Finances & Funding → Graduate School Fellowship Program Guidelines
The Graduate School Fellowship Program, formerly the Alumni Awards Program, is intended as a recruiting tool to allow colleges to build a strong research program at the University of Florida through the recruitment of talented graduate students. This program will provide four to five years of funding at competitive stipend levels, a tuition waiver, and full health insurance coverage. Colleges are allocated funding each fiscal year based on their average PhD graduation rate over a five-year period and current enrollment of underrepresented minority PhD students. Each college is encouraged to match this funding so that the amount and number of supported graduate students under this program expands. Given the varied nature of the different colleges across the campus, the Graduate School Fellowship Program has been designed with the flexibility to accord maximum recruitment success and use by the graduate student body. Three years of support for MFA students in Fine Arts and Creative Writing are provided under the Graduate School Fellowship Program.
Wherever possible, all Graduate School fellows are to be “engaged” in research or teaching assignments during their appointments. Under certain circumstances, a department may appoint a Graduate School fellow without teaching or research assignments for a maximum of two years. All Graduate School fellows must have every opportunity to be mentored during their enrollment.
Offer letters should include the name of the award (Graduate School Fellowship), the amount of the annual stipend, the duration of the award, the specific assignment sequence (which years will be teaching and/or research), and other pertinent information regarding the degree program.
Colleges should forward their plan for funding Graduate School fellows to the Graduate School prior to issuing the offer letters to the students. . This plan should include the number of new students and the awards to be provided to each of those students. Once this plan is approved by the Graduate School you may issue the offer letter to the students and the college will receive the approved funding.
The Graduate School Tracking Program has been launched to facilitate the reporting process. Funds for the stipend and tuition for each student will be allocated to the colleges for distribution to the departments at the beginning of each fiscal year. Colleges will be responsible for the input of new fellows and providing updates on their fellows onto the tracking system prior to the first day of class.
The stipend allocation amount for new/entering students is prorated for the period beginning fall term and ending June 30th. The college is responsible for the appointment and processing of tuition payments.
1. If a Graduate School fellow leaves his program before the funds have been expended, the remainder must be returned to the Graduate School. No other student may be designated to receive the funds without approval from the Graduate School.
2. For PhD programs, colleges will be given annual lump sum amounts with the freedom to make four- or five-year awards, set full annual stipend levels for up to $25,000 for four years or up to $20,000 for five years, and to offer top-ups or add-on supplements of at least $4,000 for no more than five years. Similar arrangements can be established with MFA programs. If there are unused monies due to late withdrawal, these funds may be used for another entering student or returned to the Graduate School.
3. If there are any unused allocated fellowships after the start of the new academic year or allocated funds that have not been designated to a newly entering PhD or MFA student, those funds will be reverted to the Graduate School.
Colleges or departments have the prerogative of adding additional funding, up to $10,000 to full Graduate School fellowship stipend. For amounts higher than $10,000 special requests will have to be made to and granted by the Graduate School.
Additional Policies for the Graduate School Fellowship Program:
1. Graduate School fellows may defer their admission and still receive their full allocation (four or five years) of funding as determined by their college and academic program, provided the fellows remain in compliance with the rules and policies of the Graduate School. Additionally, fellows are encouraged to apply for outside funding, such as Fulbright, Ford, Woodrow Wilson, National Science Foundation Research Graduate, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate, or other fellowships. Recipients of these externally funded awards may defer the Graduate School Fellowship and gain up to three years of support if the external fellowship is for three years or more. Students can gain up to four years (or five years if on a five-year stipend structure) of Graduate School Fellowship support if the external award is for two years or less. The department may request a $5K annual top up while the student is on the externally funded award. This top up will be funded with GSF residuals and will not affect the department’s original allocation. If external funding is three or more years, original GSF funding received previously can be reinstated for a year, if needed
2. Graduate School fellows who receive funding from other fellowships such as Bridge to the Doctorate, IGERT, SPICE may not concurrently hold the GSF award. The GSF may be deferred for the duration of the award to provide a total of five years combined funding.
3. A Graduate School fellow may take up to one calendar year’s approved leave of absence without penalty. The leave may be requested due to medical reasons or internships and must be approved by the Graduate School. For example, a student petitions the department and receives a leave of absence for a term or terms. When the student resumes his graduate studies, he may receive the remaining commitment of the fellowship.
4. If a Graduate School fellow does not complete his PhD or MFA after the period of fellowship support, the Graduate School will not be responsible for providing the student with additional support. It is expected that college or academic program provide support for those students who are in good academic standing.
5. Registration beyond full-time credit-hour requirements (12 hours via actual fellowship regulations or 9 hours on an assistantship) is not covered by this program. If a Graduate School fellow is registered for more than the expected hours, departments may elect to cover the cost of the extra hour(s), or have the student pay for it.
6. Normally, graduate students who are already enrolled at the University of Florida are ineligible as newly enrolled awardees; however, students who have completed their master’s degree may be eligible, subject to normal college/department admissions procedures for entry to the PhD program.
7. Off-book courses are not eligible for tuition waivers, and must be paid by the student or department. The Graduate School fellow must still register for the credit hours as required by the assistantship to maintain full-time registration.
8. Graduate School fellows receiving full stipends may not concurrently hold an additional fulltime assignment or receive a full fellowship with a stipend more than $10,000 annually.
9. Graduate School fellows may not receive Grinter awards.