Scholarships & Awards


Due to the generosity of various donors, each year the University of South Florida Department of English makes available a number of scholarships and awards to recognize outstanding teaching and scholarly work among our graduate students. Recipients are recognized at the annual Celebration of Awards and Achievements near the end of spring term.


Following the wishes of our generous donors, the scholarships listed below are restricted to students whose home campus is designated as the USF Tampa campus. Please note that these awards are scholarships, awarded on the basis of merit.


Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 (4:00 pm)

Distribution of Awards

The scholarships listed below are non-taxable, and will be processed and paid to each winner’s Oasis account through the Office of Financial Aid.

Possible scholarships & awards include the following:

Teaching Scholarships & Awards

Award Eligibility

Joseph Bentley Teaching Scholarship

Teacher of any English course(s) at USF or through USF program within academic year selected

Estelle J. Zbar Scholarship for Teaching & Academic Excellence in English

Master's students only: teacher of freshman composition within academic year selected

Excellence in Teaching Award

Click here for details.

Please note that the Excellence in Teaching Award is not a scholarship and carries no monetary award. It has its own application process that is different from the Bentley and Zbar scholarships: click on the link above for details

Criteria for Teaching Awards (not in order of priority):

  • Effectiveness of classroom presentation
  • Rapport & interaction with students in the classroom
  • Depth of knowledge of subject matter
  • Quality of response to student assignments and exams
  • Quality of assignments and rigor of grading standards
  • A minimum of 33% return on student evaluations 

Awards for Academic and Scholarly Achievement 

Award Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Irving H. Rubin and Mollie M. Rubin Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Student

Eligible: Master's or doctoral students in all areas (Full or Part-Time).

Criteria (not all required and not in priority order):

  • Overall GPA
  • Scholarly production (papers, conference presentations, etc.)
  • Service to department (not necessarily teaching)
  • Service to the profession

Alice Hearne Scholarship for Outstanding Doctoral Candidate

Eligible: Doctoral candidates in Literature or R/C (Full or Part-Time).

Criteria (not in priority order):

  • Performance on the PhD qualifying exam
  • Doctoral GPA
  • Scholarly production
  • Quality of dissertation prospectus (approved prospectus preferred)

Carolyn L. Cooley Graduate Scholarship in American Literature

Eligible: Doctoral students in Literature (Full or Part-Time).

Criteria (not in priority order):

  • Prospectus (if available)
  • One writing sample (in addition to prospectus)
  • Scholarly record (GPA, publications, conference papers)
  • 3.5 GPA

Jack B. Moore Memorial Scholarship

Eligible: Master's or doctoral students (Full or Part-Time).

Criteria (not in priority order): 

  • Work in American literature, with emphasis on American culture (published or unpublished)
  • 3.0 GPA

Irving Deer Memorial Scholarship

 Eligible: Master's or doctoral students in Literature (Full or Part-Time).


  • Theoretically-informed work in literature, film, or cultural studies (published or unpublished) 
  • 3.0 GPA 

John and Dorothy Iorio Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Student

Eligible: Master's or doctoral students in Literature (Full Time); must be a Florida Resident


  • Outstanding academic record
  • Leadership

Harry and Julian Newman Archival Research Scholarship*

Eligible: Doctoral candidates.


  • Archival research required
  • Strong preference to students working in British literature
  • Quality of research proposal

* Note that the Harry and Julian Newman Archival Research Award requires a separate application and has its own deadline. Unfortunately, the department will be unable to award this scholarship in the 2022-23 academic year. Information about the availability of this award in 2023-24 is forthcoming: contact Dr. Lennon with any questions.

How to Apply

Scholarships (which are not taxable) will be disbursed as part of the winners’ financial aid packages by the Office of Student Financial Aid. 

All students who wish to be considered for a scholarship or award must e-mail a PDF portfolio to the graduate program specialist by 4pm on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023. The Excellence in Teaching Award is due by February 24th, 2023. Portfolios received after the deadline will not be considered.

The requirements for the portfolio are as follows:

  • Submit all portfolio documents in ONE pdf file with the documents in the order designated below.
  • E-mail your PDF portfolio to the graduate program specialist.
  • Mark documents clearly in the following order:
All applicants must include the following:

1) Submission cover sheet

2) Curriculum vitae—must use format of sample vitae; list accomplishments in chronological order with most recent first

Applicants for teaching awards must include the following:

3) Teaching statement (2-page maximum) to include (a) description of teaching philosophy and methods, and (b) self-evaluation of teaching strengths and weaknesses

4) List of all courses taught at USF (1-2 pages) with terms, years, and enrollment numbers of students

5) Two-three sample syllabi (aside from the standard first-year composition course syllabus; you may include self-authored syllabi). Applicants for the Estelle J. Zbar scholarship may include 1-2 self-authored syllabi, but it is not required.

6) Student evaluations** from the immediate last 2 semesters (fall and spring; or if that is not available, the most recent 2 semesters); include numeric evaluations and student comments for all courses taught in those past 2 semesters

7) Report/s of teaching mentors/class visitations (2-3; helpful if these reports correspond to the teaching evaluations)

** Submit a copy request to the department specifying which courses and which semesters you need, and the copies will be placed in your mailbox.

Applicants for research scholarships must submit the following:

8) Writing sample: 1 single-authored sample of approximately 20-25 pages. A sample may include a published article, submitted article under review, work in progress, conference paper, course research paper (with a works cited), or thesis/dissertation chapter; published book reviews and published notes may be considered

9) A dissertation prospectus, if available, approved by student's dissertation committee (if the prospectus has not yet been approved, an advanced draft can be submitted; an approved prospectus is preferred, but not required, for the Hearne and Cooley Scholarships)

* Note that The Harry and Julian Newman Archival Research Award requires a separate application.