Education Scholarship for Student Research

Rolling Deadline

The Willa Cather Foundation supports emerging scholars who increase our understanding and appreciation of the life and work of Willa Cather. As a part of this effort, we have created a $400 annual scholarship to support an upper-level student presenting original Cather research at a non-Cather specific conference who meets the criteria below:


  1. Recipient must be a graduate student or advanced undergraduate student. 
  2. Recipient must be on the program to present a paper related to Willa Cather at major conference. All scholarly and critical approaches are welcome, as long as Cather’s work is the central focus. 
  3. Recipient must have travel and registration expenses not already covered by other external sources.

The Willa Cather Foundation will award three $400 scholarships annually. We prefer to award at least one scholarship to a student presenting at the annual conference of the American Literature Association and another to a student presenting at the annual conference of the Western Literature Association. A third scholarship is undesignated to a specific conference, but preference is given to students presenting their research at conferences that are not Cather-specific (such as the International Cather Seminar, for which there are other available scholarships).

How to Apply

Applicants should send a message to Willa Cather Foundation Director of Education and Engagement Rachel Olsen at with the following attachments:

  1. One-page cover letter which clarifies that the applicant meets all of the above criteria.
  2. Copy of accepted proposal for scholarly presentations.

Applicants who seek a scholarship should submit their application no later than four weeks prior to the conference.