Are you interested in pursuing graduate research in Irish Studies? There are both interdisciplinary and discipline-specific options for Masters- or Ph.D.-level work in Irish Studies at Concordia.
For interdisciplinary projects (i.e. unique research projects that require a multi-disciplinary approach and are advised by supervisory committees composed of faculty members from different departments/disciplines) your options include the M.A. or Ph.D. tracks in the Individualized or ‘INDI’ program and the PhD Humanities program (HUMA).
For single-discipline graduate study, students can study Irish topics within a number of individual department graduate programs, including History, English, Music, Political Science, Geography, Anthropology, Theatre, etc.
Whether in an interdisciplinary or a discipline-specific graduate program at Concordia, an Irish Studies graduate student is defined as a student in one of the above programs who is either directly supervised by a SCIS faculty member or faculty fellow, or whose thesis committee includes one or more SCIS faculty members. (Note: since SCIS faculty members represent a variety of disciplines, it is possible in both the Humanities and INDI programs to have a graduate project committee entirely drawn from the SCIS).
Irish Studies graduate students are eligible for supplemental funding from the SCIS, in the form of various scholarships, bursaries, teaching or research assistantships, and other opportunities.
More detailed information on the different graduate study options, funding opportunities, and application procedures is provided below.
INDI - The Individualized Program - M.A. / Ph.D.
The Individualized Program (INDI) is designed to provide space within the university for a limited number of exceptionally capable and focused students with specific research goals. INDI offers graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels, in areas not covered by existing graduate programs. INDI allows you to combine two or more disciplines within or across three of the four faculties of the university: the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, and the John Molson School of Business. In most cases, students applying to INDI must propose a program involving multi- or interdisciplinary scholarship in research areas that are not normally the province of mainstream disciplines at Concordia.
Creating new syntheses of knowledge across traditional disciplinary boundaries is the hallmark of the INDI program. There are many researchers at Concordia and, especially, within the School of Canadian Irish Studies, who are prepared to help you navigate the interdisciplinary requirements for an INDI M.A. or Ph.D. For further information, visit: http://graduatestudies.concordia.ca/SIP/
HUMA - Ph.D. in the Humanities
The Humanities Ph.D. program (HUMA) offers students innovative opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary research projects in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts. In 2007, HUMA became part of the newly created Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture. Students entering the program with an MFA degree can include studio work as a component of their program of study and thesis.
Applicants to HUMA are required to submit research proposals indicating the multi- or interdisciplinary scope of their projects, and declare one Major field, normally within the discipline of the student's Master's degree, and two Minor fields/disciplines. The Major field must be from a Humanities, Social Science, or Fine Arts discipline. Minor fields are normally from the Humanities, Social Sciences or Fine Arts. For further information, visit: http://cissc.concordia.ca/phdinhumanities/
Discipline-Specific Graduate Work on Irish Topics
Students interested in Irish Studies topics can also develop a graduate research project within a single discipline by applying to the Masters or Ph.D. program of a given department, such as History, English, Theatre, Film, Music, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, etc. [Note: not all departments necessarily offer both a Masters and a Doctoral degree option. Consult the graduate studies webpage of the department you are interested in to determine the specific degree programs offered.] The single department/discipline graduate degree is a good option for applicants with a strong academic background in one discipline (for example, a potential Irish History doctoral student who has earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in History) and whose research interests are essentially confined to a single discipline’s methods and concerns. To pursue this option, you apply directly to a given department’s graduate program, while specifying your Irish research interests and the appropriate Irish Studies faculty member you’d like to supervise your project or join your thesis committee. Students who pursue this option primarily undertake coursework within their particular department, but can generally also take an independent reading course with their Irish Studies advisor.
Graduate students at Concordia can access several types of competitive funding: fellowships, awards and assistantships from the Faculty of Arts and Science, its departments, and the School of Graduate Studies. They also have opportunities to apply for a federal and/or provincial grant as well as other external awards and scholarships. Beyond these opportunities, Irish Studies graduate students are eligible for various scholarships and other sources of funding offered by the SCIS. All of these opportunities are discussed in more detail below.
The Faculty of Arts and Science offers, on a competitive basis, recruitment fellowships to new students ($7000 for one year in M.A. programs and $12,000 per year for three years at the Ph.D. level). In addition, graduate students are eligible for teaching assistantships through their departments and research assistantships with faculty members and research centres in the Faculty.
Incoming students who win external awards (e.g. SSHRC, FQRSC) are offered top-up funding from the School of Graduate Studies ($6,000 for M.A.s and $10,000 for Ph.D. students). Doctoral students are also eligible to receive $15,000 for one year following the expiry of their external award. The School of Graduate Studies also provides thesis completion awards to select doctoral students on a competitive basis.
In addition to recruitment funding, Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science provides support, on a competitive basis, to students who organize academic conferences at Concordia, or are traveling to present papers, posters or exhibits at conferences elsewhere. The School of Graduate Studies also administers the distribution of prizes/awards targeted to students in particular fields.
For further information on the range of awards and funding opportunities offered through Graduate Studies, visit their Funding webpage here: http://graduatestudies.concordia.ca/funding/
The Graduate School website also has a Graduate Awards Directory that can help you find additional funding opportunities. Visit: http://graduatestudies.concordia.ca/funding/azsources/awardsdirectory/
In addition to the various sources of regular funding available to graduate students at Concordia, the School of Canadian Irish Studies offers annual bursaries to support graduate students in Irish Studies. The bursaries range from up to $5,000 annually for Masters’ students and up to $10,000 a year for Ph.D. students. It is generally expected that graduate students in Irish Studies would hold other sources of funding, and the Department’s Scholarship Committee reserves the right to allocate these bursaries in accordance with the academic priorities of the School of Canadian Irish Studies. As a rule, bursaries offered by the SCIS are intended as supplemental (i.e. ‘top-up’) sources of support, such as when Concordia funding runs out and/or for international students who are not eligible for certain Canadian and Quebec government funding.
Students seeking funding from provincial or federal sources should visit the following sites and allow 4-6 months to prepare their applications and research dossiers:
Quebec’s FQRSC program: http://www.fqrsc.gouv.qc.ca/fr/accueil.php
Canada’s SSHRC program: http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/
Students applying to Concordia from elsewhere in Canada should be aware that tuition rates in Quebec are among the lowest in North America. In particular, at the Ph.D. level, all Canadian students and permanent residents pay Quebec fees regardless of their province of origin or domicile at the time of application.
International Students Applying to Concordia
International students applying for graduate studies at Concordia are eligible for the various forms of financial support outlined above, with the exception of SSHRC and FQRSC. The bursaries offered by the School of Canadian Irish Studies can be particularly helpful for international students, especially so when other sources of funding run out. International students should also pursue funding opportunities from national agencies and various foundations in their home countries. For example, in the United States there is the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Application Procedures and Further Information
If you are interested in making Irish Studies the focus of your graduate degree the first step you should take is to email a faculty member in the SCIS whose research interests and disciplinary background seem most relevant to your interests. To help you direct your enquiry, you can peruse the research and teaching interests and backgrounds of SCIS faculty members here: http://cdnirish.concordia.ca/faculty/
If you are still not sure whom to approach, you can simply send a more general email query to the Department and your email will be passed along to the faculty. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you are in touch with a faculty member of the SCIS, we can help you find the most appropriate program for your interests and otherwise advise you and answer your questions about graduate studies.
At the same time, you should carefully explore the program descriptions and application procedures of the graduate program that seems best suited to your interests. So, for possible interdisciplinary projects, closely examine the INDI and Humanities program websites. For History, English, or other department-specific programs, go to that department’s website for further graduate program information.
You should give yourself plenty of time to research and prepare your materials before application deadlines. You should also directly contact program directors/advisors with any specific questions about their program requirements, application process, etc. Such advanced planning – beginning at least six months before the application deadline – is especially important in the case of the INDI and Humanities programs given that each requires detailed research plans, the construction of customized supervisory committees, letters of support from potential committee members, and the like.
Finally, along with preparing your program application, Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents should consider applying to a federal SSHRC grant and/or a Quebec FQRSC grant for possible external entrance funding.