Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

Rackham seeks to support students working on dissertations that are unusually creative, ambitious, and impactful. These fellowships are awarded to outstanding PhD students who will complete their dissertation in the year in which they hold the fellowship AND who will complete the doctorate within six (6) years of beginning their program (excludes any time spent on an approved leave of absence).

Award: Eighty-two (82) Rackham Predoctoral Fellowships will be available for 2018-2019. Approximately 240 students are nominated each year. SEAS may nominate up to three (3) students. Award consists of candidacy tuition and required fees, GradCare health insurance, Dental Option 1, and a stipend of $32,640 (currently) for a maximum of 12 months.

Eligibility: Applicants must be advanced to candidacy by January 5, 2018 and must be nominated by their department.

Selection Criteria:

  • Quality of the nominee’s personal statement, including the research plan, progress on the project, and scholarly significance of the dissertation research
  • Results of early research or scholarship in graduate studies, as represented (e.g., through article publication, conference presentation, or other scholarly products such as websites, performances, exhibitions, etc.)
  • Perspectives of the program (as gained from the Statement of Student Achievement and Potential) and supporting faculty/scholars (as gained from the letters of recommendation)
  • Excellence in graduate teaching and/or pedagogy/mentoring/professional leadership and service

SEAS Application Process: Students interested in being nominated must email the following items as Microsoft Word attachments to seas-financial-aid@umich.edu no later than 9:00 AM on Monday, November 6, 2017.

  • Current CV
  • Personal Statement (1,500-word maximum) should describe your dissertation and any additional information you wish to bring to the attention of the selection committee. Fellowship committees place strong emphasis on this statement. The statement should be written with an interdisciplinary faculty review panel in mind (i.e., reviewers will NOT necessarily be familiar with the technical vocabulary of a specific field, so avoid jargon). The statement must:
    • Address the importance of your work in the beginning 2-3 sentences
    • Theoretical framework of the dissertation
    • Specific aims
    • Methodologies (how you will conduct the research)
    • Originality
    • Significance and contribution of the project to your field 
  • Copy of the dissertation title and abstract (150-word maximum, plain text only)
  • Arrange for a faculty member to support your request by sending a nomination statement (2-3 substantial paragraphs, maximum 1 page) by the 9:00 AM on Monday, November 6, 2017 to seas-financial-aid@umich.edu describing your outstanding qualities and appropriateness for nomination. If more than 3 eligible students are nominated, SEAS Scholarship Committee will rank them, so the faculty nomination statement must include the following detailed information:
    • Specific anticipated PhD completion date
    • Describe the uniqueness of the research and the contribution that will be made to the area of study
    • Provide information on publications and professional presentations, if any
    • Describe the student’s service to the SEAS/U-M community
Stipend amount only: 
Funding type: 
Application deadline: 
November 6, 2017
Deadline time (if not 11:59 p.m. EST): 
9 a.m.
Key eligibility criteria: 
PhD candidate
Last updated: 
August 31, 2017