Werner Baer

Created in memory of Werner Baer, renowned economist of Brazilian development who taught at the University of Illinois, thanks to gifts from the family of Professor Baer’s sister, Marianne Kilby, and from Jorge Paulo Lemann, the Werner Baer Fellowship supports social scientific doctoral work on Brazil. The Werner Baer Fellowship provides support for incoming Brazilian doctoral students whose studies engage Brazil in the social sciences, and for doctoral students of any nationality and from certain departments conducting social scientific dissertation research on Brazil. 

Nomination Deadline: Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

The Lemann Center’s Werner Baer Doctoral Fellowship supports UIUC students who are either 1) incoming graduate students from Brazil (i.e., citizens of Brazil) who are pursuing a doctorate in the social sciences, or 2) dissertation-level students (of any nationality) conducting social science research on Brazil in the departments listed below. The number of awards varies year to year and may depend upon the strength of the nominations received.


  • All applicants must be pursuing a PhD at UIUC.
  • All applicants must fit one of the following two profiles:
    1.  Incoming doctoral students from Brazil (with Brazilian citizenship) who have been accepted into the following departments: Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology.
    2. Students who have completed their preliminary or qualifying exams and have become ABD in the academic year immediately preceeding the beginning of the fellowship period.
  • An awardee previously selected as an incoming student may be nominated for a dissertation-level fellowship.

Award Amount:

  • For incoming students, the fellowship provides an academic year stipend of $20,000, plus a summer stipend of $2,500.
  • For dissertation-level students, the fellowship provides an academic year stipend of $20,000 and covers the cost of airfare to/from Brazil up to $2,500. Please be advised that the Lemann Center, following University of Illinois regulations, cannot reimburse costs incurred when purchasing preferred seating or first-class airfare (if economy is more expensive than first-class, then documentation is needed). Funds may be used for living expenses and in-country research expenses. Comparative research dealing with Brazil and other countries is also eligible, but the fellowship will only fund the Brazilian portion of the research.

Fellowships will generate a tuition waiver along with coverage of the AFMFA fee, Library/IT fee, service fee, basic dental and vision fees, and partial payment of the graduate student health insurance fee per semester.


A selection committee composed of faculty associated with the Lemann Center will determine awardees. Announcement of the awards will be made within six weeks of the nomination deadline.


Awardees may not hold both a Werner Baer Fellowship and another waiver-generating fellowship or assistantship concurrently. As well, awardees may not hold other employment during the fellowship period.


The IRS has ruled that universities are not responsible for withholding or reporting income taxes on their fellowship payments for U.S. citizens, foreign resident aliens for tax purposes, or permanent residents. However, the IRS does require that universities withhold taxes from the fellowship payments to international students on temporary visas that are classified as non-resident aliens for tax purposes.
International students may be able to claim a treaty benefit that exempts the fellowship from income tax withholding.


Within 30 days of completing their fellowships, awardees must submit a written report to the Lemann Center that summarizes the study/research outcomes of the fellowship period. Dissertation research fellows will be invited to present their research in the Lemann Center lecture series.

Nomination Process:

Deadline: Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

Completed applications and proposals must be submitted in electronic format and uploaded to this Box Link.

Students must be nominated by their departments, and each department may submit as many nominations as it likes. To nominate an incoming student, departments should submit the materials below as instructed. For dissertation-level students wishing to be nominated, they and their letter writers should each submit their respective materials to the department’s contact person by the department’s internal deadline (interested students should check with the Director of Graduate Studies to identify the appropriate contact person and the departmental deadline).

The department must scan materials into a single PDF file, and the file should be named as follows: LastName, FirstName – DeptAbbreviation – Baer2024 (for example: Smith, John – Anth – Baer2024). The PDF should then be uploaded to Box. The PDF should contain the following documents, arranged in the following order:

  • Cover Sheet (typed, not handwritten). It can be downloaded here.
  • Nomination Letter from the Department Head or Director of Graduate Studies explaining why the nominee merits a Werner Baer fellowship. The nomination letter should explain to the selection committee why this nominee should be considered for a Werner Baer Fellowship. Keep in mind that the selection committee is multidisciplinary and consists of representatives from a wide range of fields. Committee members will look to your statement for guidance on the student’s substantial engagement with Brazil in their studies, and what counts for intellectual merit and academic achievement within your discipline. They will use your assessment as a key resource in their attempt to compare this nominee with other nominees from across campus. Tips: Use concrete, quantified measures whenever possible to characterize the nominee’s accomplishments and productivity. Clarify the ways in which the student’s work engages with Brazil. Address any weaknesses in the nominee’s record head-on.
  • For incoming students: Submit a copy of the following documents from the student’s application for admission:
    • Complete application form
    • GRE and TOEFL scores
    • Statement of purpose
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Transcripts
  • For dissertation-level students: Submit the following:
    • A brief curriculum vitae or résumé.
    • Research proposal, complete with research question, hypothesis (if applicable), literature review/significance, preliminary research, methodology, and timeline. If going abroad, students should include the names of research centers with which they may be affiliated while conducting fieldwork, as well as any research contacts in Brazil. Proposals must be a maximum of five pages, in 12 point Times New Roman, double-spaced, and with one-inch margins. Proposals should be written in jargon-free language and should be accessible to the lay reader
    • References Cited, if applicable (maximum one page, single-spaced, 12 point font, one-inch margins)
    • If going to Brazil, students should provide proof of Portuguese language competence sufficient to carry out the project (a letter of evaluation from a language instructor, test results, or a list of Portuguese courses taken)
    • Two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from the applicant’s advisor
    • Current UIUC transcript (unofficial will suffice)

Elis Artz
Senior Program Coordinator
Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign