Scholarship in
Science Fiction Studies

The Center for the Study of Science Fiction is pleased to offer a substantial scholarship for studying or writing science fiction at the University of Kansas. The Scholarship was given by a University of Kansas alumnae friendly to the Center for the Study of Science Fiction and the English Department, and has been given since 2009.

The Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies has a deadline to turn in all materials to the KU English Department in mid-March. If the Scholarship is not granted for this deadline, we will consider applicants until the start of the Fall semester (late-August each year).

The Award consists of a substantial amount of money (sufficient to cover the cost of several courses or other appropriate expenses for a given year) funded by a generous donor who supports science fiction, plus a $100 tuition reduction for the Speculative Fiction Writers Workshop.

The Center also offers the James E. Gunn Award for Science Fiction Writing. Click here for more information.

Additionally of interest to SF scholars if the Heinlein Society Scholarship Program (not affiliated with the Center, but a great way to help pay for your SF studies at KU).


  • To apply for the Scholarship, submit the following to the University of Kansas English Department by the deadline:
    • A letter stating your name, address, resident status, graduate or undergraduate status, and major (and any minor) field of study.
    • A short essay (500 - 2500 words) about how you would use and benefit from a scholarship in the study of or the writing of science fiction (or both). How could this scholarship help you do things you couldn't otherwise afford?
    • To be considered by the first deadline, you must ensure that all materials have arrived at the English Department by (not postmarked by) mid-March.
    • You can find the .pdf instructions for all the English awards online here. For more details, or to apply after the March deadline, contact Chris McKitterick at
  • We have two submission deadlines: The primary deadline is in the Spring, and the secondary deadline - if funds remain - for incoming Fall students is prior to the start of classes. If you need more details, contact Chris McKitterick. The first deadline to turn in all materials to the KU English Department is mid-March. If we do not award the scholarship during the first segment, we will consider late submissions, especially for new, incoming students to KU.
  • This is a scholarship to study or write science fiction. For some of the definitions of SF, check the Web, or see our main page. Also read James Gunn's essay on the Protocols of Science Fiction for more insight. The scholarship is for either writers or scholars.
  • We may award one deserving student or two per year, depending on qualifications.
  • All current or incoming KU students - traditional or non-traditional - are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
  • Both Kansas residents and non-residents are eligible to apply for the scholarship, though preference goes to Kansas residents.
  • You may apply for the scholarship each year, but preference goes to new applicants.

The Award

  • A substantial monetary award that could cover most educational expenses.
  • A tuition reduction of $100 for the summer Writer's Workshop. This must be used within 18 months of the applicant winning the Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies.
  • Your name and information posted here for all to see (if you like)!

The winner is announced during the English Department Awards Ceremony in May. Below are the SF Scholarship winners to date:


Amanda Hemmingsen

Amanda used her scholarship to attend the Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop at KU.


Justin Wilson

Justin used his scholarship to help him afford several courses in SF literature and writing at KU. He just defended his MFA thesis - with honors!


(No Award)


Isaac Bell

In addition to helping pay for studying SF at KU, Isaac used his scholarship to help start James Gunn's Ad Astra journal.


Benjamin Cartwright

Ben used his scholarship to cover not just the Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop, but also the SF/F/H Novel Writing Workshop, and the Science Fiction Institute - all in the same summer!


Melissa Lytton

Melissa used her scholarship to help cover financial needs at KU and also to purchase hardware and software to enable her to get started on her (now-flourishing!) career in book design.

updated 1/2/2015

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