In addition to taking coursework and undertaking substantive research projects, the faculty expect that graduate students in the MA and PhD programs will pursue professionalization activities. Such activities help prepare our students for their future careers, whether they choose to pursue a traditional tenure-track position in academia or a position in government or industry.

Below are some resources on activities such as professional conventions and conferences, workshops, and professionalization resources available through the University of Georgia community, as well as select, reputable outside resources.

Conferences & Calls for Papers

Attending conferences as a graduate student is an important way to hone your skills as a public speaker, learn about other scholars’ research, and meet colleagues in your field. Funding through the Graduate School may be applied for; for more information, see here.

The American Political Science Association has a list of conferences in the profession here.

APSA has also put together a helpful guide for first-time graduate student attendees here.

Other commonly attended conferences include:

The International Studies Association national convention and regional conferences

The Georgia Political Science Conference


The Departments of Political Science and International Affairs routinely put on workshops and seminars designed to help graduate students navigate complex, relevant topics like mental health, productivity, and the job market. Current workshops will be listed below.

Campus Resources

There are numerous programs at the University of Georgia designed to help you enhance your professional development during your graduate career.

One such program is the Future Faculty Fellows Program. Several of our Ph.D. students have participated in this yearlong professional development program, which focuses on preparing students for the academic job market and their role as future tenure-track faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning also sponsors a variety of professional development workshops for graduate students on topics including instructional design, creating a teaching portfolio, and other topics of interest. See the full listing here.

SPIA also has our own Reference Librarian who specializes in International Affairs, Political Science, and Public Administration and is happy to consult with graduate students on research resources.

The Graduate School offers several resources for grad students, including free poster printing for conference presentations and several academic and interdisciplinary certificates. For more details, visit their website here.

Outside Resources

UGA graduate students have free access to Versatile PhD, which is particularly targeted at PhDs seeking alt-ac or non-academic career positions. Students may login through the UGA Career Center’s website to access Versatile PhD.

The American Political Science Association maintains a list of career resources for graduate students and political science PhDs, including sample job candidate questions and non-academic career exploration.

The Chronicle of Higher Education maintains a Career Network with job listings, information, and advice on careers both within and outside of academia.

Funding and Grant Opportunities
  • The Southern Regional Education Board offers a Doctoral Scholars Program Fellowship for students wishing to pursue a PhD. The deadline to apply is March 31. Find more information on eligibility at their website.
  • The American Political Science Association has a Minority Fellows Program open for application in both Fall and Spring. This fellowship is open to undergraduate seniors, recent graduates, and other individuals in the process of applying for a PhD program and who are members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority. See their website for more details.
  • The American Political Science Association sponsors thirteen annual grants to assist APSA members, including graduate students, with research costs. See the Centennial Center for more details.
  • UGA offers access to Pivot, a grant-finding database funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research. You need to create an account to search for funding opportunities.
  • The UGA Office of Research sponsors the Foreign Travel Assistance Program, which provides assistance for round-trip airfare for travel to foreign conference destinations. See their website for more details and deadlines.
  • The National Archives provides a list of grant opportunities for students interested in studying US federal records or Presidential papers.
  • The Social Science Research Council offers an extensive list of fellowships and prizes, particularly for students interested in African and Asian regions and in conflict studies. They also have a Dissertation Proposal Development Program.
  • The Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship is open to graduate students conducting dissertation research on non-US topics. The deadline is November 5 every year.
  • The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, recognizes graduate students with “exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education.”
  • The Udall Foundation sponsors one-year fellowships for doctoral students whose research concerns US environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution.
  • The Smith Richardson Foundation sponsors a “World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship” for doctoral students whose work focuses on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, strategic studies, area studies, and diplomatic and military history.
  • The American Council of Learned Societies offers a number of grants and fellowships, many of which are open to doctoral students. Find the full list on their website.
  • Scholars interested in American history, the Founding, etc., may find the Library Company of Philadelphia’s grant and fellowships programs of interest.
  • The Jefferson Scholars Foundation sponsors a $25,000 fellowship for outstanding scholars at top institutions across the country who are completing dissertations in American history, politics, public policy and foreign relations. See the website for details including deadlines.