The Graduate School is pleased to offer the Promising Scholar Fellowship. This award is intended to support the recruitment of graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who demonstrate scholarly promise at OSU. Eligible nominees must have participated in one or more scholar programs that support students from low income, first generation, and/or historically underrepresented backgrounds in their pursuit for graduate education.
The award also aligns with and supports development in the OSU Grad Advantage core competencies for graduate students. Nominees are encouraged to complete the OSU Grad Advantage Self-Assessment Tool at the time of their nomination, or in the case of prospective students after they have been formally admitted to gauge their ongoing professional development.
This award—formerly offered as partial tuition support for former McNair Scholars - has expanded to include additional scholar programs and a 9-month fully funded fellowship with an accompanying tuition waiver.
The Graduate School intends to offer up to five of these fellowships for the 2024-2025 Academic Year. The fellowship details include:
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:
Evaluation of nominations will be based upon:
The nomination period begins on September 27, 2023. All nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m., February 19, 2024. Awards will be determined in mid-March 2024.
Nominations may be submitted by the nominee's graduate program director, department chair/head, college leadership, or appropriate leadership in an institutional partner unit. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each unit (as defined by university major code) and institutional partner 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_PromisingScholar.pdf", and upload it through the nomination form.
A statement from the nominee (1 page maximum) that speaks to the following areas:
Their academic merit and intellectual vitality
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.
A nominating letter (1 page maximum) from college leadership or the nominee’s major professor, unit chair/head addressing the following:
The nominee’s previous academic success, scholarly potential, and the potential to grow and succeed in graduate studies.
This can be demonstrated by a combination of possible indicators including, but not limited to, prior coursework, degrees, and institutions of higher education; honors, awards, scholarships, or other academic distinctions; scholarly activity at previous institution(s) or employment; scholarly engagement in volunteer or service activities, membership in professional organizations, and research endeavors; the nominee’s skills and aptitudes that support scholarly activity; skills and aptitudes that would support academic success such as motivation, persistence, self-direction, planning, organization, and initiative
The nominee’s life experiences and background including the diversity and richness of an individual’s background and the value those bring to the academic context.
This can be demonstrated by a combination of indicators including, but not limited to, previous institution(s) attended; previous participation in educational or scholarly programs; previous work experiences; special talents or skills; experiences with overcoming substantial educational or economic obstacles; experience living or working in diverse environments; a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; cross-cultural experiences and opportunities for meaningful engagement with those different from self.
NOTE to Institutional Partners:
If an institutional partner is submitting the nomination, they must also have confirmation from the student’s academic unit that:
For questions about this award or any Graduate School administered awards, please contact our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team