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Funding Opportunities & Scholarships

Conference Funding

The History Department has funds available to help students who present at academic conferences. We encourage students to present their research. The faculty are happy to work with any student who wants advice about the conference process or practice presenting an academic paper.

To apply for funds, please use the following guidelines:

  • Only students who have been accepted to present at an academic conference are eligible to apply.
  • Each semester, we will have available 3 grants of $300 each (6 grants per academic year).
  • Students are eligible for only 1 grant each academic year.
Please apply by submitting the following materials to Professor Pamela Laird​:
  1. An abstract of the paper you will present, noting the name of the conference and its location.
  2. Proof of acceptance of the paper (an email or letter from the program chair).
  3. An estimated budget.​

Scholarships and Prizes

Whiteside Prize for the Best Graduate Paper in "Introduction to the Professional Study of History"

This $100 prize is given each spring for the best paper written by a graduate student for HIST 6013. Any student who was enrolled in HIST 6013 during the previous year is eligible. The prize is named for James B. Whiteside, faculty emeritus, who for many years taught HIST 6013 in the Department of History.

Nominations come from the faculty members who have taught HIST 6013 during the year. The Graduate Studies Committee considers the papers and chooses the winner in advance of the Department’s awards ceremony in late spring.

The Coulter Foundation Scholarship For Colorado History

In memory of a pioneer Colorado mining family, the Viola Vestal Coulter Foundation has established The Coulter Foundation Scholarship in Colorado History at the University of Colorado Denver.

Jesse Coulter, an Irishman armed with a degree in mineral engineering, worked in mines throughout the American West, including Alaska and British Columbia.  Starting out as a miner, he rose through the ranks to become a barman, shift boss, foreman and assistant mine superintendent.  As the General Superintendent of Operations at the Climax Molybdenum Mine near Leadville, he ran the world’s largest underground mine and Colorado’s most profitable underground bonanza. 

Jesse Coulter ultimately became Manager of Western Operations for Climax in the firm’s Denver office and married a college classmate, Viola Vestal.  To memorialize the Colorado pioneers and to encourage the study Colorado history, the trustees of the family foundation established this scholarship for graduate and undergraduate students focusing on Colorado history at CU Denver.


The Coulter Foundation Scholarship in Colorado History will be made annually to help cover tuition, fees, and books.

Candidates will be reviewed by the Coulter Foundation Scholarship in Colorado History Committee, composed of representatives from the Coulter Foundation, from CU Denver history faculty, and from the community. The administrator of the scholarship committee is Professor Thomas J. Noel of the History Department and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at CU Denver.


The Coulter Foundation Scholarship is available to CU Denver students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate history degree programs.  There will be no discrimination due to any applicant’s residency, gender, marital status, creed, ethnicity, color, disability, age or national origin. 

The scholarship committee shall consider the following criteria in judging applications:

  • academic ability and achievement
  • breadth of vision in planning educational and career objectives
  • evidence of civic and social responsibility
  • financial need

Applicants must be enrolled in history at CU Denver when they apply and when they receive the scholarship. They must meet with the administrator for a preliminary interview, and complete the Coulter Scholarship application form.  Recipients are expected to write a one-page report at the end of each academic year explaining how they used the scholarship and how their career is progressing. At that time recipients may reapply for The Coulter Scholarship.


The annual application deadline is typically a date in early March. Check with Professor Tom Noel or the History Department for the specific deadline. Applications are available from the History Department.

Ward Family Public History Prize Winners

Tom & Judy Ward established the Ward Family Prize in Public History for the CU Denver student doing the most to promote history among the public through educational activities, historic preservation, publications, tours and other efforts to establish a sense of place and appreciation of the past as a guide to the future. Self nominations required. Contact Tom Noel for details and submit your nomination to him. All current CU Denver students and graduates are eligible for this prize, given each Spring. 

Koch/CU Denver History Department Fellowships at History Colorado

Don Koch, the late historian and author, established the Donald Warner Koch
Colorado History Fund to encourage future Colorado historians.  The fund endows two fellowships for CU Denver graduate students and highly qualified undergraduates enrolled in history programsFellows gain training and experience in archival management, collections management, education, historic preservation, librarianship, museum studies,
public history and publications. 

Koch Fellowships pay two student fellows $5,000 annually to work an average of 8 hours a week at History Colorado.

To apply, submit in March:
  • 1) Letter of application addressing your interest in Colorado history and how this fellowship will advance your education
  • 2) Résumé with two references
  • 3) Transcript
  • 4) Writing sample of 3-4 pages
Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate history
degree program. Interview required.

Please submit your hard copy applications to CU Denver Koch Fellow Coordinator Professor Tom NoelCampus Box 182. For questions, please contact Professor Noel at: 303-315-1783.  

David Owen Tryba Prize

The David Owen Tryba Prize is an annual award for outstanding student achievement in Historic Preservation for a CU Denver student.