The Graduate School is pleased to offer the Prestigious Diversity Fellowship to support the recruitment of graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who demonstrate scholarly promise at OSU.

This award—formerly offered as the Diversity Advancement Fellowship, is a lucrative financial award that supports new graduate students with their transition to graduate education and celebrates their future contributions at OSU. 

Award Details

The Graduate School intends to offer up to seven of these fellowships for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. The fellowship details include:

  • A $5,000 scholarship to support the student’s transition to graduate school and, in some cases, Oregon. Regarding disbursement, the Graduate School will award the scholarship directly to the student’s OSU account in early July. After prior balances, summer term mandatory fees, and OSU’s matriculation fee are covered, the remainder will be provided as a refund to the student.
  • Tuition for a 3-credit graduate course, GRAD 514, that supports graduate academic and professional writing, offered remotely during the summer 2021 term. All students must enroll in and successfully complete this course as part of the fellowship award. Students may enroll in additional credits at their own expense.
  • A one-time 12-month stipend ($32,000 for doctoral students, $24,000 for master’s students)
  • A 2021-2022 academic year (fall, winter, spring, and 3 credits in summer) tuition waiver
  • A $2,000 fee subsidy to cover costs associated with mandatory OSU fees
  • Formal appointment as an OSU graduate fellow to allow access to subsidized health insurance under the prevailing graduate assistant/fellow health insurance plan

To provide ongoing support to the recipient and assist with retention efforts, units are expected to provide a plan for financially sustaining the newly recruited student through degree completion. Please note that the requested plan need not guarantee long-term future funding as this may not be possible in all cases. Where this is not possible, units should provide evidence of specific ways in which it will work with students to help financially sustain their progress and timely degree completion (e.g. mentorship in writing applications to secure funding, nominations for external scholarships).


All nominees must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:

  • Nominee must have been regularly admitted or recommended for graduate study through the domestic student application for the 2021-2022 academic year 
  • Nominee must be a full-time, graduate degree-seeking student in an OSU doctoral program, or in an OSU master’s program where a doctoral degree does not exist at OSU during the 2021-2022 academic year
  • Nominee must have a GPA of 3.0 or above

In addition to meeting the minimum eligibility criteria outlined above, to be eligible for nomination, each nominee must meet at least TWO of the criteria outlined below:

  • Nominee attended a minority-serving institution for at least two years of their undergraduate degree or have a degree conferred from a minority-serving institution, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. NASA keeps an updated list of MSIs for quick reference, although this may not be exhaustive of all eligible institutions.
  • Nominee previously participated in a TRIO Program (Educational Opportunity Center, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Upward Bound, McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program)
  • Nominee previously participated in a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
  • Nominee previously participated in a summer research program for underrepresented undergraduates
  • Nominee is the first generation in their family to have attended a four-year institution and attained a bachelor’s degree
  • Nominee self-identifies as an underrepresented student in ways other than those mentioned above (e.g. veteran, disabled, ethnically diverse) and/or in ways that may be specific to their academic discipline or field

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of nominations will be based upon:

  • The description as to how the nominee meets the minimum eligibility criteria, as articulated in the nomination letter(s), including supporting documentation
  • The nominee’s scholarly promise and academic and professional strengths, as articulated in the nomination letter(s), including, but not limited to, discussion of the nominee’s past achievements, their specific academic interests at OSU, and their likelihood of contributing to the discipline
  • Strength of the nominee's statement of academic excellence, intellectual vitality and strengths and their alignment with this specific award
  • Quality of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae
  • The quality and feasibility of the unit’s plan for continued financial support for the nominee for their subsequent years at OSU

Nomination Period

The nomination period begins on October 1, 2020. All nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m., February 8, 2021. Awards will be determined in February, 2021.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee's graduate program director or unit chair/head. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each unit (as defined by university major code) may nominate no more than TWO nominees (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_PrestigiousDiversity.pdf", and upload it through the nomination form.

  1. A nominating letter from the unit head/chair/graduate program director describing: (a) the nominee’s eligibility for the award, with specific discussion and supporting documentation, as to which eligibility criteria the nominee meets and how; and (b) a detailed explanation as to how they envision the unit will financially support the student for the remainder of their graduate degree.
  2. A nominating letter from the nominee’s major professor addressing the following:
    1. The nominee’s academic excellence and intellectual vitality demonstrated in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, the student’s commitment and persistence related to previous academic pursuits, their intellectual curiosity, and the strengths and skills they bring to their graduate studies.
    2. An explanation as to how the award will support the nominee’s graduate studies
  3. A statement from the nominee that speaks to the following areas:
    1. Their academic excellence and intellectual vitality 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 their personal strengths, skills, and previous experiences and how those contribute/will contribute to the creation of a diverse and inclusive university.
    3. How this award will support them in their graduate studies.
  4. A copy of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae.

Nomination Form

Submit a nomination

Nomination form overview


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