Funding Opportunities

COSAS funding is generally restricted to current graduate students at the University of Chicago.
This includes COSAS fellowships, travel grants and small research grants.

College students and graduate students may apply for occasional Special Projects. Projects supported in the recent years have included campus-based arts programs, workshops, and conferences with a central focus on Southern Asia.

It is best to submit a proposal in the early spring for the following academic year. Contact the COSAS office at 773-702-8637 or e-mail for further information.

Outdoor staircase with foliage in Bambu Indah, Ubud, Indonesia


The COSAS Fellowship Competition is announced in the Spring.

COSAS fellowships fund the following areas as priorities: dissertation writing, summer language study, and other areas of research and study based on committee review.

All students are eligible for a total of seven quarters of COSAS funding throughout their graduate careers. Eligible University of Chicago students of any nationality may apply for a COSAS fellowship. Applicants in each of these priority areas apply and are evaulated by the Committee in a single fellowship competition during the spring quarter of each year.

Decisions regarding awards will be considered in light of other sources of funding available to applicants. All decisions regarding awards must also be finally approved by the applicant’s Dean of Students.

Details on each of the funding priorities are below:

Dissertation Writing Support Fellowship

This fellowship provides funds for dissertation writing on a topic relating to South or Southeast Asian studies. Generally research for the dissertation has been completed by the time the fellowship is to commence. Formal admission to candidacy is required. Students who have been admitted to candidacy may apply in the spring for funding that will begin the following summer.

Application Info

Open to:
University of Chicago Ph.D candidates writing dissertations on topics related to South and South East Asia

Due: This application will be due on April 1, 2022 and can be found here: Dissertation Writing Support

Contact: The Committee on Southern Asian Studies; Lauren Doan,

Summer Research and Travel

This fellowship supports students who propose to be engaged in summer research that would benefit their project/doctoral research. This includes the study of any Southern Asian languages. For example, COSAS may cover study at the University of Wisconsin’s SASLI and SESAI programs and other eligible programs, including the CAORC institute programs such as the AIIS. Funding may also be applied to support the study of languages not covered under FLAS (e.g. Sanskrit and Pali), and any other non-language related research conducted during the summer.

Application Info

Open to:
University of Chicago graduate students conducting research over the summer related to their doctoral project/primary research project.

Due: This application will be due on April 1, 2022 and can be found here: Summer Research and Travel Fellowship

Contact: Committee on Southern Asia Studies; Lauren Doan,

Fellowships for Other Projects

This category of fellowship support is contingent on committee review of its eligibility for funding and will be evaluated in light of budget availability once other priority areas have been covered.

Application Info

Open to:
University of Chicago graduate students for other projects related to dissertation research or language study not explicitly covered under the above categories.

Due: This application will be due on April 1, 2022 and can be found here: Other Support Fellowship

Contact: Committee on Southern Asia Studies; Lauren Doan,


Student Conference Travel Grants

University of Chicago graduate students who deliver paper on subjects related to South or Southeast Asia at a recognized conference may be eligible to receive reimbursement for travel-related expenses for attending the conference up to a limit of $500 per year. Expenses can include flights, hotel stays, registration fees, food, and taxis.

Funds are limited to a maximum established by the COSAS annual budget. We strongly recommend that students have their travel reimbursement pre-approved by emailing the COSAS Associate Director at

Applying to Student Conference Travel Grants

In order to receive full funding, please email the following documentation to

  1. A program or letter of invitation from the conference proving that you presented a paper;
  2. Completed copies of the TEV and Student Reimbursement Forms, which can be found after clicking on “Forms” under “Graduate Student Funding”;
  3. Receipts of all expenses documented on the TEV form, including flights, hotels, registration, Taxis, and travel meals. If you do not have access to a scanner, emailed photos of the receipts will also suffice. Please email Lauren Doan at if you have any questions.

Funds are limited to a maximum established by the COSAS annual budget. We strongly recommend that students have their travel reimbursement pre-approved by emailing the COSAS Associate Director at

Student Archival and Research Grants (“Small Grants”)

COSAS has set aside a modest fund to support students’ acquisition of materials generally held in archives and libraries. These funds are meant to cover reimbursement fees for photocopying, acquiring microfilm and microfiche documents, and similar types of requests.

Students are encouraged to view the materials collected as a source to share with colleagues and donate them, after the initial reference use, to the Southern Asian Collection at the University of Chicago.

Applying to Student Archival and Research Grants (“Small Grants”)

Receipts are required and reimbursements are limited to $300 per person per year. Due to limitations on the size of this budget, we recommend that students have their reimbursements pre-approved to assure that the request can be honored.

Please email the COSAS office at or call 773-834-9994 if you have questions regarding this grant or would like to have your request pre-approved.

Last Quarter Tuition Only Grants

COSAS students may request tuition only grants to cover their tuition for the quarter in which they graduate. These grants do not involve any stipend, and are not available to students who are unable to show evidence of graduation for the quarter in which funding is sought. All funding is available pending budget approval and all decisions regarding these awards must also be finally approved by the applicant’s Dean of Students.

We suggest that you contact the COSAS Associate Director who will advise you on eligibility by writing to

COSAS Undergraduate Research Grant

COSAS is pleased to announce the “COSAS Undergraduate Research Grant” for AY 2022–2023. This grant is designed to support BA thesis research—or equivalent research projects—in the study of Southern Asia. This grant allows students to fund travel for fieldwork, archival work, or access to digital materials relevant to their research project.

Funds are limited to a maximum established by the COSAS annual budget. We strongly recommend that students have their travel reimbursement pre-approved by emailing the COSAS Associate Director at

Applying for COSAS Undergraduate Research Grant

In order to receive full funding, please email the following documentation to

  • a COSAS cover sheet;
  • a Statement of Purpose (no more than 2 pages in length). The Statement of Purpose should include:
    • a brief description of the research project, its questions, and whether it is for a senior thesis;
    • a description of the unique materials to be examined regarding to Southern Asia and how they will be accessed;
    • a description of the applicants’ preparedness to carry out this research;
    •  a time-line describing the research for which funds are being applies for;
  • a Budget that provides a line-item description of the total funds needed to complete the project, as well as a statement detailing how much of the total budget is requested from COSAS, alongside what, if any, other funds have been secured by the student for this project (e.g., from the Dean’s fund, etc.). NB: the budget should be devised with the help of the faculty member from the University of Chicago with whom you are working;
  • an Unofficial Transcript (a PDF of your academic history or electronic transcript may be submitted)
  • a short Resume/CV that includes the student’s major;
  • a Letter of Recommendation from a University of Chicago faculty member, lecturer, preceptor or academic advisor who is familiar with the student’s project (to be emailed directly to Rashmi Joshi []). NB: All applicants should be working with closely with a faculty member (lecturer or preceptor) in determining access to archives, availability of materials and budgeting.

Any questions about eligibility/ the application process should be directed to Rashmi Joshi ( Application materials should be e-mailed as a single Word or PDF attachment to Rashmi Joshi ( no later than the day of the deadline.


COSAS is pleased to announce the “COSAS BA Prize” for AY 2021–2022. The COSAS BA Prize recognizes excellence in BA thesis research in the study of Southern Asia by undergraduate students matriculated in any department of the University of Chicago. The award is given to the best senior BA thesis in Southern Asian Studies (per academic year) that makes use of primary materials in the area of Southern Asia in any concentration or discipline. (Southern Asian studies designates all scholarly research about the Southern Asian region and its peoples, viz. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor, Vietnam, and the Tibet Autonomous Region.)

Applying for COSAS BA Prize

  • For nominating faculty member: A short letter nominating the student for the BA prize, with a short description detailing the merit of the thesis in the context of Southern Asian studies and attesting to the good standing of the student.
  • For student application: Applicants should submit a copy of their senior thesis via email, and should include their name, department, advisor’s name, expected graduation date, phone number, and e-mail address on the title page. The thesis should be e-mailed as Word or PDF attachment (no larger than 5MB) to Rashmi Joshi ( by the day of the deadline.


Deadline for nomination and application:  The deadline for nomination and thesis submission is April 18, 2022.

Architecture in Agra, India

Language Study and Research through COARC-affiliated Institutes

Students from any university may apply for a variety of language and research fellowships through institutes affiliated with COARC. COARC programs and fellowships are generally open to individuals of any nationality.

In recent years, undergraduate and graduate students have been able to participate in some CAORC institute summer programs with support through the U. S. Department of State Critical Languages Scholarships (CLS). CLS fellowships are restricted to US citizens.

Please visit the CAORC-affiliated institute web sites for details regarding language study and area research funding opportunities:

US Department of Education Funding

Administered by the Office of Graduate Affairs

The USED supports a variety of federally funded language study and research fellowships. Details regarding eligibility and the application processes for FLAS, Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays fellowships are posted online by the University of Chicago Office of Graduate Affairs. For additional information, contact Brooke Noonan at or phone 773-702-0871. U.S. federally-supported fellowships often carry eligibility restrictions regarding citizenship.

Students applying for language study with the University of Wisconsin’s South Asia Summer Language Institute may also be eligible to apply for FLAS funding through the University of Wisconsin program. Please contact SASLI program administrators for details.


If you are visiting the college to present as part of our South Asia Seminar Series or at a conference, please fill out this Wufoo Form and we will buy your plane ticket for you.

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