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Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship

In 2013, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little established the Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship to recruit the very best and most talented graduate students to study at the University of Kansas. This prestigious fellowship recognizes students who exemplify the Chancellor’s values for doctoral education, including academic excellence, research productivity, an ability to communicate the value of their research to a broad audience, and a vision for leadership within the Fellow’s field of study.

Recipients may be from any area of doctoral study in a program on the Lawrence or Edwards campus and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in the Biomedical Sciences at the KU Medical Center campus. Students funded by the Self Graduate Fellowship, University Graduate Fellowship, or the Bernadette Gray-Little Graduate Fellowship are not eligible. Recipients of the Fellowship will be selected through a nomination/application process early in the spring semester prior to the fall start of the student’s first academic year. Fellows may be either domestic or international students.


The Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship provides selected Fellows with a yearly $31,000 stipend for four years, in addition to tuition, fees, and a 75% subsidy of the student health insurance plan premium. Awards are disbursed as 12-month GRA appointments at 0.50 FTE.  The Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship employs a cohort model, welcoming four new Fellows each year. In addition to conducting ground-breaking research in close collaboration with academic mentors, Fellows participate in professional development workshops and networking opportunities.


To be considered for a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship, a new applicant to KU must be nominated by a department as a candidate for the award.  Departments will identify their most competitive student who exemplifies the Chancellor’s values and work with the student to compile a nomination packet.  The packet must contain:

  • Documentation of academic excellence and of research productivity (publications, creative works, awards, scholarships, and funding will be highly valued) - this can be submitted in the form of a resume/CV or any other materials that demonstrate these accomplishments
  • An essay written to a broad audience (academics across all fields) that shows their vision for their field of study and how they plan to use a doctoral education from KU to launch themselves into a leadership role in their field - the essay should be up to three pages long, single spaced, and in 12-point type
  • Three letters of recommendation - the letters submitted with the admissions application are acceptable for this process. Additional letters of recommendation that speak to this award directly may be advantageous

We expect all nominees to excel in the first two respects so the essay is intended to facilitate a comparison of the nominees across many disciplines and selection of the most meritorious.


The nomination for this award matches the nomination process for the Bernadette Gray-Little Graduate Fellowship. 

To nominate a student please select the nominating information through ADMIT (on the tab labeled "GS Fellowship Nomination" in the applicant's record) and complete the nomination form. This tab is within the top-level administrative pool for each program/department; a pool usually restricted to administrative users (staff, some graduate directors, etc). If you are a faculty member and do not have access to this pool, please check with the graduate admission staff in your unit. Otherwise, email graduateawards@ku.edu for access.

The form will ask individuals to select the fellowship for which the student is being nominated; the options are the Bernadette Gray-Little Graduate Fellowship and the Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship. Nominators may select one or both.



  • Department nominations due by January 31st
  • Evaluations and video interviews occur in February and early March
  • Offers are made by mid-March
  • Fellows must register a decision by April 15th

In this video, learn about two of the 2014 Chancellor Fellows, Keely Brown and Max Murphy:



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