Pessoa Grant for Advanced Language Training in Portuguese

Purpose: The Pessoa Grant, named for Portuguese poet and writer Fernando Pessoa, supports undergraduates who continue their study of the Portuguese language during the summer break. The grant is designed to fund the entire cost of intensive coursework in Portuguese undertaken in Portugal. This funding gives undergraduates with interest in Portugal an opportunity to gain advanced-level proficiency in Portuguese, especially those students whose schedules might not otherwise accommodate upper-level language coursework.

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Deadline(s): February 22, 2016

Maximum Award: $7000. Funds are typically paid as a one-time sum.

Number of Awards: One. The grant will be awarded to the applicant of highest merit as demonstrated through his/her application and proposed budget.

Eligibility: Applicants must currently be enrolled as undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame and scheduled to return for the next academic year. Students graduating at the end of the current academic year may not apply. Applicants must have completed at least four semesters of coursework in Portuguese—through Notre Dame—prior to the program start date. The proposed program should be eight weeks in length (or more), must focus on European instances of Portuguese, and must be undertaken in Portugal. Programs based in Brazil or focused on Brazilian Studies will not be considered.

There is an accredited program with the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Other programs may be proposed for this grant.

Apply at the Common Application Form

All Undergraduate Grants now use the Common Application Form found online at Please familiarize yourself with our full guidelines before logging into the application.

You must provide the CORRECT email address AND NetID for your FACULTY RECOMMENDER in the application form. PLEASE NOTE: Email addresses and the Net IDs are not always the same, and both are needed and must be correct in order for your recommender to upload his/her letter.

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Have a question?  Contact our staff

Contact Jen Fulton, our Student Coordinator, at

Application Guidelines

All applicants must use the Common Application Form at We recommend that you collect all necessary materials before logging into the application. You will receive instruction on how to upload materials once you have logged in.

A complete application consists of the following distinct parts:

• a two- to three-page program description
• a detailed budget statement
• a current curriculum vitae or résumé
• a letter of recommendation

The program description should include information about the proposed program, the institution that houses the program, and the academic activity involved. Include or attach any available syllabi and/or course descriptions. Applicants should also clearly outline their reasons for undertaking additional coursework in Portuguese and should describe the overall relationship between language study, their current curriculum, and their future professional goals.

Budget Help, Per Diem Rates

The budget statement should detail the program’s cost in US dollars (USD) along with any additional expenses necessary for completing the program. Include the sources used to determine all costs and any exchange rates used in calculation. Grant funds may not be used to purchase materials or toward payment on a rental car.

The letter of recommendation should be from a faculty member in Portuguese Studies at Notre Dame who is familiar with the student’s academic performance. Ideally he/she also would be familiar with the proposed program.

Complete applications, including all letters of recommendation, should be submitted to the Common Application Form no later than 11:59pm on the deadline day. Letters of recommendation may be submitted to the Student Coordinator of the Nanovic Institute directly, if desired.

Failure to submit all required materials promptly may result in the application being excluded from consideration. Complete applications will be jointly considered by the institute’s associate director and faculty from Portuguese Studies. Decisions will be announced in writing within four weeks of the submission deadline. Please note that application materials will not be returned.

Terms & Conditions: The Pessoa Grant recipient is required to obtain the proper permissions for international travel from Notre Dame International prior to payment of awarded funds. The grant recipient is also required to submit a complete Health Questionnaire and to attend all required orientations. Once awarded, the funding must be used to complete the language study as proposed in the application (to the best of the recipient’s ability). Funded language study must be completed by the beginning of the next academic year. Nanovic-sponsored travel may not interfere with class attendance or completion of final exams as scheduled.

The Pessoa Grant is intended to cover the entire cost of a language-study program, and therefore the grant’s recipient may not accept additional funding from any other sources, whether on-campus or off-campus. The recipient must return any paid funds if he/she cancels the scheduled participation and must repay any nonrefundable expenses incurred by the Nanovic Institute (i.e. airfare directly paid) if cancellation is not due to documented illness or another justifying circumstance.

After completing the proposed language-study, the Pessoa Grant recipient must provide the Nanovic Institute with a 500-1000 word report about the experience, as well as at least one digital photograph of herself/himself on location. The report and photograph must be emailed to the Nanovic Institute by the deadline communicated at the time of award. Unless permission is expressly denied, the Nanovic Institute retains permission to share this report and photograph.