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University Graduate Fellowships

Departments may apply for University Graduate Fellowships (UGFs) to support their efforts to recruit and support doctoral students towards a degree. 

Fellows are appointed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), and receive up to nine hours of tuition, course, and technology fees sponsored each semester. The standard GRA stipend is $17,750, and tuition support averages around $7,600, bringing the average total fellowship package to over $25,000.  

A department/program may be awarded up to three fellowships:

  • First-Year Fellowship: for a first-year doctoral student;
  • First-Year URM fellowship: for a first-year, underrepresented, domestic doctoral student;
  • Dissertation-Year Fellowship for a current doctoral student.

Students are qualified for the First-Year Fellowship if they are starting their first year in the doctoral program. Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from KU are eligible only if they are starting a new doctoral program. First-year fellows may be either domestic or international students.

Students qualify for the First-Year URM Fellowship if they are domestic students who identify with a group that is underrepresented in their fields of study. Applications should address how underrepresented is defined in that discipline.

Students are qualified for the Dissertation-Year Fellowship if they are starting their final year of study and are preparing to defend a dissertation during the fellowship year. Dissertation-Year Fellows may be either international or domestic students.

Application

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are due October 21, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered; submissions outisde of the online form will also not be considered. Departments can expect to receive the results of the competition by mid-November.

We highly recommend reviewing the application and drafting responses. You will not be able to save the information as you go.

The application will ask for the following information:

1) Briefly describe the department's funding strategies for doctoral students (maximum of 500 words). When responding, consider these questions:

  • How does the department offer multi-year funding packages?
  • The first-year fellowships are required to be the first year of a multi-year funding package. How will the department support graduate students recruited with the UGF in subsequent years at KU?
  • Fellows are appointed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs). How does the department utilize GRA positions?
  • What strategies are used to increase external funding for doctoral education?
  • What challenges does the department face in offering funding to doctoral students, and how has the department modified its fundraising strategies to address these?
  • How is the department addressing graduate student debt?
  • How is the department making doctoral education a priority in its fundraising goals?

2) Briefly describe how the department uses data to inform decisions about doctoral education (maximum of 500 words). When responding, consider these questions:

  • What performance standards are in place for doctoral students, and what impact have they had on departmental decision-making about doctoral education?
  • How does the department regularly review doctoral students' progress toward a degree?
  • How does the department use outcomes assessments in the doctoral dissertation defense?
  • What resources are used to review data on the department's doctoral programs (e.g., Tableau data, AIMS, peer information, etc.)?

3) Briefly describe the department’s recruitment activities (maximum of 500 words). When responding, consider these questions:

  • What tools does the department utilize for recruitment efforts (e.g., Prospect CRM, GRE score purchases, unsubmitted applicant pool, campus visits, etc.)?
  • What strategies does the department use to recruit members of underrepresented groups (explain which groups are underrepresented in the field)?
  • How diverse is the department's most recent applicant pool both in quality and diversity?
  • How will the department identify a qualified diversity applicant, and what steps will be taken to encourage the applicant to accept the department's admission and funding offer?

4) Briefly describe the department's goals and how they are focused on merit, mentoring, and placement (maximum of 500 words). When responding, consider these questions:

  • How has the department used the doctoral program profile (DPP), graduate program data in Tableau, or other data reports to shape its doctoral program?
  • Does the department have a formal graduate student mentoring program?
  • How does the department collect and track student placement data?
  • Does the department track job market data to set admission targets for its doctoral program?

5) Does your department have a graduate handbook? If your department does not have a graduate handbook, then please explain how degree requirements are communicated to students, or discuss your plans to develop a graduate handbook in the future. Please include the timeline for the completion and implementation of your student handbook.

6) Requests for stipends above this level are allowed, but must be explicitly requested and justified in the proposal. If you are requesting an additional stipend, list the requested stipend and explain why the increase in stipend is justified.

7) Departments that received 2019-2020 First-Year Fellowships:

(1) Explain how the first-year award impacted the department's doctoral student recruiting capabilities.

(2) Briefly describe how the department communicated UGF expectations to the fellow, what the department is doing to ensure the fellow's timely completion of the program, and the current status of the fellow in the program (maximum of 500 words).

8) Departments that received 2019-2020 First-Year URM Fellowships:

(1) Explain how the URM award impacted the department's doctoral student recruiting capabilities.

(2) Briefly describe how the department communicated UGF expectations to the fellow, what the department is doing to ensure the fellow's timely completion of the program, and the current status of the fellow in the program.

9) Departments that received 2019-2020 Disseration-Year Fellowships: Explain how the dissertation-year award aided in the fellow's completion of the program (maximum of 500 words). 

View Application

Selection

Proposals will be reviewed based on the quality of the application submitted. Each of the four items identified in the rubric will be given equal weight. View the rubric. Departments with previous awards will also be evaluated on the success of previous fellowships.

Administration

The stipend for each fellowship will only be distributed as a 9-month GRA stipend (.5 appointment). Graduate Studies will provide a minimum stipend of $17, 750 plus fringe.

Departments may supplement the graduate research fellowship stipend with additional scholarship funds or funds to increase the GRA pay rate. Fall and spring tuition support is limited to nine credit hours, and summer tuition is not available. The fellowships will cover course and technology fees, but will not pay for campus fees.

Departments will be responsible for providing support beyond the first year of study for students receiving the first-year fellowships.

Departments awarded support must identify the fellowship student(s) no later than April 20, 2020.