The Graduate School is pleased to announce the new 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 scholar programs that support undergraduate students from low income, first generation, and/or historically underrepresented backgrounds in their pursuit for graduate education.

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.

Award Details

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

  • 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 9-month stipend (totaling $24,000 for doctoral students, $18,000 for master’s students).
  • A 2021-2022 academic year (fall, winter, spring) tuition waiver.
  • A $1,500 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).

Eligibility

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
  • Nominee must have a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • The nominee must provide verification of participation while as an undergraduate student in a scholar program supporting undergraduate students from low income/first generation or historically underrepresented backgrounds (e.g. Gates Millennium, MARC Scholars, McNair Scholars, Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation [LSAMP], Ford Family Foundation Scholars, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, NiH BUILD or PREP, RISE) aimed at diversifying enrollment in graduate study, with verification confirmed by a program coordinator/director from the prior undergraduate institution.
  • To remain eligible for the award, the nominee must be a full-time, graduate degree-seeking student in an OSU doctoral or master’s program during the 2021-2022 academic year

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 15, 2021. Awards will be determined by mid-March, 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_PromisingScholar.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 supporting documentation including verification of participation in a scholar program; 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.
  5. Verification from the nominee demonstrating participation while as an undergraduate student in a scholar program supporting undergraduate students from low income/first generation or historically underrepresented backgrounds aimed at diversifying enrollment in graduate study. Verification can include emailed confirmation by a program coordinator/director from the prior undergraduate institution.

Nomination Form

Submit a nomination

Nomination form overview

Questions

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