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Fellowships and Funding

Funding for PhD students

All PhD applicants who are accepted into the SAST program are automatically offered a 5-year Benjamin Franklin Fellowship. This fellowship covers tuition, fees, health insurance, and a living stipend for five years.  The stipend varies annually but currently runs about $40,500 per year (paid over twelve months). 

PhD students who are US citizens or permanent US residents may also apply for the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships available through Penn. Each FLAS replaces one year of Ben Franklin Funding (it is NOT in addition to), but if a student is awarded two years of FLAS then they are eligible for up to $1500 in additional Vishwabarathi Funding from the SAST Department.


Funding for M.A. students

While the department does not offer funding for the Master’s program, we encourage all prospective Master’s candidates who are US citizens or permanent US residents to apply for the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships available through Penn.

Information on graduate student loans is available from the Office of Student Financial Services. Visit their website, or telephone 215-898-1988.


Additional Departmental Graduate Student Research and Travel Fund Policy

The department has a limited amount of funds available to assist students with research expenses (trips to archives, conferences, fees, copying, etc.).  Each spring, the department will send a call for applications for the following summer.  The department cannot guarantee funds but tries to ensure that all students are able to engage in necessary academic activities.


Graduate Student Research and Travel Fund Policy

Below are the main resources for graduate student funding for academic and professional travel. These resources are listed in the order by which graduate students should apply to them; thus, SASgov should be the first grant that a student should apply for and GAPSA should be the last. If the student still requires additional funding, the department can conditionally award up to $500 dollars in travel funding, provided the student can demonstrate that he or she has exhausted all other funding options. As departmental funding is limited, this emergency funding will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.


SASgov Travel Grant

It is designed to support a wide range of academic and professional travel. Eligible travel includes:

  • Presentation or attendance at academic conferences
  • Participation in professional development workshops
  • Travel for academic job interviews, either at conferences or institutions, if not provided for by the potential employer

Applications are reviewed by the Finance and Public Affairs committees on a rolling basis at twice-monthly General Body meetings. To ensure prompt review of your application, please be sure to submit the form as well as your itemized budget by the Sunday prior to the Tuesday General Body meeting at which you'd like your application read.


SAS Dean Travel Subvention Request Fund

The travel grants awarded by the Graduate Dean covers up to $600 in expenses. Funds may be used to cover any eligible travel expenses consistent with University policy.

  • Each student may apply for funding only once each year.
  • Please plan accordingly, as the SAS Travel Subvention Form must be submitted to Dorothy Dullea over at SAS BEFORE the trip.

Your dissertation advisor or sponsoring faculty member must sign the application form as a faculty advisor. After you receive approval from your faculty advisor, please submit the form to the department coordinator, the department coordinator will get approval from the graduate chair.

After the trip, students must submit the Transaction Request Form, Statement of Business Connection, and original itemized receipts for reimbursement. Original itemized receipts should be taped onto blank 8 1/2 by 11 paper (tape down as many that fit on only one side of the paper). This paperwork should be submitted to Dorothy Dullea.


GAPSA Research Student Travel Fund

The GAPSA travel grant should be a last resort for funding; the student is expected to have attempted to secure funding from other sources before submitting a GAPSA travel grant application. Students may request up to $800 or half of their total travel expense, whichever is less.

Check out their website for deadline information. 

Specific questions should be directed to the GAPSA Vice Chair for Research, (



American Institute of Indian Studies Summer Language Program

AIIS offers intensive, immersion-based training in modern and classical South Asian languages at multiple sites in India. Visit their Language Study website for more information.


Merit/Need-based Funding

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for Graduate Study for New Americans

Eligible Fellows are New Americans. Each year the fellow receives a maintenance grant of $20,000 (paid in three installments) and a tuition grant of one-half the tuition cost of the U.S. graduate program attended by the Fellow. For more information please visit their website.


Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program

A U.S. Department of Education program that 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. For more information, visit their website.


Fontaine Fellowship

Named in honor of Dr. William Fontaine, professor of philosophy and the first African-American to become a fully affiliated professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the Fontaine Fellowship has been used to advance the University’s goals related to diversity. Originally restricted to U.S. students from groups “traditionally and historically underrepresented” in higher education — specifically African American, Native American, and Hispanic students – diversity is now more broadly defined to include economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students, and others from backgrounds underrepresented in a specific discipline or field. For more information, visit their website.

 Dissertation Research Fellowships

Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (Fulbright DDRA)

IMPORTANT - this application has two deadlines ( currently suspended pending Federal funding). Visit their website.


Fulbright International Institute of Education (Fulbright IIE)

IMPORTANT - this application has two deadlines - 1) internal deadline within University of Pennsylvania around mid-September and 2) external Fulbright deadline around mid-October.  Any graduate students interested should contact Chryl Shipman at CURF well in advance of the deadline for important registration (and other) information: shipman@upenn.eduwebsite.


IHR Mellon Dissertation Fellowship

Application normally due between mid-November through mid-January. website.


American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Fellowship

IMPORTANT - This application is due very early, normally July 1st.  website.


Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship (SSRC-IDRF)

Application normally due early to mid-November. website.


Wenner Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Application normally due around November 1st. website. 


Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources

Application normally due around November 15th. website.


Dissertation Research Fellowship

Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF)

Also see

Useful Penn databases for internal and external fellowship searches are


Other Opportunities

•    Teach for Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS), about which you should speak to the Undergraduate Chair.