Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program

In 2007, The Beatrice S. Demers Fund was established at the Rhode Island Foundation through the estate of Beatrice S. Demers, a professor of foreign languages at the University of Rhode Island for more than 30 years. Miss Demers spent her life teaching foreign languages, first to students in the Pawtucket public schools, then at the University of Rhode Island. She developed fluency in French, German and Spanish, and studied Chinese and Russian in her 70s.

The fund provides for fellowships for Rhode Island residents and anyone who is a student at a Rhode Island college or university who wishes to pursue foreign language study. Preference will be given to applicants from the University of Rhode Island who meet the qualifications.

The Demers Fellows Program is designed to support applications from a wide range of individuals. Applicants can be undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, educators, or other residents of Rhode Island. Successful applicants will all share one thing: a passion for developing fluency in another language. The Fellowship may support the costs of tuition, fees, travel, housing, living expenses, and other costs. The award will be paid directly to the Fellow.

Award decisions will be announced in April of each year. The Fellowship project may be completed during the summer or in the following academic year. Fellowships may not be used to support research or writing of a dissertation or thesis, or for pursuit of an area of study other than language learning.

Only those applicants who plan to attend programs that commence by June 2020 should apply for 2019 consideration.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be judged according to the following selection criteria:

  • Evaluation of the applicant’s dedication to foreign language learning. 
  • The likelihood that the proposed program of study will promote a high level of foreign language fluency. 
  • Promoting a diversity of languages studied, program types, and individuals receiving fellowships. 

Preference will be given to applicants from the University of Rhode Island who meet these criteria.

Fellowships are expected to be in the range of $1,000 to $20,000 with numerous awards given each year. Applicants who have applied in the past and were not selected may re-apply.

Information for University of Rhode Island Applicants

Please consult with your department advisors and coordinators. Should you have questions related to URI and study abroad, you may also want to contact the URI Office of International Education for on-campus advisement prior to applying. The URI Office of International Education is located in the International Center at 37 Lower College Road; (401) 874-5546.

Application Deadline

Applications are due by noon (EST) on January 11, 2019. All applications must be submitted online. Incomplete applications will not be considered. All applicants will be notified in April 2019 and Fellowships will be awarded in May 2019.

To Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • Online application
  • Financial Information Worksheet
  • Program budget; please attach a detailed budget using the provided budget template
  • Proof of Rhode Island residence (only if not currently a student at a Rhode Island college or university)
  • Student Aid Report
  • Copy of your most recent high school or college transcript 
  • Two letters of recommendation; please follow the directions in the application and supply these instructions to your recommenders

All documents must be submitted electronically as part of this application.

If you already have started an online application, please log in to
your account page to view or edit the application that is in progress.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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