Fourth Year Doctoral Studentships

Fourth Year Doctoral Studentship

The RAI is fortunate to be able to offer financial support to fourth-year Oxford graduate students writing up theses in American history, politics, and literature or culture. We are glad to support graduate students at this crucial stage of their degree. 


Two people shaking hands
students writing something down


We advertise these scholarships in Trinity Term with a deadline in mid-May.

These one-year graduate scholarships, worth £9,000, are for fourth-year graduate students working in the fields of American Politics, History, or Literature and Culture (broadly construed). A scholarship will include access to desk space in a shared office during the Institute’s opening hours.

These scholarships are intended to support outstanding students who are in the process of finishing their doctoral research, and for whom a fourth year would allow the completion of their thesis. Preference will be given to candidates who have not already secured research funding elsewhere.

Preference will also be given to candidates who have demonstrably engaged in and contributed to the intellectual life of the Institute. Successful candidates will be expected to continue to play a strong role in the Institute’s activities during the academic year. Successful candidates working on American Literature may be called upon to convene the American Literature Research Seminar (ALRS).


The Fourth Year Graduate Scholarship has been invaluable in helping me through the final stages of my doctoral study. Financially, it has given me the mental freedom to concentrate solely on getting words on the page. The RAI graduate office has been a writing haven, and I am extremely grateful to have continued to benefit from the intellectual support of the RAI community in this final stage of my degree. This additional year has also enabled me to share my research in a number of venues, and these opportunities to gain feedback from an international community of Americanists have been instrumental in helping me complete my dissertation.

Sage Goodwin, Fourth Year Doctoral Scholar, 2020-21

Throughout my graduate studies in U.S. History, the Rothermere American Institute has provided not only vibrant intellectual surroundings within which to conduct my research, but also a supportive community of friends and mentors. The RAI regularly draws leading scholars from around the world as visiting professors and fellows, offering students the opportunity to connect with a global network of experts. The fourth-Year Graduate Doctoral Studentship enabled me to complete my dissertation without financial worry and to continue using the world-class resources of the Vere Harmsworth Library.

Grace Mallon, Fourth Year Doctoral Scholar, 2020-21

Apply for a Fourth Year Doctoral Studentship


An application consists of 5 elements:

  1. A completed RAI Scholarship Application Form. This can be downloaded from
  2. A cover letter outlining (i) research funding already secured, if any, and (ii) past and future the contributions to the intellectual life of the Institute and to research seminars in the candidate’s field
  3. A two-page curriculum vitae, including education and qualifications to date
  4. A sample chapter of the thesis and a one-page abstract of the project as a whole
  5. A reference from your D.Phil. supervisor, including the likely thesis completion date


Please send materials in support of your application by email to