Funding Opportunities for Doctoral Students

*All summer funding is only open to continuing students (not incoming students or students graduating in May).

Weatherhead PhD Training Grants (Summer)

Provide summer support for doctoral students on projects related to East or Southeast Asia that develop academic and/or professional expertise. Examples of eligible projects include research, language study, or a secured, uncompensated internship. 

Provides up to $3,000 to Ph.D. students in support of summer projects that develop academic expertise that crosses traditional disciplinary, geographic, and temporal boundaries. Examples of summer projects for submission would include, but are not limited to, acquisition of a second language or other skills, research trips exploring opportunities in Asia, work in new modes of inquiry into the region and its problems, and internships.

Priority will be given to students whose projects that take them to East Asia, assist in the development of a student’s dissertation through field or archival work or the acquisition of new skills, or link to WEAI projects that promote collaboration with scholars and institutions in the region.

  • Eligibility:
    • Continuing Ph.D. students (cannot be graduating in May)
  • Students seeking funding for an unpaid internship may apply for the grant even if they have not yet secured an internship; however, any grant offer would be contingent upon confirmation of the internship. If arrangements with a potential organization are at an advanced stage at the time of the application deadline, students are encouraged to provide relevant documentation (email correspondence, letter from the potential host organization, etc.) with the rest of their application materials.
  • Average of 20 awards per summer
  • Selection criteria include:
    • Academic excellence
    • Demonstrated commitment to East Asia, and to incorporating it in one’s long-term academic or professional career goals
  • Preference given to applicants whose projects:
    • Take them to East Asia and/or Southeast Asia
    • Assist in the development of a student’s dissertation through field or archival work or the acquisition of new skills
    • Link to WEAI projects that promote collaboration with scholars and institutions in the region

Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) - Summer

Provides partial support, travel, and/or cost of living to graduate students to pursue summer research, language study, or a secured, uncompensated internship in or related to East or Southeast Asia (except Japan).

Provides partial support, travel and/or cost of living to graduate students (amount varies between $1,000 and $3,000) to conduct summer research or to serve in an internship in East or Southeast Asia. Priority will be given to students for research or secured internships in Southeast Asia and to students who wish to use their research or internship to expand their expertise beyond their main country of interest. Projects focused on politics, economy, business, international and public affairs, law, society, and media in modern Southeast Asia or East Asia (excluding Japan) are eligible.

  • Eligibility:
    • All GSAS, Teachers College, and professional school (Business, Journalism, Law, Public Health, Medical, Social Work, SOA, SIPA) students
  • Students seeking an internship may apply for the grant even if they have not yet secured an internship; however, any grant offer would be contingent upon confirmation of the internship.
  • Projects dealing with Japan are not eligible.
  • Average of seven awards per summer.
  • Selection criteria include:
    • Academic excellence
    • Demonstrated commitment to Southeast or East Asia, and to incorporating it in one’s long-term academic or professional career goals

 

Academic-Year Dissertation Write-Up Funding for PhD Students

Please note that academic-year fellowships offered by the Institute are substitutional and can interfere with and/or replace other funding students may be receiving from the University during the academic year. Please confirm your eligibility with your department DAAF or Program Manager before applying. 

Preference is given to students who are no longer covered by University funding. PhD candidates should apply when they are entering an academic year with no other University funding.

Up to two awards are available for the academic year to a social science or history doctoral student at the write-up stage of their dissertation, whose research is focused on East Asia. Provides matriculation and fees plus a stipend. Preference is given to students focusing on modern Chinese history or political science.

  • Eligibility:
    • Ph.D. students doing dissertation write-up
    • Preference for research focus on modern Chinese history or political science
    • Any social science discipline, including history
    • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

One award is available for the academic year to a student at the write-up stage of their dissertation. Provides matriculation and fees plus a stipend. Candidates must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in a history or social science department, and have a research focus on China. Award amounts will be based on need and available funds. 

  • Eligibility
    • Ph.D. students doing dissertation research or write-up
    • Research focus on China
    • Any social science discipline
    • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

One award is available for the academic year to a student at the write-up stage of their dissertation. Provides matriculation and fees plus a stipend. Candidates must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in a history or social science department, and have a research focus on China. Award amounts will be based on need and available funds. 

  • Eligibility
    • Ph.D. students doing dissertation research or write-up
    • Research focus on China
    • Any social science discipline
    • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

One award is available for the academic year to support an advanced doctoral student at the write-up state of their dissertation. Candidates must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in a social science department or East Asian history, and have a research focus on U.S.-East Asia relations.

  • Eligibility
    • Ph.D. students doing dissertation write-up
    • Research focus on U.S.-East Asia relations
    • Any social science discipline, including history
    • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

Up to two awards per year provide academic year support to advanced doctoral students in East Asian studies who are completing coursework, pursuing dissertation research, or at the dissertation write-up stage. Priority will be given to students whose research focuses on Southeast Asia and on regional or cross-national issues in East Asia. Doctoral work focused on politics, economy, business, international and public affairs, law, society, and media in modern East Asia are eligible. Award amounts will be based on need and available funds.

  • Eligibility:
    • Advanced Ph.D. students (completing coursework, pursuing dissertation research, or in the dissertation write-up phase)
    • Priority will be given to students whose research focuses on Southeast Asia and on regional or cross-national issues in East Asia
    • Projects dealing with Japan are not eligible
    • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

One award is available for the academic year to a student at the write-up stage of their dissertation. Provides matriculation and fees plus a stipend. Candidates must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program and have a research focus on East, Southeast, or Inner Asia.

  • Eligibility
    • Ph.D. students doing dissertation research or write-up
    • Research focus on East, Southeast, or Inner Asia
    • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

Up to two awards are available for academic year support on matriculation and fees plus stipend for academic year. Funded by the Japan Foundation.

Eligibility:

  • Ph.D. students doing dissertation write-up on modern and contemporary Japan
  • Priority to history and social science topics
  • Open to students who no longer have their tuition covered by their department

 

Application Requirements

Students may submit an online fellowship application at weai.smapply.io/. 

Required application materials: 

  • Application form 
  • Project proposal (1-2 pages)
  • CV
  • Detailed project budget
  • Official Columbia University transcript
  • One letter of recommendation from a Columbia/Barnard faculty member or instructor *unless otherwise stated
  • If your project is an internship, a letter from the host organization confirming your internship (can be submitted after application)
  • If your project is language acquisition, a letter from the program confirming your acceptance (can be submitted after application)  
  • Additional fellowship-specific materials (if applicable)

* Please note the Weatherhead Ph.D. Training Grant and EALAC Summer Grant do not require letters of recommendation. Dissertation Write-Up Grants require two letters of recommendation. All other fellowships (specifically for BA and MA students) require one letter of recommendation.

** Recipients of any of the above awards must report to the Weatherhead East Asian Institute any additional funds, such as another grant, that they receive in support of the same activities. The total amount of funding received for the project must not exceed the limits dictated by the student's school. Should a student receive multiple sources of funding for the same project, the WEAI will adjust or withdraw the amount granted to the student so as to remain below the cap dictated by the student's school.