David L. Patrick Dissertation Fellowships

The David L. Patrick Dissertation Fellowship is set up for PhD students in the Literature Program and Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English Program. 

Award Description

The Patrick Fellowship is designed to support doctoral students in the conduct of dissertation research. Each spring, two $7,000 Patrick Fellowships will be awarded to Ph.D. candidates in the department (one in Literature and one in RCTE). Awardees who hold GAT appointments may opt to continue their positions at .50 FTE with full University benefits. Those who choose to limit or discontinue their employment should be aware of how the change will increase their personal financial responsibility to the University. Please consult with your Program Director or Graduate Program Coordinator. Awardees receiving funding through the Office of Student Financial Aid (OFSA) must inform an advisor of changes in their level of support or cost of education. Please consult an OFSA advisor to determine the number of units required to maintain full-time graduate student status.


Ph.D. candidates in the Literature and RCTE Programs who have passed their Comprehensive examinations, have not defended their dissertation, and have not previously won the Patrick award are invited to apply for the Patrick Dissertation Fellowship. 

Criteria for Selection

Selection will be based on the quality of the applicants’ records and writing samples, the timeliness of their progress towards the degree, and the committee's evaluation of applicants’ potential for making future contributions to their fields.

Selection Process

The awards committee will be composed of the Directors of the Literature and RCTE Programs. There are two routes to nomination:

  1. RCTE faculty serve as the nominating body for RCTE students; the Graduate Literature Committee (GLC) nominates students from the Literature Program. Students will then submit to the director of their program a c.v., an approved dissertation proposal, and a dissertation chapter; in addition, they should request a letter of support from their dissertation director.
  2. Students may nominate themselves by submitting to the Director of their program a c.v., an approved dissertation proposal, a dissertation chapter, and two letters of support from faculty, one of which should be from the dissertation director and should include an assessment of the student's progress on the project.

Application Submission Format and Deadline

Applications should be submitted as email attachments and delivered to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Please feel free to “cc” your program director. All application materials are due to the RCTE and Literature Graduate Program Coordinator by February 29, 2024.


Typically within two to three weeks after application deadline. 

Past Awardees

  • Thir Budhathoki, PhD RCTE
    • "Linguistic Justice in Writing Studies: A Decolonial Perspective"
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Aimee Mapes, Damian Baca, Ann Shivers-McNair, Ragini Tharoor-Srinivasan
  • Sovay Hansen, PhD English Literature
    • "Women's Unspeakable Desire in British and German Modernism"
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Manya Lempert, Johanna Skibsrud, Barbara Kosta
  • Mattius Rischard, PhD English Literature
    • Writing the Urban Dwelling: Street, Text, Representation
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Lauren Mason, Lee Medovoi, Scott Selisker

  • Sheyda Safaeyan, PhD English Literature
    • "Towards Inclusive, Proliferative, and Transformative Models of the Future: Posthuman Blossoming in Post-1960 American Speculative Fiction and Film"
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Scott Selisker, Johanna Skibsrud, Lee Medovoi, Gerry Canavan
  • Stephen Paur, PhD Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English
    • "The Rhetoric of Bourgeois Naturalism: Economic Climatology and Planetary Justice"
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Matthew Abraham, Amy Kimme Hea, Leerom Medovoi

  • Meng Wang, PhD English Literature
    • "Post-World War II American Creative Non-fiction Literature: Female Environmental Writers.’ Ecocatastrophe Storytelling of Environmental Pollution, Public Health, and Social Justice"
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Scott Selisker, Manya Lempert, Lee Medovoi
  • Anuj Gupta, PhD Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English
    • Tentative Title: "Learning to talk to Generative AI bots: a corpus-driven, mixed -methods study of ChatGPT prompts for academic, technical, and business writing to enable critical AI literacy" 
    • Dissertation Committee Members: Susan Miller-Cochran, Ann Shivers-McNair, Ken McAllister, Chris Tardy, Kevin Brock