeth Whalley
  • 2011/12 - Tamara Williams
  • 2010/11 - Mary Robertson
  • 2009/10 - Leith Lombas
  • 2008/09 - Christie Sennott
  • 2007/08 - Emmanuel David 
  • 2006/07 - Devon Thacker 
  • 2005/06 - Ali Hatch

*Feminist Scholars in Sociology is a collective of researchers and teachers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, interested in exploring, sharing, and supporting feminist theory, methodology, and activism.

Wilson Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award (Endowed):

$500 (2 awards). Teaching Assistant award. Nominations by faculty or co-TA.  2-4 paragraph nomination letter.

  • 2021/22 - Ian Whalen
  • 2020/21 - Theresa Edwards Capen

SPECIAL FOR 2020/2021

Announcements will go out in January.

One Semester Graduate Research Fellowship (applications due 2/28/20)—1 student

5 hours/week Collaborative Research with Faculty (applications due 3/30/20) – 2-3 students

(Future awards depend on department funding)


JUST FYI… Graduate School Awards include:

GPTI Teaching Excellence Awards

Lead Graduate Teacher Program

Summer Dissertation Award

Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Lynch and Young Awards

Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant

Graduate School Travel Grants

UGGS Travel Grants

The CARTSS Graduate Student Award

AAUW Fellowships and Grants
AAUW (formerly American Association of University Women): 
Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowships: $30,000 
Dissertation Fellowships: $20,000.
Applications available: August. 1 – November 15.
This organization also funds short-term/summer research with up to $6,000 that can be applied for in spring.
AcademyHealth/NCHS Health Policy Fellowship
AcademyHealth/National Center for Health Statistics. Deadline is typically in January. Applicant proposals should demonstrate knowledge of NCHS data selected for study. Proposals should be sufficiently specific to show adequate understanding of the surveys in relation to the research question and feasibility of completing the study within a 13 month time frame. 

ASA Congressional Fellowship
The Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy. Deadline: February 1. Amount: $30,000 Ph.D. Level Graduate Internship for 4-6 months, work as a staff member on a congressional committee or in a congressional office, or as a member of a congressional agency.  

ASA Grants
Various pre- and post-doctoral grants and fellowships for research or teaching awarded through the American Sociological Association. See page for dates and details. 

Ford Foundation Dissertation Diversity Fellowships
Through its Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

  • Eligibility to apply for a Ford fellowship is limited to:
  • All citizens or nationals of the United States regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation,
  • Individuals with evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors or other designations),
  • Individuals committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.

Please visit their site for information regarding level-specific eligibility requirements, stipends, and other program information for each of the three levels of the Fellowship program.

Fulbright Scholars main page
Funding to conduct research abroad.

Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFG) welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences and the humanities that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence, aggression, and dominance. Highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence, aggression, and dominance in the modern world. Ten or more dissertation fellowships are awarded each year to individuals who will complete the writing of the dissertation within the award year. These fellowships of $15,000 each are designed to contribute to the support of the doctoral candidate to enable him or her to complete the thesis in a timely manner, and it is only appropriate to apply for support for the final year of Ph.D. work. Applications are evaluated in comparison with each other and not in competition with the postdoctoral research proposals. Applicants may be citizens of any country and studying at colleges or universities in any country. For information, please visit their site.

The Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research
Directed by David Mechanic, this Rutgers-based center has postdoctoral opportunities for research and training in mental health research. The National Institute of Mental Health provides funding for the program. Trainee stipends range from $38,496 to $53,112 per year, depending on years since completing of the doctorate. The major foci of the program are mental health services research and psychosocial factors in mental health and illness. Participating disciplines include sociology, psychology, psychiatry, history, economics, anthropology, public policy, and social work. Two-year appointments starting June 2012 are available. Further information on the Institute and training program faculty is available on their site. The program seeks to promote diverse approaches to mental health research and encourages applicants from backgrounds underrepresented in mental health services research and from persons with disabilities who can bring varying perspectives to mental health issues. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in hand at time of application, which is usually due in the spring (April). Only citizens, non-citizen nationals, or persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence are eligible for these positions. 

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation 
This organization has an outstanding fellowship opportunity for individuals (PhD or MD graduate-level training completed in the past six years) with a strong quantitative background to conduct in-depth, methodological research on a variety of global health topics with the mentorship of faculty and senior researchers 

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program
This program provides fellowships to students of superior academic ability—selected on the basis of demonstrated achievement, financial need, and exceptional promise—to undertake study at the doctoral and Master of Fine Arts level in selected fields of arts, humanities, and social sciences. Please visit their site for more information. 

Mellon\ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships
$25,000 + research fees (up to $3k) + tuition (up to $5k).
Stipend: $25,000, plus funds for research costs of up to $3,000 and for university fees of up to $5,000.Applications due in Fall (usually November) with Spring notification.

The National Academies Fellowships Office of Policy & Global Affairs
The Fellowships Office (FO) of the National Academies administers predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior fellowship awards on behalf of government and private/foundation sponsors; these fellowship awards play an important role in the career development of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and scholars for the academic, federal, industrial and international workforce. Current opportunities are available on their site.

National Institute of Health

National Institute of Justice

  • NIMH Grant page
    National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a part of the NIH.
  • ASA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant
    For information, please visit their site
  • NSF Sociology Doctoral Dissertation Grants
    Due dates: Feb 15, Oct 15, 12-month grants, in amounts of $10,000 or less. 
  • Open Society Fellowship
    Granted through the Soros Foundation/Open Societies Network. 
  • RWJF Health and Society Scholars Information Page
    Grant Application Page
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program is designed to build  the nation’s capacity for research, leadership and policy change to address the multiple determinants of population health.Each year the program enables up to 18 outstanding individuals  who have completed their doctoral training to engage in an intensive two-year program at one  of six nationally prominent universities. 
  • Social Science Research Council
    The Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) Program assists graduate students in preparing dissertation and funding proposals for research that will contribute to the development of interdisciplinary fields in the humanities and social sciences. We sponsor training workshops and summer research on fields that are selected through annual competitions. Pairs of senior faculty propose the fields and design the spring and fall training workshops. Students apply to participate in the workshops and carry out related summer research. Now in its fourth year, the program annually offers training in five fields to 60 graduate students. For information click here.

The Udall Foundation Environmental Public Policy & Conflict Resolution Ph.D Fellowship
The Udall Foundation awards two one-year fellowships of up to $24,000 to doctoral candidates whose research concerns U.S. environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution and who are entering their final year of writing the dissertation. For information click here

Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies
$3,000 Interdisciplinary research about women. Social sciences are qualified; Deadline for applications in October.

Graduate School Funding Resources
The Graduate School lists a number of avenues to explore for students who are interested in seeking funding for their graduate education, including the Beverly Sears Grant, which provides small grants for research at the master's or doctoral level. There are new Dean's Graduate Student Research Grant awards.  Please visit their site for the graduate schools listing of all available graduate student funded awards.
Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship
This fellowship is intended to provide outstanding PhD candidates with financial support to assist in the process of completing their doctoral dissertations. The fellowship consists of full support for one academic semester (either fall or spring of the following academic year), and includes a monthly stipend equal to that of the current 50% GPTI salary, tuition coverage of up to five dissertation hours, mandatory fees, and coverage under the student gold health insurance plan. Please note: students may not engage in other forms of paid employment (working, teaching, or off-campus employment) during the time they receive a Dissertation Fellowship. Additionally, any hours taken by students outside their dissertation hours will not be covered, and fellows may not accept another fellowship or grant during the same time period. The purpose of the fellowship is to allow recipients to devote their full attention to the dissertation.

Doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy (D status) by the application deadline. Any student who is eligible may submit a nomination.

Selection Criteria
The Selection Committee will base their selection on the following:

  • the quality of the research project;
  • the quality of the candidate's CV (conference presentations, publications, awards, etc.);
  • the probability of completion within the period of the fellowship (the greater the probability, the better chance of receiving a fellowship);
  • other teaching-free fellowships that the candidate has already enjoyed (the fewer the better).

Application Procedures
Applicants are required to submit the following information through the online application system:

  1.  Applicant's Curriculum Vitae
  2. Synopsis of dissertation (maximum 750 words).
  3. A timeline for completion of the dissertation (max one page)
  4. Information concerning any other research grants, internal or external, for which the applicant has applied, as well as information concerning any other support for dissertation writing that the applicant has already been awarded and used.
  5. Letter of support: statement of evaluation (maximum 750 words) of the dissertation plans and the likelihood of completion within the fellowship period. This statement, which is to be emailed directly to by the author is to be written by: either (a) the dissertation advisor or (b) another member of the dissertation committee.  Please request that the letter be sent as an attachment and not included in the body of the email.

Applicants will be evaluated by a committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.  Awardees will be asked to submit a letter at the end of their fellowship tenure detailing their progress towards dissertation completion.

CARTSS Grant program
CARTSS supports social science research and teaching initiatives on the CU campus. CARTSS has funded research and teaching in every social science department on campus. The CARTSS Graduate Student Fellows program is a competitive grant program for graduate students in College of Arts & Sciences social science departments who have completed all course requirements, passed qualifying exams, and are at the proposal preparation or research stage.
We are particularly interested in supporting pilot projects designed to increase the chances of securing external funding support as well as field research, data acquisition, travel, and other research costs essential to successful completion of research required for MA or PhD degrees.

Matthew C. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Matthew C. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for graduate students in Sociology including those from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the field of sociology and/or students who have faced unusual adversity. In line with Matthew C. Brown’s legacy, the fund will honor graduate students with demonstrated commitment and intention to making a positive social impact through research, teaching, and service.

Dr. Matthew C. Brown was a part of the University of Colorado Boulder family from 1995 to 2019. After receiving his PhD in 2003 from the Department of Sociology, he was an Instructor in the department from 2004 to 2019. He died in November of 2019, having made fundamental contributions to the campus community through his incredible devotion to teaching, extraordinary commitment to service, and deep-seated drive to foster the development and success of marginalized and underrepresented scholars.

In the community, Dr. Brown worked with a number of organizations including the Boulder County AIDS Project, the Gay Men’s Health Summit, and the  Boulder County Public Health’s the group Open and Affirming Sexual Orientation and gender identity Support (OASOS) for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) youth. Within the university, he sat on and chaired departmental, university-wide, and multi-campus committees that tackled the difficult issues of diversity and inclusion in a firmly entrenched bureaucracy. He participated in the development of the LGBT Studies Certificate Program, gave countless invited presentations for student groups on topics ranging from sexual health to sexual assault prevention and consent to communication and sexual pleasure, organized and staffed the CU outreach booth at Denver Pride, served on the organization and planning committee for the TRANSforming Gender conference for nearly a decade, and hosted a college radio talk show (Sex Smarts) bringing in guests to discuss current events and hot topics and answer questions. He engaged fully in every area of community and university life and served as an ally in this capacity for multiple communities always with an eye beyond single issues or identities, but instead toward a holistic vision of social justice. Dr. Brown believed and worked toward a world where all could thrive and delight in being and expressing who they are.

One of Matt’s final requests before his death was to have a scholarship fund created to support, recognize, and celebrate graduate students who embodied the spirit of his legacy. This scholarship award provides financial support to marginalized and underrepresented graduate students in the sociology department at CU Boulder whose research, teaching, and community involvement aims to enhance the lives of others. 

Current sociology graduate students who are in good standing and identify with one or more marginalized, disadvantaged group, or underrepresented group are eligible. Such groups can include, but are not limited to, students of color, first generation, or who identify as LGBTQ.

For more information on the scholarship fund, or to make a donation, please contact the Sociology Department Chair at