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Fellowship Finder

University of Illinois Graduate College - Dewson Fellowship for Underrepresented Students Facing Unanticipated Need

Deadline: Continuous

The Graduate College's Dewson Fellowships are available to underrepresented graduate students who are facing serious and unanticipated funding problems that jeopardize completion of a degree program. Problems generally must be of an emergency nature.  Awards will be made based on evaluation of the student's need, academic potential, impact of the fellowship on degree completion, and availability of funds. The fellowship is a one-time award and is not renewable. Nominations may be submitted at any time, but preference is given to nominations submitted prior to the beginning of the fall term.


  • Nominees must be currently-registered full-time degree-seeking graduate students in good academic standing.
  • Nominees must be U.S. citizens of African-American, Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, or Native American descent.
  • Nominees must be experiencing a serious and unanticipated funding situation, generally of an emergency nature, that is jeopardizing completion of the degree program. 

Award amount:

  • Fellowships generally provide a maximum of one semester's worth of support. 
  • A stipend up to $5,000 maximum is available.  The actual amount awarded will vary depending on the student's situation and the Graduate College's budget.
  • At the department's request, the Graduate College will consider offering a fellowship large enough to generate a tuition waiver (currently $5,000 per semester).  Note, however, that students in self-supporting and cost-recovery programs (see list) are not eligible for the accompanying tuition waiver. Students in these programs are eligible only for the stipend portion of the award.   

Nomination procedure: Students must be nominated by their department. Applicant and advisor should each submit their respective materials to the department's contact person (check with the Director of Graduate Studies for appropriate contact person). The department must then scan materials into a single pdf, and the file should be named as follows: LastName, FirstName - DeptAbbreviation - Dewson (for example: Smith, John - MatSE - Dewson). The pdf should then be submitted to the Graduate College through this online Box folder.  The pdf must contain the following documents, arranged in the following order:

  • Dewson Fellowship Nomination Form, as completed by the department. The Nomination Form requires that the department's nominating official (either the Department Head or the Director of Graduate Studies) describe the nature of the situation that has prompted the student's request for support and explain how this situation, in combination with the student’s academic accomplishments and potential, warrants a Dewson Fellowship. The nominating official must also explain how the department will support the student following the completion of the Dewson fellowship period.  
  • Letter of request from the student that explains the serious and unanticipated circumstances that have prompted the need for support, the amount of funding requested, the period for which funding is requested, an estimate of the expenses that need to be covered, a summary of previous and current funding, a description of the student's research, progress toward degree, and a general timetable for degree completion. This letter should be no more than two pages, single spaced, with 12 point font and one-inch margins.
  • Student's CV.
  • Letter of support from the student's adviser, including a description and assessment of the student's research, progress toward degree, and proposed timetable for completion.  This letter must reiterate the nature of the situation that has prompted the student's request for support.
  • Transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate work to date (unofficial transcripts will suffice).  

Ken Vickery, PhD
Director of Fellowships
Graduate College



Categories: Social Sciences; Sciences/Engineering/Math; Professional Programs; Humanities; US Citizens, Nationals, or Permanent Residents; Master's; Early Years of Doctoral Program; Dissertation Research; Dissertation Write-Up; Fellowship/Grant; University of Illinois Students; Underrepresented Students

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