Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) Fellowships and Awards

Website: Center for LGBTQ Studies


The Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) was founded in 1991 as the first university-based research center in the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of vital concern to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals and communities. By sponsoring public programs and conferences, offering fellowships to individual scholars, and functioning as an indispensable conduit of information, CLAGS serves as a national center for the promotion of scholarship that fosters social change.

Mission Statement

The Center for LGBTQ Studies provides a platform for intellectual leadership in addressing issues that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, and queer individuals and other sexual and gender minorities. As the first university-based LGBTQ research center in the United States, CLAGS nurtures cutting-edge scholarship, organizes events for examining and affirming LGBTQ lives, and fosters network-building among academics, artists, activists, policy makers, and community members. CLAGS stands committed to maintaining a broad program of public events, online projects, and fellowships that promote reflection on queer pasts, presents, and future


Fellowships and Awards

Graduate Student Paper Award

Each year, CLAGS sponsors a  student paper competition open to all graduate students enrolled in the CUNY system.  A cash prize is awarded to the best paper written in a CUNY graduate class on any topic related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender experiences. Papers should be between 15 and 50 pages and of publishable quality.

CLAGS Fellowship Award

An award to be given annually for a graduate student, an academic, or an independent scholar for work on a dissertation, a first book manuscript, or a second book manuscript. The CLAGS Fellowship is open to intellectuals contributing to the field of LGBTQ studies. Intended to give the scholar the most help possible in furthering their work, the fellowship will be able to be used for research, travel, or writing support. Adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.

Paul Monette-Roger Horwitz Dissertation Prize

This award, which honors the memories of Monette, a poet and author, and his partner, Horwitz, an attorney, will be given for the best dissertation in LGTBQ Studies, broadly defined, by a PhD candidate within the City University of New York system. The dissertation should have been defended in the previous year. Adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.

Student Travel Award

Each year, CLAGS sponsors two student travel awards open to all graduate students enrolled in the CUNY system. A cash prize is awarded to a student presenting subject matter that addresses gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender issues in their respective field. Presentations can be for conferences held in the U.S. or abroad.

Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies

This award, which honors the memory of Rivera, a transgender activist, will be given for the best book or article to appear in transgender studies this past year (2017). Applications may be submitted by the author of the work or by nomination (the application requirements are the same for each; see below). Adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.

The Duberman-Zal fellowship

An endowed fellowship named for CLAGS founder and first executive director, Martin Duberman, and partner, Eli Zal, this fellowship is awarded to a graduate student, an independent scholar, or an adjunct from any country doing scholarly research on the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer (LGBTQ) experience.

University affiliation is not necessary. The award is adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee. The winner of the fellowship may be asked to participate in CLAGS’s programming the following academic year to present their research project.

The Passing the Torch Award

This award recognizes the achievements and promise of an emerging scholar in LGTBQ Studies. The awardee is chosen annually by the CLAGS fellowships committee from a list of nominations made by our national advisory board of distinguished scholars in the field.

The Robert Giard Fellowship

An annual award named for Robert Giard, a portrait, landscape, and figure photographer whose work often focused on LGBTQ lives and issues, this award is presented to an emerging or mid-career artist, from any country, working in photography, photo-based media, or moving image, including experimental, narrative, or documentary forms of these media. The award now alternates annually between artists working with still image (photography) and those working with moving image (video or film). This year’s award is for still images.* This award will support the development or completion of a project, one that is new or continuing, that addresses issues of sexuality, gender, or LGBTQ identity. The Foundation is receptive to a variety of projects and approaches to these topics.

University affiliation is not necessary. If you are not sure whether you will be eligible for the award, we recommend that you contact us well before the deadline so we can make a determination; otherwise, you may be declared ineligible after the deadline and your application will not be submitted to the committee. This award is adjudicated by the fellowships committee of CLAGS and a jury of the Robert Giard Foundation.

Undergraduate Student Paper Award

Each year, CLAGS sponsors a student paper competition open to all undergraduate students enrolled in the CUNY or SUNY system. A cash prize is awarded to the best paper written in a CUNY or SUNY undergraduate class on any topic related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender experiences and scholarship. Essays should be between 12 and 30 pages, well thought-out, and fully realized.

Scholar in Residence Program

The CLAGS Residency Fellowship Program assists scholars and professionals whose research on the LGBTQ experience can benefit from access to CLAGS’s resources and its location in midtown Manhattan at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. The Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to (1) encourage research and writing on the history, literature and culture of the of the LGBTQ community or other dynamic projects relating to the LGBTQ experience, broadly conceived; (2) to promote and facilitate interaction among the participants including fellows funded by other sources; (3) to facilitate the dissemination of the researcher’s findings through lectures via CLAGS’s ongoing Events Series. Applicants must indicate in their proposal how these resources will specifically benefit their project.

The CLAGS Scholar-in-Residence will be allowed to spend up to six months in residence.  Beyond a CLAGS affiliation, Fellows will receive office space, access to libraries and electronic databases, as well as opportunities to meet and work with leading LGBTQ scholars in New York City. No monetary stipend is available to fellows.

The Fellowship Program is open to all disciplines with projects that are related to LGBTQ studies. Creative writing (works of poetry and fiction) and projects that result in a performance are not eligible. Applicants finishing dissertation topics are welcome to apply.


Consult individual scholarships:

Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

Consult individual scholarships


Martin Duberman, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at CUNY is the founder of the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) and the author of more than 20 books, most recently Radical Acts (plays; 2008), Waiting to Land (2009) and A Saving Remnant (2010). His two forthcoming books are Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left (October 2012) and Against the Grain: A Martin Duberman Reader (Spring 2013). Duberman has received a significant number of awards–among them The Bancroft Prize, two Lambda Book Awards, the Manhattan Borough President’s Gold Medal in Literature, the American Historical Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, The Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in Non-Fiction–and has been a Finalist for both The National Book Award and The Pulitzer Prize. Most recently (May 2012), Amherst College awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters at its annual convention.

Service Agreement

Consult individual scholarships

Contact Information

CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies

CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 7115
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 817-1955

All questions and inquiries should be directed to: