Funding Opportunities


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

Undergraduate Award Opportunities

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 Religious Studies 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 haven’t), 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 student’s 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 students’ future 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 Religious Studies 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. 

Center for Ideas and Society Funds

The University of California, Riverside’s 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.