The Graduate School is pleased to announce the Graduate Dean's Catalyst Fellowship, a pilot program launched for the 2023-2024 academic year to support graduate students nearing completion, but not in their final term, of their doctoral degrees. This award is designed to support students conducting dissertation research that aligns with the forthcoming 2024-2030 OSU Strategic Plan, Prosperity Widely Shared: The Oregon State Plan. The Graduate Dean's Catalyst Fellowship will provide full graduate funding for one academic quarter, allowing the student recipient time to make significant research progress that also supports institutional goals as articulated in the strategic plan.

Award Details

The Graduate School intends to offer up to three Graduate Dean's Catalyst Fellowships per academic quarter. For the 2024-2025 academic year, this will comprise up to three awards each in Summer 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, and Spring 2025. The quarterly fellowship appointment includes:

  • A one-time academic term (3-month) stipend ($9,250 for doctoral students)
  • An academic term (12 credits if awarded for winter or spring, 3 credits if awarded for summer) tuition waiver
  • A fee subsidy to cover costs associated with mandatory OSU fees ($700 for either winter or spring, $300 for summer)
  • Formal appointment as an OSU graduate fellow to allow access to subsidized health insurance under the prevailing graduate assistant/fellow health insurance plan

Awards are made with the condition that the awardee successfully complete their doctoral degree in a future term but no later than one calendar year from the start of the fellowship. In cases where the awardee does not successfully complete their doctoral degree 1-3 terms (including summer) after the awarded term, the Graduate School may restrict or exclude the nominating unit from submitting future nominations for this award.


  • Nominee must be a full-time, graduate degree-seeking student in an OSU doctoral program
  • Nominee must have successfully completed their (1) oral preliminary exam, (2) written comprehensive exam (if required by the unit), and (3) research proposal meeting/defense (if required by the unit)
  • Nominee is expecting to complete their doctoral degree in a future term but no later than one calendar year from the start of the fellowship (e.g. applicants for summer 2024 must expect to complete their degree no earlier than fall 2024 and no later than spring 2025)
  • Nominee’s dissertation research must align with University Strategic Plan 2024-2030 goals, visions, and/or actions
  • Nominee must have a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Nominee must be making satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the graduate program and the Graduate School

Nominees are ineligible for this award if:

  • They have an appointment through Oregon State University (i.e. graduate assistantship, graduate fellowship, or other employment) that cannot be terminated during the academic term of the fellowship
  • They are a doctoral student expecting to defend their dissertation within the academic term of the fellowship. Students seeking nomination for the final term of their degree are ineligible for this award, and should consider seeking a nomination for the Dissertation Completion Award
  • They have previously received the Graduate Dean's Catalyst Fellowship award

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of nominations will be based upon:

  • The nominee’s previous academic success
  • The nominee’s scholarly potential
  • Alignment of the nominee’s dissertation research with University Strategic Plan 2024-2030 goals, visions, and/or actions.
  • Likelihood the nominee will: (1) make significant academic progress during the fellowship appointment period, and (2) complete their degree in no more than one calendar year, as demonstrated by a timeline of activities during and post-fellowship, confirmed by their major professor
  • The quality and feasibility of the unit’s plan for continued financial support for the nominee for their remaining time at OSU after fellowship completion

Nomination Period

  • Summer 2024: Open 04/01/24 to 05/13/24
  • Fall 2024: Open 05/20/24 to 08/12/24
  • Winter 2025: Open 09/30/24 to 11/11/24
  • Spring 2025: Open 01/06/25 to 02/10/25

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee's graduate program director, department chair/head or appropriate college leadership. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each graduate program (as defined by university major code) may nominate no more than ONE nominee (total) per award cycle.

In the online nomination form, nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_Department_Catalyst.pdf", and upload it through the nomination form.

  1. A statement from the nominee (1 page maximum) that speaks to the following areas:
    1. Their previous academic success and scholarly potentia.
      • This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, their commitment and persistence related to previous academic pursuits, their intellectual curiosity and commitment, and the strengths and skills they bring to their graduate studies.
    2. A discussion of the way(s) in which their dissertation research aligns with the University Strategic Plan 2024-2030.
    3. A brief timeline listing the key academic and research activities that are still in progress and when those will be completed.
    4. How this award will support them in making significant progress towards dissertation completion.
  2. A nominating letter (1 page maximum) from college leadership or the nominee's major professor, unit chair/head addressing the following:
    1. The nominee's research, including its quality and likely contributions to the OSU Strategic Plan goals, visions, and/or actions.
    2. A brief timeline verifying the nominee’s key academic and research activities that are still in progress and when those will be completed, along with confirmation that they will make significant progress during the award period and complete their degree in no more than one calendar year, but not during the fellowship award period.
    3. An explanation as to how the unit will financially support the student for the remainder of their graduate degree.
  3. A copy of the nominee's résumé or curriculum vitae.
  4. Abstract of the nominee's dissertation.

Nomination Form

Submit a nomination


For questions about this award or any Graduate School administered awards, please contact our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team.