The LSA administers the biennial fellowship competition, and provides dedicated funds to ensure that awardees are able to attend the Institute tuition-free. Join the LSA today: your dues help us make this possible!

Background Information on the Application Procedure

A limited number of fellowships, including several named fellowships (see below), are available on a competitive basis to students attending the Linguistic Institute. Fellowships generally cover only the cost of tuition to attend the Institute (although the Bernard and Julia Bloch, James McCawley and Ivan Sag fellowships provide some additional support); fellowships do not cover living expenses, travel expenses to and from the Institute, or visa expenses for international students. To be awarded a fellowship, students must enter the fellowship competition, which is administered by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA); access to the online fellowship application will be through LSA member login. Students must be members of the LSA to apply for fellowships; non-members may join the Society in order to apply. A link to the online fellowship application will be made available on the Institute and LSA websites once the application period opens.

Fellowship applications for the 2017 Linguistic Institute were made available in late 2016.

Applicants may be undergraduate or graduate students; graduate students should not have received the PhD before the completion of the Institute. Applicants do not need to be US citizens. Due to the limited amount of funding available, students who have received a fellowship from the LSA to attend a previous Institute are not eligible to apply. Students need not register for the Institute prior to learning whether they have been awarded a fellowship, but to be eligible to receive a fellowship, if awarded one, a student must register for a full course load at the Institute.

To apply for a fellowship, students will be asked to write a statement of purpose of no more than 500 words, to identify the Institute courses they intend to take and to provide details about academic preparation, including publications and presentation, transcripts, and English proficiency.  Applicants for the Bernard and Julia Bloch Fellowship will be asked to write brief additional statements of qualification.  Academic transcripts are required for North American applicants who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, a Master's program, or years 1-3 of a PhD program, and for applicants from other institutions if they are available.  Two letters of recommendation will also be required.  As noted above, the names and e-mail addresses of two recommenders are submitted as part of the fellowship application, and the LSA solicits the recommendations. 

Courses at the Institute are held in English and it is assumed that participants will have native or near-native proficiency. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence of English proficiency or describe their experience using the language.  Examples of evidence include but are not limited to: native speaker status, study at an institution where the medium of instruction is English, TOEFL/IELTS scores, significant writing in English, or extensive coursework in English. 

Bernard and Julia Bloch Fellowship

Established from the Julia Bloch Memorial Fund, the Bernard and Julia Bloch fellowship was first awarded in the summer of 1970. Guidelines for the selection of the awardee were drafted and submitted to the Executive Committee in December of that year. The criteria included the statement that the candidate for the fellowship would be, in the opinion of the selection committee, the most promising applicant, with preference given to American Indian candidates.

In 1980, the Executive Committee determined that the Bloch Fellow would serve ex-officio as a full voting member of the Executive Committee, representing student members of the Society. In light of this action, the Executive Committee decided that the applicant selected the Bloch Fellow must be a currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student. In 1982 the Executive Committee further specified that the student awarded the Bernard and Julia Bloch Fellowship may not be from the institution hosting the Institute. The Bloch Fellow also serves as the Chair of the LSA's Committee on Student Issues and Concerns (COSIAC).  In that capacity, the COSIAC Chair plays a central role in organizing student-centered activity at the Annual Meeting. 

In 1997, the Executive Committee determined that the stipend for the Bloch Fellow would be sufficient to cover tuition, travel and sustenance, and allow for some discretionary funds.


  • 2017 U Kentucky: Yining Nie, New York University 
  • 2015 U Chicago: Ivy Hauser, U Mass - Amherst
  • 2013 U Michigan: Troy Messick, University of Connecticut
  • 2011 U Colorado-Boulder: Rebekah Baglini, University of Chicago
  • 2009 UC Berkeley: Scott Grimm, Stanford University
  • 2007 Stanford U: Michael Frank, MIT
  • 2005 MIT/Harvard: Rebecca T. Cover, U California-Berkeley
  • 2003 Michigan SU: Kristen Syrett, Northwestern U
  • 2001 U California-Santa Barbara: Cynthia Clopper, Indiana U
  • 1999 U Illinois-Champaign/Urbana: Gunnar O. Hansson, U California-Berkeley
  • 1997 Cornell U: Adam Albright, U California-Los Angeles
  • 1995 U New Mexico: Lynn Nichols, Harvard U
  • 1993 Ohio SU: Christopher Manning, Stanford U
  • 1991 U California-Santa Cruz: Jill Beckman, Ohio SU
  • 1989 U Arizona: Chris Barker, U California-Santa Cruz
  • 1987 Stanford U: Dawn Bates, U Washington
  • 1986 City U New York-Grad Center: Juan Uriagereka, U Connecticut
  • 1985 Georgetown U: Anthony Moy, U California-Berkeley
  • 1983 U California-Los Angeles: Peter Sells, U Massachusetts-Amherst
  • 1982 U Maryland: Shelley Velleman, U Texas-Austin
  • 1980 U New Mexico: Susan DeSantis, Georgetown U/Gallaudet U
  • 1979 U Salzburg: Richard Janda, U California-Los Angeles
  • 1978 U Illinois-Champaign/Urbana: Jaklin Kornfilt, Harvard U
  • 1977 U Hawaii-Manoa: Laurel Dent, U Pennsylvania
  • 1976 SUNY-Oswego: Christine Clifford, Yale U
  • 1975 U South Florida: Emanuel Drechsel, U Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1974 U Massachusetts-Amherst: James P. Gee, Stanford U
  • 1973 U Michigan: Joel T. Katz, Stanford U
  • 1972 U North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Carl A. Urion, Millett, AB, Canada
  • 1971 SUNY-Buffalo: Robert D. Levine, Columbia U
  • 1970 Ohio SU: Julie Beth Lovins, U Chicago

Ivan Sag Linguistic Institute Fellowship

Established in 2014 in honor of our late colleague Ivan Sag, by contributions from LSA members, colleagues, and friends, the Ivan Sag Linguistic Institute Fellowship provides tuition, room and board, and travel for a student at the Linguistic Institute. The Sag Fellowship was awarded for the first time at the 2015 Linguistic Institute. 

Ivan Sag began attending Linguistic Institutes as a graduate student, and continued directing and teaching at Institutes throughout his life. He enlivened every Institute he attended not only with his intellectual engagement, but by organizing housing co-ops, parties in the co-ops, and rock bands to play at those parties. The Ivan A. Sag Institute Fellowship memorializes Ivan’s brilliance, his love of life and linguistics, and his willingness to share these loves with the Institute community. The Ivan A. Sag Institute Fellowship is for an exceptionally promising linguist, and with the expectation that the Sag Fellow will go beyond the normal Institute participation, exercising the kind of inclusiveness, generosity and energy that made Ivan who he was.

  • 2017 U Kentucky: Jamaal Muwwakkil, UC - Santa Barbara
  • 2015 U Chicago: Maura Sullivan, UC - Berkeley

James McCawley Fellowship

The James McCawley Fellowship is made possible through contributions to the James McCawley Memorial Fund, established in 1999. One fellowship is available for either 1) a graduate student from the University of Chicago, or 2) a graduate student from an Asian country. ("Asian country" is defined as Burma, Cambodia, China (including Taiwan), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.) This award includes tuition, travel, and room and board for the Asian student where applicable.


  • 2017 U Kentucky: Hitomi Minamida, Cornell University
  • 2015 U Chicago: Teigo Onishi, Kyoto University
  • 2013 U Michigan: Haoze Li, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 2011 U Colorado-Boulder: Niko Kobepa, Australian National University
  • 2009 UC Berkeley: Morgan Sonderegger, University of Chicago
  • 2007 Stanford U: Jie Guo, Chinese U of Hong Kong and Yaron McNabb, U Chicago
  • 2005 MIT/Harvard: Bhim Gautam, Tribhuvan U (Nepal) and Eun-Hae Park, U Chicago
  • 2003 Michigan SU: Lohani Ram Raj, Tribhuvan U (Nepal) and Li Fan, Beijing U
  • 2001 U California-Santa Barbara: Paul Kockelman, U Chicago

Dictionary Society of North America Fellowships

The Dictionary Society of North America Fellowship provides tuition for a student at the 2015 LSA Linguistic Institute at the University of Chicago enrolled in "Computational Corpus Lexicography."  The DSNA Fellowship will not be awarded at the 2017 Linguistic Institute.


  • 2015 U Chicago: Skye Anderson, University of Arizona
  • 2013 U Michigan: Erin Vobornik, Northern Illinois University
  • 2011 U Colorado-Boulder: Justin McBride, Oklahoma State University

Ken Hale Student Fellowship

The Fellowship will be awarded to a graduate student attending the biennial summer Linguistic Institute who is pursuing a course of study to document endangered languages and work with communities toward their preservation. The LSA will make the first Hale student fellowship award at the 2017 Linguistic Institute at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

  • 2017 U Kentucky: Ivan Kapitonov, University of Melbourne

Other Fellowship Recipients