GSH Section 10 - Graduate Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships Introduction - 10.0

A graduate fellowship is a financial award made by the university or an external agency directly to a graduate student to provide support during a portion of the graduate degree program. Fellows are typically selected on the basis of academic or performance merit criterion through a university-wide or a national competition, without respect to financial need. Graduate fellows cannot be required to perform a service in return for receiving a stipend.

Types of Graduate School Fellowships - 10.1

Two distinct kinds of Graduate School fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis as described below.

Graduate Recruitment Fellowships are for students applying to begin a graduate program at Ohio State. The purpose of a graduate recruitment fellowship is to attract and retain a diverse, high quality graduate student population. Some graduate recruitment fellowships include a second and/or dissertation year of support. For information regarding the different types of Graduate School recruitment fellowships that are currently being offered, please visit the Fellowship Guidelines.

Presidential Fellowships provide support to students completing their major terminal degree as a doctoral student or a student in a 3-year terminal degree program (e.g., Master of Fine Arts (MFA)). This award recognizes the student’s demonstrated research potential and scholarly achievements and provides financial support to students so that they may complete their dissertation (and similar) requirements unencumbered by other duties. For more information regarding the Presidential Fellowship, please visit the Fellowship Guidelines.

Eligibility - 10.2

The eligibility criteria for a Graduate School fellowship vary by kind of fellowship. However, recipients of all fellowships must meet the following minimal eligibility criteria. The student:

  • Must be admitted to the Graduate School.
  • Must be pursuing a graduate degree at this university on a full-time basis.
  • Must maintain good standing (Section 5.1) in the Graduate School during the period of appointment.
  • Must maintain reasonable progress (Section 5.4) toward a graduate degree as determined by the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Must hold no other appointment or employment during the term of appointment as a Graduate School fellow. The Graduate School supports GTA and GRA experiences occurring during intervening years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for Graduate Recruitment Fellowships.

The student must:

  • Be entering a new graduate program at Ohio State in a summer or autumn semester of the competition year.
  • Meet minimum grade-point average as specified for the type of fellowship for the undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree if applicable.
  • Must meet the nationality and other requirements as specified for the type of fellowship.
  • The Graduate School does not require standardized test scores. Scores should not be submitted if they are not required by the program. However, official notification of standardized scores (e.g., GRE and subject specific standardized test scores, GMAT, etc.) should be included as an Application Management Engine (AME) sheet from the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions if the program requires standardized test scores and mentions standardized test scores in the justification statement as support for the quality of the nominee.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for Presidential Fellowships

Presidential Fellowships are awarded for demonstration of excellence and are research-based.  In general, eligibility for the Presidential Fellowship is limited to doctoral (PhD and DMA) students. However, students in three-year terminal degree programs, such as the Master of Fine Arts (MFA), who are entering their final year of study and the final stages of their required major terminal degree projects are also eligible. It is expected that students nominated for the Presidential Fellowship will complete their degree requirements and graduate within the fellowship period. Graduate programs are strongly urged to provide support through graduation for any student awarded a Presidential Fellowship who does not complete their degree within the fellowship tenure period.

All applicants must:

  • Meet minimum GPA (3.5) requirements for all graduate course work at Ohio State.
  • Doctoral applicants must also:
  • Have achieved the candidacy status prior to the Presidential Fellowship competition deadline.
  • Have completed all PhD or DMA course work and enroll for 8999 hours only.

Nomination - 10.3

Candidates for the graduate recruitment and Presidential fellowships are nominated by the Graduate Studies Committee of the local graduate program. Candidates may not apply directly. Students interested in being considered for the Presidential Fellowship should state their interest to their advisor or Graduate Studies Committee Chair.

Procedures have been established for submitting graduate recruitment and Presidential fellowship nominations to the Graduate School. The dates of each fellowship competition and nomination procedures are communicated to each Graduate Studies Committee prior to each competition and are posted on the Graduate School’s website. Questions about nominating procedures, deadlines, and related matters should be directed to the Graduate School.

Fellowship Selection and Activation - 10.4

Selection of students to receive either the graduate recruitment or the Presidential fellowships is made by committees of graduate faculty appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School for that purpose. The committee establishes detailed procedures and guidelines for a comprehensive review of nominations. In case of declination of a fellowship by a nominated student, the criteria for reallocation of Graduate School recruitment fellowships are provided in the Graduate School Fellowship Guidelines.

Tenure. Graduate recruitment fellows are normally appointed for up to one academic year—autumn semester through summer term. Presidential Fellowships are awarded for a maximum of 12 consecutive months (two semesters and summer term). All graduate fellowship appointments are considered to be for 100 percent (full-time) effort toward the graduate student’s completion of degree requirements. Monthly stipend payment will terminate at the end of the semester or term in which graduation occurs, at the end of the month when all degree requirements are met and all documentation is submitted to the Graduate School for students meeting the end of semester or term deadline, or when students accept employment or another appointment.

Dissertation Year of Multi-Year Fellowships. Activation of the dissertation year of multi-year fellowships must conform to the following process:

A request for the activation of the dissertation year is made with the strong expectation that the fellow will complete all degree requirements and graduate within the dissertation year. The dissertation year must be activated by the student’s sixth year of graduate study. The graduate program is under no obligation to provide funding to the student after the dissertation year if the student does not complete their dissertation and graduate at the end of the dissertation year, or if the student has received a total of six years of support. For more information about the requirements for activating a dissertation year, please review Section 12 of the Fellowship Guidelines.

Terms of Appointment and Termination - 10.5

Award. Nominated graduate students who receive a Graduate School fellowship are notified by the Dean of the Graduate School. Graduate programs are responsible for notifying unsuccessful nominees.

Stipend. Each year the Graduate School establishes the stipend for graduate recruitment and Presidential fellows. Please see the Fellowship Guidelines document for additional information regarding fellowship stipends.

Credit hours. Fellows who are not yet doctoral candidates must be registered in the Graduate School for at least 12 hours of graduate credit (excluding audited courses) during any semester in which a fellowship appointment is held. Pre-candidacy fellows who maintain their appointments during summer term must enroll in six credit hours. Doctoral candidates must register for at least three credit hours.

Termination Criteria. A Graduate School fellowship may be terminated at the discretion of the Graduate School prior to the end of the award period for any of the following reasons:

  • The fellow is no longer enrolled in the Graduate School.
  • The fellow is registered for fewer than 12 hours of graduate credit in a semester (or fewer than six hours in summer term) or fewer than three graduate credits if the fellow is a doctoral candidate.
  • The fellow receives a terminal degree.
  • The fellow fails to maintain reasonable progress toward meeting graduate degree requirements or fails to maintain good standing.
  • The fellow changes enrollment status outside the limits of the original agreement, including entry into a graduate and/or professional combined program or transfers to another graduate and/or professional program, without obtaining prior written approval from the appropriate graduate programs and the Graduate School to transfer the fellowship. Such a change could result in the loss of the fellowship and/or full fee authorization support. (The transfer of graduate program and the transfer of fellowship are two separate procedures.)
  • The fellow accepts employment or any other type of financial support without the 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 and the Code of Student Conduct. Violations are determined through the formal disciplinary and/or grievance procedures established by recognized bodies of the university.

Non-Graduate School Funded Fellowships/Traineeships - 10.6

Administration and Approval. Students may receive fellowship or traineeship support from other university units (e.g., college or departmental fellowships) or external sources (e.g., fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association or the Fulbright, etc.). In these cases, the unit responsible for the fellowship and its administration will vary. In most cases these students receive non-graduate school funded fellowships through the Ohio State payroll system administered through the home unit. Students who receive their stipends directly from a funding agency are considered External Fellows and may not be eligible for student health insurance.

Credit Hours. Fellows who have not yet completed the candidacy examination must be registered in the Graduate School for at least 12 (excluding audited courses), but no more than 18, hours of graduate credit during any semester of the academic year in which a fellowship appointment is held. Pre-candidacy fellows who maintain their appointments during summer term must enroll in six credit hours. Doctoral candidates must register for at least three credit hours.

Fellows with up to 25 percent GA. The unit responsible for administering the fellowship must verify that the external funding source permits concurrent employment/appointment.

Payment of Tuition and Fees. The payment of a student’s academic tuition and fees may or may not be included in the award. In certain cases, the graduate program or the administrative unit may request a pre-approval for a matching tuition and authorization from the Graduate School Fee Match program. The Graduate School has a competitive fee match program that can provide tuition and fees as a match to extramurally funded stipends from extramural sources that do not pay tuition and fees. External fellows who receive tuition and fee authorizations funded by the Graduate School are not permitted to hold additional appointments or employment during the semester(s) they receive Graduate School funding. Supplemental pay to increase the fellowship stipend is permitted.

Tenure. The length of appointment and stipend level are determined by the funding source. All appointments are 100 percent (full time). Fellows cannot be required to render a service for the stipend received.

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