San Jose Gurdwara Dome



There are multiple funding routes for both Undergraduate and Graduate Students at the University of California Riversides the Study of Religion Department. Below is a list of currently available funding opportunities.

Undergraduate Award Opportunities

Holstein Chair Undergraduate Award 

The Holstein Chair Undergraduate Award is granted to undergraduate students for their demonstrated commitment to the connections between religion and social justice. For more information about this award, please contact Professor Melissa Wilcox

Shrimad Rajchandra Essay Award in Jain Studies

For information about the Shrimas Rajchandra Essay Award, please contact Professor Ana Bajželj.

Graduate Award Opportunities

Graduate Education and Research Activity (GERA) Grants

The Study of Religion Department has a limited budget available for the Study of Religion graduate students to support education and research activities, such as attending summer language institutes, attending conferences, and traveling to research sites. Requests for funding are reviewed in a rolling capacity.

Applications should be sent by email to the current faculty Graduate Director for the department. In your application, please include:

  • A cover letter explaining the purpose of your request and its importance to your education and your future career goals. Please also indicate whether other sources of funding are available, whether you have applied for them (and why not, if you havent), and what the outcome of those applications was if known.
  • If relevant and available, a copy of the letter indicating your acceptance to the conference, language school, or other events.
  • A detailed budget that clearly indicates the requested amount and the purposes to which it will be put.

If you are requesting funds for more than one purpose in the same quarter, please submit one application for each activity.

Applications will be accepted as far in advance as needed. Applications will not be turned down just because the event is imminent, but if there are insufficient funds available it may be difficult to fund a last-minute application.

In order to support as many people as possible with a limited budget, applications may at times be funded at levels lower than those requested. Funding decisions will be made based on the importance of an activity to the students education and future career goals, on the availability of other funding sources, and on the number and amount of previous awards, with the goal being not equality of funding but equality of opportunity (attending a language institute costs more than attending the AAR in San Diego, for instance, but each may be equally critical to different studentsfuture careers).

If you have questions about these grants or about how to apply for them, please contact the Graduate Director, other members of the Graduate Program Committee, or the faculty member(s) with whom you work most closely.

Holstein Graduate Prize In Religion And Social Justice

The Department for the Study of Religion invites submissions for the Holstein Graduate Prize in Religion and Social Justice. This annual prize awards a certificate of recognition and $500 to the author of the best paper or dissertation chapter written by a current graduate student at UCR within the previous year (since the prior year's submission deadline), on a topic related to religion and social justice. Although graduate students in the Department of Religious Studies will receive primary consideration for this award, applications from outside the department will also be considered.

Papers may be published or unpublished and should be no longer than 10,000 words (excerpts from a longer chapter or paper are acceptable, but please ensure that the resulting excerpted document is coherent). There is no minimum length. Applicants may only submit one paper or chapter each year. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee. To submit a paper, please send it as an email attachment in Word or PDF format to by May 16, 2021.

The Holstein Graduate Prize is funded by the Holstein Family and Community Chair in the Study of Religion at UCR, which was created through the generosity of Robert and Loretta Holstein and their family and friends.

For questions regarding the Holstein Graduate Prize or the submission process, please contact Professor and Holstein Family and Community Chair Dr. Melissa M. Wilcox. 

Holstein Dissertation Fellowship

The Department for the Study of Religion at the University of California, Riverside is pleased to announce that applications are open for the 2022-23 cohort of Holstein Dissertation Fellows.

The Holstein Dissertation Fellowship is a competitive annual, non-stipendiary program that brings together a small cohort of doctoral candidates working in the areas of queer and transgender studies in religion for networking, writing support, and mentoring at UC Riverside in Southern California. Fellows travel as a group to UCR, or during times of quarantine meet remotely, on three separate weekends during the academic year; when Fellows meet in person, the fellowship pays all expenses for transportation, accommodations, and meals during each trip. Typical cohorts are between four and six Fellows, depending on available funding.

Applications are invited from Ph.D. students in any field, both within and outside the US, whose doctoral research focuses on queer and/or transgender studies in religion. Doctoral degree tracks other than the Ph.D. may be considered on a case-by-case basis, and applications from doctoral students attending UCR are welcome. Fellows must have advanced to candidacy (CPhil), passed their upgrade from MPhil to PhD, or met their institution’s equivalent requirement, and must have their doctoral research (dissertation/thesis) project approved by their institution, by June 30, 2022. They must also anticipate completion of the Ph.D. no sooner than the spring of the fellowship year. Fellowships are intended, in other words, for those who will be doctoral candidates for at least a significant majority and ideally all of their fellowship year.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, a CV, a dissertation/doctoral thesis abstract of between one-half page and three pages, and one letter of recommendation from a member of your doctoral committee. Your cover letter should explain your background in queer and/or transgender studies, the study of religion, and queer and/or transgender studies in religion; briefly introduce your doctoral research project (your dissertation or doctoral thesis); explain your current progress on the project and your expected timeline for completion, with particular attention to the work you plan to do during the fellowship year; and identify at least three faculty members in Southern California, listed in order of preference, with whom you would like to work in a mentoring relationship during the weekend visits to UCR. Nominated mentors should be scholars with whom you do not ordinarily have the opportunity to work, and should not include Melissa Wilcox, who works closely with all fellowship recipients. Nominated mentors do not need to be UCR faculty, but they should be located within no more than approximately 150 miles of Riverside (use a mapping app if you’re unsure). Send all application materials as email attachments to by May 2, 2022. Applications will be reviewed by Dr. Wilcox and by the applicant’s nominated mentor(s); selection criteria include but are not limited to the quality of the applicant’s work, the depth of the project’s connection to queer and/or transgender studies and religious studies, the availability of appropriate mentors, and the applicant’s length of time to degree completion (all other factors being equal, those who will be ineligible for later cohorts due to completion of the Ph.D. will receive priority consideration). There are no guarantees as to the availability of nominated mentors, but every effort will be made to match accepted Fellows with mentors whose own work is close to the Fellow’s dissertation topic.

The Holstein Dissertation Fellowship is funded by the Holstein Family and Community Chair in the Study of Religion at UCR, created through the generosity of Robert and Loretta Holstein and their family and friends.

For questions regarding the program or the application process, please contact Melissa M. Wilcox at

Center for Ideas and Society Funds

The University of California, Riversides Center for Ideas and Society offers multiple funding routes for various purposes including conferences, writing fellowships, and other funds. You can find more information here.

Graduate Student Association (GSA) Funding

The Graduate Students Association offers conference travel grants throughout the year. You can find information here.