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PhD Graduate Fellowships

The Department of English currently has available twenty-one Teaching Fellowships, one Research Fellowship, and one Dissertation Fellowship. These Fellowships are awarded on the basis of merit. Fellowships include tuition, certain fees, and a stipend. The stipend for 2012-2013 is $16,000. Further details about the fellowships are outlined below.

*NEW* -- Duquesne University is now offering the "Nimick Forbesway Foundation English Graduate Diversity Teaching Assistantship" for a qualified Master's or Doctoral applicant from an underrepresented population; this award adds an additional $4000 to the current Master's or Doctoral Teaching Assistantships.

Another form of financial assistance is available through Tuition Remission Scholarships. Awarded on the basis of merit, these scholarships pay the full or partial tuition for three to nine credits of course work per semester. Such scholarships are renewable for up to two years providing students make satisfactory progress in their program.

Applicants may specify on application for admission whether they wish to be considered for a Teaching Fellowship, Research Fellowship, Tuition Waiver Scholarship, or any combination. Any applicant who wishes to be considered for financial aid must have all application materials in on or before January 15th.

Teaching Fellowships

Students seeking the the doctorate degree may hold a Teaching Fellowship for four years, providing students make satisfactory progress in the program.

In order to provide students with solid training and ample opportunity to teach independently without creating an overwhelming workload, a tier system has been developed for our fellowship program. The following guidelines are typical for teaching fellows, but because students have varying strengths and experience, adjustments are often made to the tier system with the approval of the Director of Freshman English and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Training for Teachers

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Duquesne University offers a three-day workshop to all new teaching fellows, usually the week before the fall semester is scheduled to begin. Besides providing new teaching fellows with books and articles relevant to teaching at the college level, this workshop covers important advice for teachers such as how to promote classroom discussion. The Center for Teaching Excellence also offers workshops regularly during the school year.

The Director and Assistant Director of Freshman English also offer a workshop before classes begin that is designed specifically for English Teaching Fellows.

All first year fellows must complete a year-long course on Teaching College Writing.

New Teaching Fellows with little or no teaching experience will spend their first semester co-teaching a first-year writing class with a more experienced teacher/mentor.

Teaching workshops for the English department are held during the academic year. These sessions are usually led either by English faculty or teaching fellows, and the topics may cover anything from dealing with plagiarism to creating a teaching portfolio.

The Writing Center Director and Assistant Director offer an orientation session before the Writing Center opens for the fall semester and professional development meetings throughout the academic year to provide ongoing support and training.  The Writing Center also offers workshops for teachers during the year.

Teaching Opportunities and Responsibilities

Typically, teaching fellows teach one section of first-year writing in the fall semester and one section of introduction to literature in the spring semester. Department guidelines are provided for each course. The introductory literature courses are structured around theme-based clusters; sections are taught independently, but the cluster group of teachers provides a forum where methods and ideas may be exchanged. In addition:

First Year Teaching Fellows will serve five hours per week as tutors in the Writing Center, where they will tutor students one-on-one.

Second and Third Year Teaching Fellows will spend five hours per week doing research for a faculty member, usually in a field that intersects with the student’s interests.

Fourth Year Teaching Fellows may take advantage of various opportunities including:

  • Serving as Assistant Director of the Writing Center: each year, one fellow is selected among applicants to work with the Writing Center Director, helping to train Writing Center consultants, create instructional materials and workshops, and manage the day-to-day operations of the Writing Center.
  • Serving as a mentor to a new teacher: usually in the fall semester, this position involves co-teaching a section of first-year composition and advising the first year fellow.
  • Serving as Cluster Leader: this involves developing a theme for the introductory literature course and leading a group of teaching fellows who will base their sections on that theme.
  • Co-teaching upon invitation an upper-level class with a member of the English faculty.
  • Teaching advanced writing and sophomore/junior level survey courses.

Every effort is thus made to provide graduate students with teaching and leadership opportunities that will prepare them for future academic work.

Research Fellowship

The student will work closely with a faculty member, conducting research on a full-time basis. This fellowship is renewable for up to two years providing the student makes satisfactory progress in the program. Master’s students may renew the fellowship as a teaching fellowship after the first year of research, and doctorate students may renew the fellowship as a teaching fellowship after either the first or second year of research.

Dissertation Fellowship

Doctoral students who have an approved dissertation proposal and are in the early stages of work on the dissertation may be eligible for the dissertation fellowship. Priority will be given to students who have a particularly strong overall record in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service; who have made sustained progress through the Ph.D. program; and who have demonstrated a commitment to Duquesne University’s mission of Education for the Heart, Mind, and Soul.

One of the goals of the dissertation fellowship is to enable a student to dedicate a significant amount of attention to the dissertation and, hopefully, complete the dissertation by the end of the academic year in which the student receives the award. Another goal of the fellowship is to allow the student the opportunity to design and teach an upper division course in her/his area(s) of expertise. The student will work with a faculty mentor during the Fall semester to design the course (in consultation with both the Undergraduate and Graduate Directors) and will then teach the course during the Spring semester. The student will also present her/his dissertation work to the department in the form of a Colloquium.