University Graduate Fellowships

The University Graduate Fellowships (UGFs) have been established to assist departments in their recruitment efforts and as they provide support to doctoral students in the final stage of their dissertation.


September 5 - September 30, 2022 at 11:59PM CST

UGF Categories & Eligibility


First-Year Fellowship

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.

First-Year URM Fellowship

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.

Dissertation-Year Fellowship

Students are qualified for the Dissertation-Year Fellowship if they are current students who 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.


Award Details

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 $25,000, and tuition support averages around $7,600, bringing the average total fellowship package to over $32,000.  

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 $25,000 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 21, 2023. 


Application Process

Please review the following considerations as you prepare to submit your department/program application:

  • Department/programs can apply to one or more of the fellowship categories. 
  • Applications are accepted via the online application form linked at the bottom of this page.
  • We highly recommend reviewing the application and drafting responses, as 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. (maximum of 500 words)

6) Requests for stipends above the level outlined in the Award Details section 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 2022-2023 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 2022-2023 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 2022-2023 Dissertation-Year Fellowships: Explain how the dissertation-year award aided in the fellow's completion of the program (maximum of 500 words). 


Selection Criteria

Departments/programs may be awarded one fellowship in each category for a total of three fellowships. 

The applications will be reviewed by the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty, with each of the following items given equal weight:

  • Doctoral education funding model
  • Academic program standards
  • Doctoral student recruitment plan
  • Program goals

Departments with previous awards will also be evaluated on the success of previous fellowships.


  • Silvia Asandei, Spanish and Portuguese

  • Kayla Bjorlie, Psychology

  • Craig Brooks, Physics and Astronomy

  • Preston Decker, History

  • April Diaz, Social Welfare

  • Kaniz Fatema, Sociology

  • Lorena Muzel Gomes, Architecture

  • Alexandra (Alex) Hoffpauir, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

  • Ryan Lemasters, Philosophy

  • Hidetoshi Okuno, Clinical Child Psychology

  • Pamela A. Peters, Journalism & Mass Communications

  • Fatima Sadat, Social Welfare

  • Colleen Sullivan, Geology

  • Mio Yoshizaki, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Application Form

University Graduate Fellowship Application Form
Application deadline: September 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM CST
Apply Here