Funding and Research Support

All applicants to the graduate program in Anthropology will be considered for Graduate Employee positions. These fellowships come with a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a modest monthly stipend. Funding is not guaranteed and is typically determined on a year-to-year (or sometimes a term-by-term) basis, based on academic merit and availability of Graduate Teaching Fellowships. Students making good progress in the program typically receive approximately four years of departmental support. 

Most graduate students are supported through departmental Graduate Teaching Fellowships, which are teaching assistant positions that involve leading discussion or lab sections. There are other potential sources of funding available to graduate students in the department, which are detailed in the Graduate Student Handbook. These include Graduate Teaching Fellowships in other departments or centers (e.g., Biology, General Science, Center on Diversity and Community), Research Assistantships, and through external sources of funding such as the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

In addition to funding for graduate study, students in the program typically apply to and receive funds to support scholarly research activities. Many of our students receive internal UO sources of funding to support their research, such as the through the various departmental awards or through various research institutes and centers around campus. Examples of the latter include small research grants (<$5000) from the Center on Diversity and Community, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Division of Graduate Studies, and the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, among others.

Graduate Employment

Departmental Scholarly Awards

The Department of Anthropology offers a number of awards to graduate students in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in our program. The departmental awards and prizes include the following:

In addition, archaeology graduate students are eligible for the Cheryl L. Harper Fund Scholarship and biological anthropology PhD students are eligible for Thomas L. Johnston and Helene S. Johnston Scholarship.

Each award carries a different prize, which may include support for conference participation, support for research, summer support, professional development funds, or opportunities to develop and teach your own course. Solicitations are made for each award via the departmental listserv at least two weeks before the application is due. See below for more information and speak with your advisor.

External Funding

Graduate students typically seek external financial support for their doctoral research, through federal programs such as the National Science Foundation or the Social Sciences Research Council, or through private foundations like the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The high success rate for obtaining competitive research grants is a testament to the extremely high quality of graduate students in the UO anthropology program. Additional information on funding opportunities can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Luther S. and Dorothy C. Cressman Prize Competition

The Cressman Prize, named after the founder of the UO Department of Anthropology, is one of two annual competitions for best research paper by an anthropology graduate student. The competition takes place in the winter or spring term. Applications are evaluated by the Departmental Awards Committee. The winner of this prize typically presents their paper at a Department Colloquium during the following academic year.

The Malcolm McFee Memorial Endowment Award

The Malcolm McFee Memorial Endowment Award, named for the cultural anthropologist who taught in the Department from 1965 to 1982, was established to provide support for the research and professional papers/presentations of exceptional graduate students in anthropology.

Pauline Wollenberg Juda Memorial Endowment Fund Award

The Department of Anthropology awards small travel and research grants through the Pauline Wollenberg Juda Memorial Endowment Fund. The awards assist undergraduate and graduate students in the anthropological study of nutrition. The competition takes place annually in the fall term. Applications are evaluated by the Departmental Awards Committee.

Anthropological Health Education Department Fund Award

The Anthropological Health Education Department Fund Award supports anthropological studies of human health, including sociocultural, biological, and archaeological efforts. Both undergraduate and graduate student research and travel are supported through this award. The competition takes place annually in the fall term. Applications are evaluated by the Departmental Awards Committee.

The Stern and Barnett (Graduate Teaching) Fellowships

Each year the Graduate Committee chooses Stern and Barnett Fellows at the same time it chooses regular graduate teaching fellows. Graduate students propose to teach a class and submit a letter of interest, letters of recommendation, CV, and syllabus for the proposed class. These fellowships offer a year-long GTF with a level of appointment (“FTE”) of .4 for the terms in which the student does not teach their own course and .49 for the term in which they teach their own course. Generally, two students are selected each year.

Cheryl L. Harper Memorial Fund Scholarship

The purpose of the Fund is to honor Cheryl L. Harper, a 1994 alumna in Anthropology, who went on to graduate work in archaeology. The scholarship provides support to graduate students in archaeology in the Department of Anthropology. The scholarship may be used for educational expenses including tuition, fees, books, miscellaneous supplies, room, board, summer research stipend or insurance stipend, field research, technical analyses, collections research, travel, and other costs associated with research and/or dissertation. Any graduate student of archaeology is eligible to apply. Candidates will be evaluated based on financial need and the overall quality of their academic work. Selection of recipients shall be by a scholarship committee under the oversight of the Department Head.

Thomas L. Johnston and Helene S. Johnston Biography and Scholarship

Johnston, Thomas Lovell (1911-2006)

Born October 23, 1911, in San Francisco, Thomas Johnston was a civil engineer, who headed US Air Force weapons systems construction and integration. Upon retirement he developed academic interests in geology, archaeology, and biological anthropology, and earned an interdisciplinary master’s degree in anthropology and geology in 1983. His master’s research project was entitled “Geology of the California Sierra Nevada geomorphic province, and an anthropological study of aboriginal and Western man’s conflict over natural resources”. Completed under the supervision of C. Melvin Aikens (anthropology) and Ewart M. Baldwin (geology), Mr. Johnston’s thesis is available in the UO Science Library.

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Tom served as research assistant to Prof. John Lukacs and his graduate students in biological anthropology and had office space in 369 Condon Hall. Tom enjoyed his role as research assistant and his interactions with faculty and students in the bioanthropology laboratory. Tom’s laboratory tasks included drafting location maps, sketching archaeological and forensic specimens, and constructing devices for precisely orienting artifacts and teeth. He co-authored with Robert F. Pastor a chapter on dental microwear and attrition in a mid-Holocene skeletal sample from the mid-Ganga Plain, North India (Pastor and Johnston, 1992). His estate gift to the UO Department of Anthropology specifically targets graduate students in biological anthropology for these reasons.

An avid outdoor enthusiast, Tom was an active member of the Eugene Obsidians hiking club, for whom he led a climb of Mt. Thielsen (1975) and participated in multiple climbs of the Middle and South Sister. He was also a member of the Alpine Mountaineering Club of Banff, Canada. He died of pneumonia June 15th, 2006, at the age of 94.

The Thomas L. Johnston and Helene S. Johnston Scholarship fund is an endowment created to support Ph.D. students in biological anthropology at the University of Oregon. This award was made possible by the generous donation of Thomas Lovell Johnston.