Teaching and Research Assistantships

On a regular basis, Film Studies graduate students making appropriate progress toward their degree are hired to serve as teaching or research assistants. Graduate assistants serve an essential function both in the undergraduate Film Studies curriculum and in the research programs of Film Studies faculty members; in addition, the opportunity to serve as a teaching or research assistant contributes mightily to graduate student learning and professionalization. Film Studies graduate students who serve in other departments or programs are covered by the rules and practices of the other unit (e.g., French & Italian, Rhetoric, Spanish & Portuguese); graduate students from other units who are hired by Film Studies are covered by Film Studies regulations and expectations. All assistants teaching Film Studies courses will be assigned a course supervisor.

Application for an Assistantship

General financial aid commitments are normally made in a student's initial letter of acceptance, but students who have not received a financial aid commitment are also eligible to apply for assistantships. Each spring the available positions for the coming year (summer, fall, and spring semesters) are announced through the Film Studies listserve and other methods. Only when new opportunities open up during the course of the year are further announcements made. In addition to filing a formal application in the department office, students are encouraged to meet briefly with the Head of Film Studies to signify teaching/research preferences and qualifications.

Assistantship Appointments

Appointments are normally made in April of each year for the entire following academic year (summer, fall, and spring semesters). Film Studies graduate students are given preference for teaching assistantships in Film Studies. Appointment decisions depend primarily on curricular needs, student qualifications, previous performance, and existing contractual obligations. Every effort is made to place students in positions corresponding to their requests and educational goals; however, not all requests can be granted. As a general rule, the Film Studies faculty endeavor to provide Film Studies teaching experience for all PhD students and as many MA students as possible; in order to increase the number of students who can be supported, however, it is necessary also to take advantage of possible appointments in other departments or programs.

At the time of appointment, assistants are informed of a) approximate salary (since exact salaries are determined by negotiation between the University and COGS, the graduate student union, they are not generally announced until summer), b) number of hours of teaching or research assistant work expected each week, c) specific course and/or research appointment/s, and d) identity of course supervisors. During the course of the semester, any substantial variation from the stipulated level of effort should be reported to the Head of Film Studies.

Research Assistants

Research Assistants are assigned to help faculty members conduct their scholarly research, thereby engaging and training them in research skills useful to a future Film Studies career. Whenever possible, faculty draw upon specific skills (such as foreign language or cultural expertise) in assigning tasks. Ideally, Research Assistant work offers a learning experience as well as financial support for graduate students.

Research Assistants should monitor and report their working hours to their faculty supervisor. In general, RAs are expected to provide a fixed number of hours of service each week, but faculty supervisors and RAs may, by mutual consent, negotiate different configurations.

Research Assistantships are clearly distinguished from Teaching Assistantships. RAs may contribute to a faculty member’s preparation to teach a course (by gathering research materials, ascertaining film and video availability, etc.), but should not be asked to provide services directly related to the teaching of a faculty member’s course, such as “substitute” teaching, grading of papers or exams, or class screenings.

The benefits of Research Assistantships are accompanied by responsibilities as well. Like faculty members reviewing a manuscript for possible publication, RAs enjoy privileged access to unpublished research which provides a substantial source of information and learning, but which must not be quoted or otherwise used without the faculty member’s permission.

A brief report on RA performance is commonly included in the annual evaluation of a graduate student’s progress in the program.

Short-term Assistantship Appointments

From time to time, Film Studies graduate students may be appointed to short-term assistantships. Whenever such short-term appointments are made, the scheduling, number of hours, duties, remuneration, and supervisor are specified in a letter of appointment.

Graduate Fellowships

All materials, letters of recommendation, and other submission materials must be submitted to the Administrative Services Coordinator, Hope Miller, by the deadline dates listed below, unless otherwise noted.

Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowships
Departments may nominate one student for every eight Ph.D. students admitted to candidacy, up to a maximum of four students. Nominations are to be rank ordered.

For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Fall 2021 Application Deadline: September 9th (for Spring 2022 Award Nominations)

CLAS Dissertation Writing Fellowships
In the case of more than one application from the same PhD program, the Director of Graduate Studies ranks the applications from that program and describes the formal process by which the ranking was determined.

For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences website.

Fall 2021 Application Deadline: October 5th (for Summer/Fall 2022 Award Nominations)

Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio Fellowships
For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Spring 2022 Application Deadline: January 27th (for Summer 2022 Award Nominations)

Departments may nominate (in rank order) up to four students who completed their comprehensive exams between the specified times, per deadline.

Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Awards
For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Fall 2021 Application Deadline: September 9th (for Spring 2022 Award Nominations)

Graduate College Summer Fellowships
For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Spring 2022 Application Deadline: February 24th (for Summer 2022 Award Nominations)

Graduate College Underrepresented Minority Summer Research Fellowships
For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Spring 2022 Application Deadline: January 27th (for Summer 2022 Award Nominations)

MFA Summer Fellowships
For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Spring 2022 Application Deadline: February 3rd (for Summer 2022 Award Nominations)

ACT Scholars Award
For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Application Deadline: TBD Spring 2022

T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Fellowship
The application deadline is rolling. Applications will be reviewed as they come in. Once all money is allocated for a given year, applications will no longer be accepted. Check the website for updates. All applications must be submitted at least 10 weeks before travel would begin.

For fellowship description, qualifications, and submission materials, see the Graduate College website.

Application Deadline: Rolling Deadline

Scholarships

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences supports numerous scholarships through the college's annual scholarship competition. For a list of scholarships available in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and information on applying for scholarships, visit the CLAS Scholarships page.

The Graduate College

The Graduate College offers a wealth of information about funding for graduate students. For more information, visit Funding your UI Education in the Graduate College at the University of Iowa.