You are here

Early Offer Inclusive Excellence Fellowship Guidelines

Our goal is to increase diversity across all colleges and interdisciplinary programs. The Early Offer Inclusive Excellence (EOIE) Fellowship is one of several initiatives led by the Graduate School to assist graduate programs in their efforts to recruit highly qualified underrepresented students to enhance the diversity of our student population and promote excellence in Ohio State PhD graduate programs. 

Allotted Fellowships (CAFs) to recruit the highest quality of graduate students to diversify their student body. As such, the principles that guide the administration of this Fellowship include: 

  • Alignment with the university’s mission, vision, and strategic plan. In particular, this fellowship, seeks to advance diversity and inclusion as a core goal, reflecting diversity of people, ideas, and disciplines.
  • Reaffirmation of the university’s commitment through the integration of diversity and inclusion within our recruitment strategies.
  • Advancement of an intellectual environment where students from all backgrounds can flourish in a learning community that recognizes how diversity serves as a catalyst for excellence in education.
  • Capacity to create a “multiplier effect” by leveraging existing scholarship, fellowship, and graduate training programs, including those supported by the Graduate School.

Diversity is a key pillar of successful education and student academic success.

Historical Development of the Early Offer Inclusive Excellence (EOIE) Awards

Early offer strategies have historical evidence to enhance the acceptance rates of prospectus students and have been integrated into practice at undergraduate and professional degree colleges in varied forms. After support from faculty forums in 2018, Dean Alicia L. Bertone created the early offer fellowship track specifically to enhance the recruitment to Ohio State of the most talented diverse students, particularly into programs with identified gaps compared to university and national standards for diversity.

The first two years of the program (2018-19) served as pilot programs to identify the optimal pathway of implementation and provide evidence of recruitment success. Indeed, early acceptance into a program and early award of a fellowship, increased Ohio State’s matriculation of these graduate students compared to other students in our University Fellowship competition. This recruitment strategy enables students to connect early with a faculty member and establish a mentoring relationship. Further, this process empowers a highly sought after cohort of recruits to find a fit and begin finalizing their future career at Ohio State prior to the start of the regular recruitment cycle.

The EOIE Fellowship Awards are allotted to colleges in similar fashion to College Allotted Fellowships (CAFs). EOIE allocations to colleges will be announced at the same time as CAFs, by early autumn, to closely align with Ohio State’s early recruitment initiatives, including the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s Autumn Graduate/Professional Student Recruitment Initiative and early recruitment fairs of our colleges, such as Engineering and Interdisciplinary Bridge programs.

Early Offer Inclusive Excellence Fellowship (EOIE) Program


Early Offer Inclusive Excellence awards are a 1-year Fellowship (Stipend and Fee Authorization) for PhD recruits. For each Inclusive Excellence Nominee, please be prepared to submit two student names with the criteria listed below, one for the Early Offer and one for your early CAF allocation. Inclusive Excellence Nominees are also eligible for other Graduate School Fellowships (UF, GE or CAF) and/or the combination of fellowships. The EOIE award can be added to a multi-year fellowship package, including a DDU or DDE as a 4th year, provided the recipient satisfies the criteria required for each individual fellowship.

To be eligible for the Inclusive Excellence Fellowship, prospective students must apply to a PhD program, be admitted pursuant to the standard admissions process, and be nominated for a fellowship with respect to the deadline as posted on the Fellowship Services Calendar, prior to the year of enrollment the following summer or autumn. Students must have a minimum cGPA of 3.6. Neither the GRE nor other standardized test scores are required for this fellowship but may be required by the program. The nomination process will follow the college allocation nomination process; questions about the nomination process can be directed to Fellowship Services.

Eligibility criteria are the same as for our General Enrichment Fellowships with the added criterion of a 3.6 minimum cGPA for their undergraduate degree. The one-year EOIE is designed as a collaboration with colleges to recruit academically strong new candidates for admission into our graduate programs with a requirement to diversify the graduate student body. Students would be nominated by programs using the Graduate School Nomination system. As is typical with all recruitment fellowships, EOIE fellowship recipients have complete freedom of choice in accepting their award until April 15th the following year as part of the Council of Graduate Schools’ CGS April 15 award resolution agreement. Nominations will be approved by the Graduate School in similar fashion as University Fellowship CAFs. Students must start the program in the summer or autumn semester directly following the Award. EOIE awards cannot be deferred. Unused EOIE allotted awards will default back to the Graduate School.


The Graduate School reserves the right to terminate fellowship support before the end of the award period for the following reasons:

  • The fellow is no longer enrolled in Graduate School.
  • The fellow is registered for fewer than the required minimum number of credit hours.
  • The fellow fails to maintain reasonable progress towards the graduate degree or fails to maintain good standing.
  • The fellow receives a terminal degree.
  • The fellow changes graduate programs without obtaining written approval from the appropriate graduate programs and associate dean of the Graduate School.
  • The fellow accepts employment or any other type of financial support without the prior approval of the Graduate School.

The fellow has been found in violation of the professional codes of ethics and responsibilities of the university. These codes include, but are not limited to, the Graduate Student Code of Research and Scholarly Conduct (Graduate School Handbook Appendix C) and the Code of Student Conduct. Violations are determined through the formal disciplinary and/or grievance procedures established by recognized bodies of the university.


The yearly stipend will be made available to the student as outlined by the type of fellowship (Appendix D) in the award letter.

Fellows are paid on the last working day of the month. For fellows who start their appointment in the fall semester, the first and last stipend payment is on the last working day of August and is a half stipend. Students who begin their fellowship in summer will receive the current fiscal year stipend rate from mid-May through mid-August and the upcoming fiscal year stipend rate from mid-August through mid-May.

If the fellow leaves the fellowship early, the stipend will be prorated to reflect the date of departure.

Tuition & Fees:

The Graduate School authorizes the payment of resident and nonresident tuition, any learning technology fees, and the general fees.

Fellows are responsible for all late fees if they are the result of being under-enrolled (e.g., enrolled for less than the required number of hours as specified in the Minimum credit hour requirements (Section 11.3) or a failure to make payment by the deadline.

Withdrawal Costs:

 Should an active fellow choose to withdraw or be asked to leave the university for cause during the semester, all tuition and fees previously paid by the fellowship for that semester (or summer term) will be reversed and those fees charged to the student.  Additionally, the fellowship stipend will be prorated to reflect the date of departure. Contact Fellowship Services for withdrawal costs.

An exception is a fellow in their final year who has fulfilled their responsibilities for graduation. With the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee Chair and their advisor, the student can terminate the program before the end of the semester without any withdrawal costs.

Expenses and Fees Not Covered by the Fellowship:

Room and board, application fee, books, equipment, lab fees, parking, and other personal expenses are not paid by the fellowship.

Monthly stipend amounts indicated do not include deductions for other student fees (Student Activity, Recreational, Student Union Facility, COTA Bus Service, remaining health insurance, and Student Legal Services). For detailed information about fees, see the Specific Program Tuition and Fee Locator on the Registrar’s website.

Fellows must complete and submit a Payroll Deduct Form to have these fees deducted from their stipend.


Tenure for students who begin their fellowship in autumn is mid-August through mid-August of the following year. Tenure for students who begin their fellowship in summer at the request of their program can be from mid-May through mid-May of the following year.

If the fellow graduates prior to the end of the fellowship period, the fellowship will terminate (see exception to withdrawal cost) at the end of the semester that graduation occurs.

The fellowship offer applies exclusively to graduate study in the graduate program making the nomination. Any change in a student’s enrollment status, including entry into a combined program or transfer to another program, must be approved by the Graduate School prior to that change and could result in the loss of the fellowship and/or full fee authorization support.


Health Insurance. Graduate fellows are eligible for the university’s subsidy of Student Health Insurance (SHI) premiums, which is currently 85% of the Comprehensive Student Health Insurance premiums. The fellow’s portion of the student health insurance is divided into equal payments and deducted from the monthly fellowship stipend. Graduate fellowships are non-service appointments and, therefore, fellows are not eligible for worker’s compensation or disability insurance. All domestic students who have coverage through a non-university health insurance plan and who want to waive SHI coverage can do so by completing the online waiver process on the SHI website.

Parking - Graduate fellows may purchase a student or a staff parking permit. Information regarding the parking permits can be obtained from CampusParc.

Library - Graduate fellows have staff library privileges.

Tax Liability -  According to the Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986, fellowship stipends are considered taxable income. However, because fellowships are considered awards, the university may not withhold income tax from the monthly stipend. Students will not receive a W-2 Form. Students may be required to file federal and state estimated quarterly income tax forms. Information and forms on quarterly filing can be obtained from a tax advisor or at Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Information about fellowships and taxes can be found at the IRS website. Students may also be required to pay the Columbus city tax (City of Columbus tax website).