Funding and Research Support

Graduate Employment

The department guarantees 15 terms of funding as Graduate Employees (GEs) for all students who remain in good standing in the program. GE awards carry a tuition waiver, stipend, and insurance benefits. This funding must be taken within seven (7) years from initial enrollment.

Students should be prepared to rely on their own financial resources for some portion of their residence in the department and are encouraged to apply for outside support from public or private agencies. Loan funds and work study monies are not administered by the department. Separate application for this should be made directly to:

Office of Student Financial Aid 
1278 University of Oregon 
Eugene, OR 97403-1278

Graduate Employee Duties 

Graduate employees (GEs) assist faculty members with their teaching duties. This may include constructing and grading tests, leading group discussions, holding office hours, attending the faculty member’s lectures, etc. Advanced doctoral students may be assigned to teach their own independent classes.


Eligibility for continuation of GE funding is based on satisfactory performance of the duties connected with the funding and remaining in good standing in the program. Students who lose their funding because of unsatisfactory performance will be considered for renewed support when their work is brought back up to a satisfactory level. Further details on regulations regarding eligibility for continuation of funding are given in the department’s General Duties and Responsibilities Statement on GE appointments.

Students may apply for additional funding when their guaranteed terms of support have been used up. These will be granted on a term-by-term basis, as available.

Research Assistant

Research assistantships are occasionally available to applicants with some graduate training or exceptional undergraduate records, including research experience. These are renewable annually at the discretion of the research project director and the approval of the department.

Graduate Student Awards

Department awards are awarded through a competitive application each spring and are available to doctoral students in good academic standing.

Sociology graduate students in good academic standing are invited to apply for these department awards each spring.

Wasby-Johnson Dissertation Award

This award allows doctoral students to devote unencumbered time to dissertation research and writing by providing both a summer grant and funds for research or for travel to professional meetings. There will be two recipients each year. Each grant includes a $4,750 stipend for summer term and $2,500 for travel and research for use in the summer and the following academic year. 

Applicants must demonstrate the need for an entire summer for research on, and/or writing of the dissertation. Work beyond completion of the dissertation, such as preparation of articles or a book from the dissertation, is not eligible for support. 

The award is made available jointly by Professor Emeritus Benton Johnson and by Stephen L. Wasby, Professor Emeritus, University at Albany–SUNY, who received his graduate degrees from the University of Oregon Department of Political Science (PhD, 1962), and who was a student in a number of sociology graduate courses.


By the application deadline, applicants must have:

  • Passed all comprehensive examinations
  • Selected a dissertation topic
  • A dissertation adviser and dissertation committee

By July 1, award recipients must have successfully defended the dissertation prospectus and advanced to PhD candidacy; failure to meet that condition will result in cancellation of the grant.

Application Materials

  • Curriculum vita
  • Dissertation prospectus, even if in draft and not yet defended
  • Statement of the work to be undertaken during the grant period (summer) and the likely uses of the travel/research funds (August-June)
  • Statement agreeing not to undertake any teaching or other compensated employment during summer, nor to accept any other fellowships or grants for the same period
  • List of any grants, fellowships or additional support for which the student has applied, or is applying, for any part of the period covered by the grant
  • From the dissertation advisor, an endorsement of the application, a statement that the student requires the summer for work toward completion of the dissertation, and a commitment to active supervision of the student during the grant period.

Lawrence Carter Graduate Student Research Award

This award encourages research from a diversity of perspectives by providing research support each year for one (1) or more sociology graduate students with a distinctive outlook. The award is in the form of a $1,000 stipend.  The funds are to be used to support scholarly research for the dissertation, for the master’s paper, or for work intended for publication in an academic book or journal. The funds can be spent on data, materials, travel, or living expenses as needed to support the research.

The award is named in honor of UO Sociology Professor Emeritus and former Department Head Lawrence Carter, a distinguished demographer who received his PhD at UO.


  • To qualify, the student must be in good standing with the department.

Application Materials

  • A brief letter explaining why their perspective or outlook is distinctive
  • Curriculum vita
  • One-two-page (1-2 page) (double-spaced) description of the research project to be funded (no budget is necessary)
  • From applicant’s advisor, a brief letter of endorsement of the application which indicates a commitment to active supervision of the student.

Joan Acker Graduate Fellowship

This award is given each academic year to a graduate student in the Sociology Department. The recipient (1) has the honor of having the title of the “Joan Acker Graduate Fellow,” indicating that they have demonstrated strong potential as a gender scholar; (2) receives $1,000 in funding to support their research; and (3) is guaranteed that at least one (1) of their GE appointments during the year will be to either teach a gender-related course or serve as a teaching assistant for a gender-related course.

This award is named in honor of Joan Acker, an internationally renowned scholar who was a forerunner in the field of the sociology of gender, who spent her career in the UO Sociology Department.


  • Applicants will be evaluated based on how well they demonstrate that they have a central interest in gender, a commitment to gender equity, and excellent academic and teaching records (or teaching potential if they lack teaching experience).
  • The recipient must have a GE appointment in the Sociology Department in the year in which they hold the title. Therefore, only students who have a guaranteed GE appointment in the department for that year are eligible—i.e., this award does not provide a GE position, it simply adds the title of the “Joan Acker Graduate Fellow” to an existing GE appointment.  The student must also be in good standing in the department and the university.

Application Materials

  • A statement of 250 words or less explaining how the applicant fits the award criteria.

Charles W. Hunt Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The award ($500) is available to eligible sociology graduate students.

The award is named in honor of Chuck Hunt, who has been a dedicated teacher in the Sociology Department for many years, and who has been recognized by many students for his excellence as an educator.


  • Graduate student in good academic standing in the Sociology Department
  • Has taught of at least one (1) independent class

Application Materials

  • A teaching portfolio (statement of teaching philosophy, syllabi, assignments, course evaluations, and any other related materials)

Research Award for Publication

This award ($500) is given for the best article or chapter published by a graduate student.


  • The article or chapter must be published, either already in print or accepted for publication.

Application Materials

  • A copy of the paper or article
  • If in press, also submit a copy of the letter of acceptance

Research Award for Data Collection and Presentation

Up to $1,500 will be distributed across up to three (3) awardees for whom these funds would demonstrably aid the completion of research. Eligible activities may include: interview transcriptions, travel for field work, and support funds to purchase data from institutional sources.


  • Evidence of initial data collection trials
  • Clear timeline with demonstrable closure to data collection and presentation
  • Evidence of additional support to carry out the project by the stated time
  • Relevance of data to research goals

Application Materials

  • One-to-two-page (1-2 page) description of your research goals, other sources of funding, and a definitive timeline for the completion of the research. You should also include an outline of your research design and the role of this data in that project. Be sure to indicate how, specifically, the $500 will aid your data collection or presentation initiative.


Critical Research in Sociology Award

This award will be offered for two summers and provide summer funding to graduate students at any level. It is designed to facilitate inclusive funding opportunities for the completion of research that incorporates critical sociological perspectives. A critical sociological approach focuses on the social world in a way that reveals, critiques, and/or challenges existing power relations and is directed toward changing and improving the world. Research areas can include any topic (inequalities, labor, environment, health, immigration, sexualities, gender, race, political structures, etc.), but should broadly reflect a critical perspective.

With support from Foundation funds, DEI and UMRP funds, sociology will offer summer research awards to graduate students conducting readings, research, or data analysis with a critical sociological lens on social inequalities and social power.  The amount of the awards will be determined by the total balance of funds available and the number of qualifying applications received. The Awards committee will specifically seek to fund under-represented students of color (Black, Indigenous, LatinX, Asian-American, Asian-Pacific Islander, and other under-represented identities) with 60% of the awards while reserving a portion of the awards for all UO Sociology applicants.  The Awards committee will issues application instructions in March 2024.  


Eligibility: Students must be in good standing in the department.

Application Materials:

  • A research statement that describes the scope and goals of the project, including theoretical contributions and methodological approach(es). The statement should also include a discussion of the work to be undertaken during the award period (summer) and how the funds will be used. It should be no more than 750 words (references not included) and be double-spaced.
  • To assure the committee of your ability to make progress with the proposed research, provide a statement agreeing not to undertake any teaching or other compensated employment during at least six (6) weeks during the summer, nor to accept any other fellowships or grants for the same period that would interfere with your commitments to this project for the duration of at least six (6) weeks of the summer.
  • CV
  • List of any grants, fellowships, or additional support for which the student has applied, or is applying, for any part of the period covered by the award.


Best MA Paper Award

This award of $500 is given every spring for the best MA paper produced in the previous year.


  • Completed MA paper by end of winter term will be considered for that year’s award; papers submitted after winter term will be considered for the next year’s award.

Application Materials

  • Papers submitted are automatically in consideration for this award. No additional documentation is required by the student.

Marquina Faculty-Graduate Student Collaboration Award

This award encourages collaboration on research projects between faculty and graduate students and provides summer funding to students to foster this collaboration. The award of $2,500 will be given as a resource aid to the student(s) to support their work on the project. If there is more than one student collaborator the funds will be divided equally among the students. See full award policy.


  • All current faculty in the Sociology department are eligible for this award.
  • Team must include a current tenure-track faculty member with at least .5 FTE in the Department of Sociology, and one (1) or more graduate students in good standing in the department.
  • A student may not work on more than one (1) project funded by this award in the same year, nor may a student receive more than two full awards during her/his career as a graduate student.
  • If there is more than one (1) student involved in a particular collaborative project, only the proportion of the award each receives is counted against her/his maximum of two (2) award units. For example, if two (2) students are involved in the same project, each receive half of the funds and each is eligible in the future to receive up to 1.5 more award units (e.g., they could be on one (1) project as the sole student collaborator and at another time on another project as one of two [2] student collaborators).
  • Each year the Department Head will determine how many awards (N) are to given based on available funds (initially, four awards will be available per year). The Department Head will contact the first N in the faculty queue by October 15 to ask if they want to apply for the funds for that summer; completed appications will be due by April 1.

Application Materials

  • Applications are due in fall term for the following summer.
  • Faculty members apply for the award by writing a 250 word max description of the research project, identifying the student collaborator(s) they have chosen to work with, and indicating the intended product of the collaboration (this can be as simple as stating that they intend to produce an article for publication in a peer-reviewed journal).
  • An eligible student may initiate collaboration with a faculty member, though the faculty member will need to be eligible in the annual rotation.
  • The faculty member must clearly state that they intend to co-author the resultant work of the collaboration with the student(s), and they must sign this statement.
  • The student(s) must also provide a short signed statement indicating that they want to take part in this collaborative project and will allocate time in summer to work on the project if they are chosen for the award.