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ENGIE-Axium Graduate Fellowship and Scholarship Guidelines

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Section 1: Overview

Guiding Principles

ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure (ENGIE-Axium) are world leaders in energy services and sustainability. The two companies formed a new consortium to provide comprehensive energy management services for Ohio State. This private/public partnership also supports Ohio State’s sustainability and academic mission.

Sustainabilitya refers to the improvement of the well-being of people and communities in ways that protect the earth’s life support systems by reducing environmental impacts, enhancing resource efficiency and ensuring economic prosperity for all. It is motivated by the fundamental dependence of humans on the natural environment and the desire to foster life on Earth now and in the future. Sustainability also depends on the resilience of natural and human systems, such as those providing energy and food, and the ability of communities to recover, adapt and flourish in the face of changing environmental, economic and social conditions. Sustainability includes consideration of human health and well-being in the context of changing environmental conditions and a focus on applied solutions, including innovations in technology, policies and actions.

One of the objectives of the funds generated from the ENGIE-Axium endowment to the Graduate School is to support innovative and contemporary programs and initiatives for graduate and professional students at the Ohio State University. The goal is to spend funds available with the following guiding principles:

  • Enhance excellence and augment opportunities for graduate and professional students’ learning and workforce training in Sustainability and/or Energy Management and Advancement. As described by the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State, Sustainability is an inherently interdisciplinary topic that transcends any single academic unit, discipline or sector. Sustainability and resilience research draws from the natural, social, medical and engineering sciences, arts and humanities, as well as from public health, policy, business and law.
  • Seek synergies with other ENGIE-Axium Academic Collaboration investments, including the proposed Energy Advancement and Innovation Center
  • Align with the university mission, vision, and strategic plan. In particular for the scholarship, seek to advance diversity and inclusion as a core goal, reflecting diversity of people, ideas and disciplines. 
  • Create a “multiplier effect” by leveraging existing scholarship, fellowship and graduate training programs, including those supported by the Graduate School
  • Maintain a balance over time in allocating funds across multiple colleges, departments, professional programs, and disciplines that engage in sustainability advanced studies, including the arts and humanities
  • Maintain flexibility in how the funds are allocated over time. Funds may be allocated for recruitment as well as for current students.

Three new programs have been developed to support graduate education through the ENGIE-Axium endowment. These include the Fellowship and Scholarship programs described below.


aThis definition is from SRE/OEE’s proposal to create a sustainability institute at OSU and reflects ongoing conversations through SELC and other sustainability-oriented networks at OSU.

Section 2: ENGIE-Axium Fellowship (EA-F) Program

The one-year EA-F is designed to recruit academically strong candidates for admission into our graduate programs with a particular focus in the research areas of Sustainability. Funds would target recruitment of high ability students to Ohio State.

The EA-F program provides support for Fellowship awards every year, each that would fund one student stipend and tuition & fee authorization. The Graduate School strongly encourages the colleges and the programs to provide matching funds, so that the EA-F support could be split between two or more students in that program or college (see Section 3.1)

The EA-F can be combined with the Graduate School Fellowships (UF, GE or Osmer (SROP)) to offer multi-year fellowship packages, provided the recipient satisfies the criteria required for each individual fellowship. Multi-year packages through Graduate School Fellowships will be restricted to a total of 3 years but EA-F can add an additional year. EA-F can also be combined with College Allocated Fellowships (CAF), to increase the total support, in accordance with the Graduate School Fellowship guidelines (Section 14). 

As is typical with recruitment, all EA-F awards may not be accepted by the awardees as our applicants are highly sought after. Annually, unaccepted EA-Fs would default to the Graduate School and would be allocated in alliance with the eligibility criteria for EA-F. The goal is to spend the money available for these fellowships which is anticipated to require adjustments to the number of students awarded. Nominations for the EF-Fellowships will not be capped.

Consistent with other Graduate School Fellowships, the EA-F program will:

  • Provide a monthly stipend (Appendix D)
  • Pay a student’s instructional fees and most general fees
  • Pay learning technology fees
  • Pay resident or nonresident tuition
  • Provide the university subsidy of the Student Health Insurance premium

Section 3: Nomination and Eligibility

Nomination (Secion 3.1)

Individual graduate students cannot apply for the EA-F. EA-F awards are based on nominations of admitted graduate students by Ohio State graduate programs to the Graduate School. EA-F students should be nominated by programs using the Graduate School Nomination website as described in the Graduate School Fellowship guidelines (Section 7).

There is no limit on the number of nominations a program can submit for the EA-F. A student can be nominated for an EA-F as well as for other Graduate School Fellowships. However, restrictions on nomination caps (if applicable) will be applied for other fellowship nominations. Nominations for multiple fellowships should be indicated on the Nomination System. A student nominated for multiple fellowships must meet the eligibility criteria for each fellowship.

The Graduate School strongly encourages colleges and programs to provide matching funds, to allow EA-F support to be split between two or more students in that program or college. In this post-award matching process, after a nominee has been awarded an EA-F in the Graduate School competition, programs may choose additional admitted student(s) to receive an EA-F. Program or college funds should be used to match Graduate School fellowship funds, creating an aggregate fund that can be split to create multiple EA-F awards.  When such a split is requested, the program must specify the matching funds available for each candidate and how the split will be made, and specify how the nominee meets the eligibility requirements for the EA-F. If all the nominees in the split cases are not awarded or do not accept the EA-F, the program or college may request that the Graduate School award the entire EA-F to the nominee(s) who accepts the EA-F. These requests would be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Graduate School. Splitting the award will permit a greater number of students to be honored with a named fellowship and spread the visibility of the Engie-Axium initiatives.

Eligibility (Section 3.2)

Individuals who will be new graduate students at Ohio State in autumn semester of the start of their first academic year are eligible for nomination. The committee will also consider students for whom spring or summer is their first term of graduate enrollment at Ohio State.

The students can be applicants to any graduate or professional program at the Ohio State University, including doctoral or master’s programs. However their program of study must align with the theme of Sustainability.

For EA-F nomination, the minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA (cGPA) and the minimum cGPA from any subsequent degree earned, if applicable, should be at least 3.6 on a 4.0 scale.

Students of all nationalities are eligible to be nominated for the EA-F.

Section 4: Application and Review

Materials Used for Evaluation (Section 4.1)

Transcripts reflecting courses taken and grades received in the undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) program of study of the nominee.

Official notification of standardized scores (e.g. GRE and subject specific standardized test scores, GMAT etc.) is optional, but should be included if these are used as evidence of academic quality, and must be included if required by the nominating program.

Nominee’s curriculum vitae summarizing major scholarly pursuits and activities and other experiences including but not limited to publications, presentations, performances, awards, internships etc.

Statement of Purpose to be evaluated according to factors including but not limited to: clarity and quality of writing, non-academic experience, motivation for graduate study and research interest, career goals, and interest in the specific graduate program at The Ohio State University.

Letters of Recommendation The quality of letters will be assessed from factors such as reputation and/or relevance of recommenders, the intellectual ability of the nominee, the quality and quantity of scholarly work and other attributes of the nominee such as experiences, leadership activities, motivation, work-ethic, overcoming hardship(s), and promise for success in graduate school.

Program Justification Statement. It is the program’s responsibility to provide a narrative describing specific interpretation of the nominee’s credentials, including previous graduate work, if relevant. The statement should describe why the nominee represents the highest quality for their program, and is an appropriate candidate for the EA-F. The narrative should include how the nominee’s research interests and predicted program of study aligns with the theme of Sustainability as broadly defined in Section 1. Inclusion of a description of how the nominee could support the educational diversity of the program and/or the Graduate School is encouraged and broadly defined in our Graduate School Fellowship Guidelines.

Review (Section 4.2)

EA-F nominations will be reviewed by the Graduate School University Fellowship Review Committee and subject to the Scoring Criteria for UF Competition as described in (Section 8.3) Graduate School Fellowship Guidelines. Consistent with the Graduate School Fellowship nominations, each EA-F nomination will be evaluated by three readers who are selected through a randomized process. Reviewers do not review nominees from their own programs, and recuse themselves for conflict of interest. Each nomination’s final score is an average of the three scores. EA-F awards will be made by the Graduate School based on the recommendations of the review committees.

The notification of fellowship winners, information and conditions for fellowship and benefits for EA-F fellows will be accordance with the guidelines specified for Graduate School Fellowships.

Section 5: ENGIE-Axium Incentive Recruitment Scholarships (EA-IRS)

The EA-IRS is a special incentive allocated to the professional and graduate colleges in a manner similar to our College Allocated Fellowships (CAFs). Each year the EA-IRS program will provide $5,000 each to up to 20 prospective graduate or professional students seeking to study or work in Sustainability.

The EA-IRS can be used to augment current recruitment packages to attract the most sought-after students requiring stronger financial incentives to attract them to Ohio State. This incentive can be used at the College’s discretion to supplement the stipend or to provide research funds specifically for that student. These scholarships are to provide consideration in the selection process to diversify the graduate or professional student body within the program, including underrepresented minority students.

The EA-IRS is decentralized to the Colleges to give graduate programs flexibility when they may want to make offers to recruit top students. It also allows the graduate programs to make early offers. The Graduate School, in consultation with the Energy Academic Collaboration Council, determines the number of EA-IRS awards that each college will receive. The recommended number is based on the performance of the college’s graduate programs in recruiting graduate students in Sustainability during the last five-year period, and is subject to the approval of the ENGIE-Axium Advisory Council.

Nomination and Eligibility

EA-IRS awards are based on nominations of admitted graduate students by Ohio State graduate programs to their respective Colleges.

Students must be new recruits who meet all the eligibility criteria described for the EA-F (Section 3.2) except that the minimum required cGPA is a 3.5 for the EA-IRS in their most recently completed degree program.

These students would be selected by the Colleges and approved by the Graduate School as is currently done for the CAF.

All admitted new graduate students are eligible to be considered for the EA-IRS award provided they meet the eligibility criteria. These include students who are considered for fellowship nominations, graduate research associate or graduate teaching associate positions or are self-funded students.   

For EA-IRS, each college determines how these awards are allocated to its graduate programs and sets its own internal review process. The review process within the Colleges for selection of applicants should follow the holistic review process for General Enrichment Fellowships (Section 8.4) as described in our 2019-2020 Fellowship Guidelines document. This system weighs academic qualities, experiences and characteristics (attributes) equally and will include a justification statement from the College that emphasizes the contribution to graduate educational diversity that the student brings to, in this case, the Sustainability initiatives and the program. Procedures established to distribute the EA-IRS awards to programs or to individual students at the college level are subject to the discretion of the college’s dean.

Section 6: ENGIE-Axium Curricular Practical Training Scholarship (EA-CPT)

The EA-CPT program provides every year up to $5,000 (capped), to 18 graduate or professional students seeking to study or work in Sustainability as part of their graduate curriculum. Individual graduate students cannot apply for the EA-CPT awards. EA-CPT awards are based on nominations of current graduate students by Ohio State graduate programs to their respective Colleges.

The Graduate School encourages the Colleges to disburse the EA-CPT scholarships using a model similar to the AGGRS award offered by the Graduate School. The EA-CPT scholarships should be made on the merit of the proposal, quality of the graduate student, and likelihood of completion of the experience. The colleges can allocate these scholarships prior to the start of the semester Spring, Summer and Autumn of the academic year. Scholarships allocated to colleges that are not used in a given academic year will default back to the Graduate School.


Students can be in any year of their program of study and must have less than the minimum stipend of funding for the semester. For instance students may be under-funded (below the minimum stipend/mo) for the semester in which the EA-CPT is requested, or request funding for work that is essential to their dissertation or thesis but for which they have no financial support. Total support, including the EA-CPT can not exceed the minimum stipend level.

Students receiving partial stipends from associateship or scholarships may apply for EA-CPT funding. As an example, EA-CPT nominations can be received to support graduate students that may be attending an under-funded off-campus experience for a semester or, due to a 9-month Graduate Associate appointment, be without funding for a summer semester.

Students must be enrolled for the semester of the award and making progress toward the degree.

Previous EA-CPT awardees are not eligible for a second award.

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