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The Kluge Graduate Fellowship is designed to assist graduate students in their 6th and/or 7th year of graduate study who have demonstrated scholarly promise and have an interest in teaching and mentoring young scholars.  The fellowship also offers graduate students the unique opportunity to participate in the continued development and implementation of an exciting, well-established program for undergraduates that focuses on academic excellence, leadership, global awareness, and civic engagement.

The Kluge Graduate Fellowship, like other teaching fellowships at Columbia, allows doctoral students to pursue their studies while providing academic and cultural support to Columbia College students.   The responsibilities of this Fellowship are diverse.  They include mentoring, leading and facilitating seminars and workshops, following undergraduate scholars closely in their work, and assisting the CUSP Office in administrative and programming duties.  The duties capitalize on the interests and skills of the individual Graduate Student Mentor.   Work hours are 20 hrs per week maximum.

Description of the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program

The Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program (CUSP) aims to foster the intellectual, social, and cultural growth essential to leadership in our highly specialized and culturally diverse world.  The Program provides named Scholars (Kluge, John Jay, and C.P. Davis Scholars) with enhanced academic and cultural opportunities unique to a great research university in the heart of Manhattan.  In order to fulfill their academic, personal, and professional development, the Program is designed to support and enrich the undergraduate experience of over 550 students through active exploration of University and New York City resources.  The Program incorporates graduate student mentoring, research activities in a variety of disciplines, practicum opportunities, and on- and off-campus activities which encourage the development of student potential.

Role and Responsibilities of the Kluge Graduate Student Mentors

In collaboration with the members of the CUSP administration, each Graduate Student Mentor (GSM) will serve as a facilitator in the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program and as a mentor to the Scholars.  The Graduate Fellows share common responsibilities and have specific ones as well.

  • They are expected to teach the First Year Columbia Journey Seminars (no credit; no grade), coordinate cultural activities and research workshops, contribute to the vision and implementation of the curriculum, assist with the implementation of program activities, and establish mentoring and advising relationships with the Scholars.
  • They are expected to attend and report on all CUSP events, and, according to their specific duties, participate in the selection of Scholars for the CUSP Summer Fellowships and monitor the progress of the CUSP Summer Fellows.
  • They are expected to attend all CUSP Staff meetings and fulfill other duties as assigned.

By organizing and conducting such activities, the Kluge Fellows will contribute to enhancing the undergraduate experience of CUSP Scholars.  In turn, the Fellows will have an opportunity to strengthen their own skills in teaching, advising, and curriculum and program development.  Additionally, Fellows will work closely with administrators and faculty in diverse fields and meet leaders from all fields through the CUSP Distinguished Speaker Series, thereby gaining valuable experience and becoming professional members of the Columbia academic community.


Applicants must be matriculated Ph.D. students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in their 5th or 6th year.  They must have completed the year of the Dissertation Fellowship before becoming CUSP GSMs.

  • Good communication (written and oral) and organizational skills.
  • Ability to complete tasks quickly, meet deadlines, work collaboratively, be a responsible and reliable team player.
  • Experience facilitating group discussions/teaching; should preferably have experience coordinating events and performing administrative tasks, including but not limited to contacting professional organizations, faculty, and various professionals.

Work hours are flexible, up to 20 hours per week, and involve off-campus activities and evening work.

Application consists of submission by the applicant of:

  • A cover letter (which should briefly indicate the extent and nature of previous teaching and other experience and why this particular fellowship is of interest)
  • A curriculum vitae; and
  • Student evaluations and statistical summaries for courses previously taught, if available.

You may submit the materials, in the order listed above and combined in one PDF document to cusp@columbia.edu with, as a subject line, “GSM application material.”

The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, January 4, 2019

Please make sure your cover letter contains the following information:

  • Year of registration in GSAS in 2018-2019;
  • Date your M.Phil. was received or is expected;
  • Title of your dissertation and the name(s) of your dissertation sponsor(s);
  • Phone number and email address where you may be reached;
  • Name of two referees.


Applicants whose applications have advanced to the interview stage will be asked to contact their faculty references to ask for letters of recommendations.

Recommendations should be received in the CUSP Office by February 4, 2019.

Interview: CUSP is especially interested in candidates with the following qualifications: 1) previous and effective teaching experience; 2) comfort level with facilitating a non-traditional-type seminar that students attend without receiving grade or credit; 3) interest in curriculum and program development; 4) flexibility and interest in team work.

Appointment: GSAS students appointed as CUSP Graduate Student Mentors will receive $29,350 per academic year plus tuition, health fees, and university facilities fees.  If appointed after their 7th year, students will receive $29,350 per academic year.

Awardees may also be eligible to apply for a $3,500 summer stipend if CUSP needs additional support during the summer.

Kluge Fellows may not hold any concurrent teaching position or fellowship. 


January 4, 2019: Deadline for submission of CUSP GSM applications.

February 4, 2019: Deadline for letters of recommendation if invited for interviews.

February 2019: Interviews of candidates.

Mid-March 2019: Candidates will be informed of selection.

Mid-April 2019: New GSM Orientation

From a GSM…

I find that, as a GSM, I get to have a unique kind of relationship with Columbia undergrads, and I think that is the most valuable aspect of the program for me. Leading the CJS discussions affords many of the same pleasures which I’ve experienced leading a conventional academic classroom: I get to facilitate students’ excitement about new ideas (or new ways of thinking about familiar ideas), learn from their endlessly surprising and thoughtful points of view in discussions and debates, and watch them grow in confidence and awareness over the course of each semester. But the nature of the assignments and discussion material – which encourage them to make and share journeys of personal significance into their family histories, or their professors’ academic careers, or their experiences of activism – creates a student-teacher relationship which is more substantive, more human, than is normally possible in an academic classroom. That relationship is enriched by the wider framework of interaction with scholars through the speaker series and the summer fellowship blogs. Getting to know my students in this way has been meaningful and frequently humbling, and I am sure that it has made me a better teacher. (Nemira Gasiunas, Philosophy)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, please visit the CUSP website:


For any additional questions, please contact:

Lavinia Lorch, PhD
Sr. Asst. Dean of Student Affairs, Center for Student Advising
Director, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Columbia University
TEL: 212-854-1832; FAX: 212-854-2562
EMAIL: LEL52@columbia.edu

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
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