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Language Science Fellows

Language Science Fellows Program

We are currently accepting applications for Language Science Fellows. You can join the Apprentice Program at any time.

Language Science Fellows (LSF) are a community of engaged graduate students training to become innovative, adaptable leaders in language science. They come from a range of departments and disciplinary backgrounds, and have a wide range of research and career goals. But they do have some goals in common:

  • to develop a research program that integrates theory and/or methods from multiple disciplines;
  • to take control of their graduate training, and learn skills not offered by their home department;
  • to collaborate and work as a member of a diverse team;
  • to change their community (educational, scientific, social, or civic) for the better.


The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program awarded UMD a $3M training grant (starting in 2015) for the project “Flexibility in language processes in technology: Human and global scale.” This grant funds many of our Language Science Fellows through stipends and travel/research support. To participate in the NRT program, fellows must fulfill a few additional requirements, detailed below.

Program Components

Students in the program design an individual research and training plan based on their personal goals. The plans generally involve a number of activities outside the student’s home PhD program, including:

  • courses in other departments, or co-taught by faculty from other departments;
  • regular participation in cross-departmental language science events, such as Language Science Day, Winter Storm, and Language Science Lunch Talks;
  • interdisciplinary research experiences, such as a lab rotation, collaborations with students or faculty from other departments, or joining a multidisciplinary research team;
  • courses, workshops, and mentoring related to career development, communication, and other professional skills;
  • participation in outreach to non-scientists, such as high schoolers or policy makers;
  • internships in non-academic environments (e.g. industry or policy);
  • leadership in student committees responsible for organizing community activities and events

Students in the NRT-funded track fulfill additional specific requirements:

  • participation in a research team
  • research that addresses the theme of “multi-scale data”
  • a science policy experience


All Fellows are eligible to apply for funding to support research-related expenses such as travel, supplies, or participant payments. Funding decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

All Fellows are also potentially eligible for some degree of stipend support. Funding decisions for stipend support are made on an individual basis, depending on the availability of funds, the student’s needs, and the quality of the student’s research and training proposal. 


Applications will open in March 2019.

Language Science Apprentice Program

The Apprentice program is designed for first- or second-year PhD students who plan to become full Language Science Fellows. Apprentices spend up to a year mapping out their professional goals and devising an integrated research and teaching plan, with guidance from their advisors and LSC staff. Meanwhile, they become integrated in the language science community by participating in research, professional development, and/or outreach activities. Apprentices are also eligible to apply for research and travel support. 

We accept applications for the apprentice program year-round.