University Fellowships

The Graduate School awards University Fellowships to the most qualified new doctoral graduate students. These Fellowships include stipend, full tuition, and health insurance and are intended to help recruit high-quality doctoral students.

Nominees typically have a strong undergraduate record, and excellent letters of recommendation that speak to the nominee’s scholarly ability and potential to succeed in a doctoral program. In addition, competitive nominees have evidence of other documented strengths that speak to the potential for success, examples of which are: prior research experience; exceptional community engagement or service; leadership experience; evidence of creativity and/or resilience; unique experience or background that will contribute to the program.

Self-nomination by student candidates will not be accepted. The department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies must endorse all nominations after an appropriate faculty committee has reviewed candidates. Graduate programs must submit the dossiers for nominated students via the web form http://louisville.edu/graduate/forms/university-fellowship-nomination-form.   Departments or programs may nominate more than one candidate for University Fellowships

School of Medicine graduate programs should submit their nominations to IPIBS, c/o Dr. Russell Salter, School of Medicine. Graduate Programs in the Speed School of Engineering should submit their nominations to the Grosscurth Fellowship Committee, c/o Dr. Gail Depuy, Speed School of Engineering.

Deadline for submission of nomination materials is the first Monday of February, and a call for nominations will be sent in December-January.. An initial round of awards will be made by the middle of February. However, awards to qualified students will continue as long as funds are available, so nominations will be accepted on a rolling basis after the deadline. Programs are reminded that UofL is a signatory to the Council of Graduate Schools “Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants,” and that students may not be compelled to accept scholarship offers prior to April 15 of the award year.

The dossier should contain the following information:

  1. A letter of nominationthat addresses the following:

    • Evidence of Academic Success:  A concise summary of the candidate's academic qualifications, including any awards or honors achieved
    • Other Indicators for Success in the Program and Graduate School:  And a clear exposition of all documented strengths that speak to the potential for success in the graduate program; examples of which are: prior research experience; exceptional community engagement or service; leadership experience; evidence of creativity and/or resilience; unique experience or background that will contribute to the program.
    • Program Support:  A clear explanation of what criteria are used to predict success in the program, and a description of the activities, programs, and/or structures within the program and/or university used to support student success and retention.  Examples of student support include, but are not limited to, professional development, experiential learning, community‐building, and mentoring.
  2. Undergraduate and, if appropriate, graduate transcripts (scan and send as a PDF).
  3. Student’s curriculum vitae or resume, where appropriate
  4. Letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the candidate's academic ability (two maximum).

   5. TOEFL, IELTS or IESL scores, where appropriate.

   6. A letter of support from the department Chair or the Unit Dean, indicating commitment of subsequent year(s) of financial support.

Note:  The GRE General Test (or other acceptable standardized test scores, e.g., GMAT, MCAT, Miller Analogies Test) may be required for specific program admissions but is not required for a University Fellowship nomination.  Standardized test scores are not part of the UofL University Fellowship Application Review Rubric used by the Scholarship and Awards Standing Committee of the Graduate Council for selecting the most competitive students for an award.

 A University Fellowship is a one-year award from August 1 (or matriculation date) through June 30, renewable for one additional year beginning July 1. To be eligible, programs, departments or units must certify that they will support the student at the same or higher stipend rate, plus tuition and health insurance, for a minimum of two additional years beyond those supported by the University Fellowship. The minimum stipend rate begins at $18,000 per year, depending on the discipline. Renewals will be based on the recommendation of the program and the student's progress toward her/his degree.

Students awarded University Fellowships are precluded from other work for compensation while supported by the Fellowship except in unusual cases and only with the written consent of the Dean of the Graduate School.  Normally it is expected that a student would be supported on a University Fellowship for the first two years of study and then supported by faculty research grants, training grants or other sources of extramural fellowship support. University-funded teaching assistantships may also be used to support additional years of study. The Graduate School requires students awarded the Fellowship to use the funds during their first year of study, with consideration for requests to adjust the second year of funding only if it is in the best interest of the student (e.g., University Fellowships may be used to support the first and last years of study for some students). All requests to defer the second year of funding must be made at least one year in advance of the deferral so the Graduate School may plan to use the available line to fund another student.

If you have questions please send an email to the gradweb@louisville.edu, or contact Barbara Clark, Ph.D., Acting Associate Dean, Graduate School, bjclark@louisville.edu or (502)852-6498.  

A letter of supportfrom the department Chair or the Unit Dean, indicating commitment of subsequent year(s) of financial support.