You are here

Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship Guidelines

The Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship was named in 2015 in honor of the former Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School at The Ohio State University to recognize his commitment to diversity. The Patrick S. Osmer fellowship is one of several initiatives by the Graduate School to help graduate programs recruit highly qualified under-represented students to enhance diversity and promote excellence in Ohio State PhD programs. 


The Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship is an incentive to recruit candidates who have been involved in undergraduate research through the following two programs, which are especially geared towards under-represented students:

  1. The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) program: The SROP program is a gateway to graduate education at the fourteen member universities of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The SROP program enables talented undergraduate students to experience intensive, faculty-mentored research opportunities while creating a pipeline for future graduate students, faculty and professionals from groups who have been under-represented in graduate education. At Ohio State, the SROP program is administered by the Graduate School and has become a signature diversity recruitment program to attract highly qualified undergraduates from under-represented groups to conduct research with an Ohio State faculty mentor and to learn about graduate study.
  2. Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program: The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 151 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally under-represented in graduate education who have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from segments of society that have been under-represented in graduate and professional programs.

The Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship offers financial support to outstanding under-represented participants as early as possible in the graduate school admission process. The Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship provides two years (first and dissertation year) of stipend, tuition, and fees for partial support to the program and the student towards completion of their PhD or doctoral degree.

Application Process

Recruitment Initiatives

Rising seniors who have previously participated in SROP or the McNair Scholars program(s) are encouraged to avail themselves of the following opportunities in applying for graduate education at the Ohio State.

Campus Visits: The Graduate/Professional Student Recruitment Initiative (GPS) is The Ohio State University’s premier diversity recruitment program for students considering post-baccalaureate studies at Ohio State. The GPS program helps contribute to the cultural and academic diversity of Ohio State’s Graduate School and Professional Colleges by offering financial support to selected candidates for the campus visitation event held in October every year. The GPS program includes departmental visits with faculty members, administrators and graduate/professional students as well as workshops regarding essential Graduate/Professional school components. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from June to September.

In addition to the GPS initiative, the Graduate School offers campus visit recruitment grants up to $250 per student to support programs as they recruit the most sought-after applicants, namely fellowship nominees. Unlike the GPS, the applicant cannot apply for the Graduate School campus visit grants. Graduate programs must submit requests to the Graduate School for campus visit grants for their nominees for the Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship. Programs are encouraged to supplement the Graduate School’s $250 to further enable campus visits by qualified candidates.

Application fee waiver: The Ohio State Graduate School waives the application fee for SROP and McNair Scholars.

Eligible Candidates

The eligibility for the Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship is restricted to students who have previously participated in a BTAA SROP undergraduate research program and/or are McNair Scholars.

The candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents and have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.1 on a 4.0 scale.

The candidates must be newly admitted to a PhD program at The Ohio State University Columbus or Wooster campus starting in the autumn semester of the academic year following nomination.

Candidates who have completed or are pursuing Master’s programs at Ohio State are eligible as long as they are newly admitted to a PhD program at Ohio State.


  • Incoming graduate students cannot directly apply for the Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship. Eligible candidates must be nominated by Graduate programs.
  • The number of nominations a program can submit is unlimited. This policy reflects the Graduate School’s commitment to support graduate programs as they pursue diversity.
  • Programs must commit to providing support for intervening years when nominating candidates for the two-year Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship.
  • Students nominated for the Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship may be also be nominated for the UFP (Section 2), the GEFP and/or the CAF, provided they meet the eligibility criteria for these fellowships and the total number of UFP nominations are within the nomination cap.
  • A candidate may not hold more than a total of 3 years of support from Graduate School fellowships (Patrick S. Osmer, UF and GE). However CAFs may be awarded in addition to any or all Graduate School fellowships.

Nomination Process

Nominations for the Patrick S. Osmer Fellowships are made and submitted by Graduate Studies Committee Chairpersons (GSCC) from the relevant graduate program. Information about the GradAwards Nomination System can be found in Section 7 of the Fellowship Guidelines.

Nominations are accepted until the nomination deadline listed on the Fellowship Calendar.

  • Required Nomination Materials (combined into one single PDF document)
  • The graduate program’s signed justification statement
  • The nominee’s statement of purpose
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one of the letters must be to certify the student’s status and performance as a SROP participant and/or McNair Scholar).

Evaluation Process

  1. Transcripts reflecting courses taken and grades received in the undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) program of study of the nominee.
  2. Official notification of standardized scores (e.g. GRE and subject-specific standardized test scores, GMAT etc.) is optional but should be available if these are used as evidence of academic quality in the justification statement.
  3. Nominee’s curriculum vitae summarizing major scholarly pursuits and activities and other experiences including but not limited to publications, presentations, performances, awards, internships etc.
  4. Statement of Purpose to be evaluated according to factors including but not limited to: clarity and quality of writing, academic or non-academic experiences, motivation for graduate study and research interest, career goals, and interest in the specific graduate program at The Ohio State University.
  5. 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, hardship overcome, and promise for success in graduate school.

Program Justification Statement It is the program’s responsibility to provide a narrative 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. The justification should include the level of enthusiasm of the program for the applicant (Outstanding, Excellent, Very Good), and how the nominee fits into the program’s research emphases. Graduate programs should emphasize all relevant attributes of the nominees’ files in their program justifications.

Review Process

The Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship nominations are reviewed by at least two members of the Graduate Faculty. Reviewers make recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School, who holds the final decision.

In addition to screening that the candidates meet the eligibility criteria for nomination, the members of the review team evaluate nominees on the basis of the scoring criteria outlined below.

Scoring Criteria

In scoring nominations for the Patrick S. Osmer Fellowship the following criteria, namely Academic Productivity, Experiences, Characteristics and Contributions to Diversity (as defined below) are considered.

Academic Productivity
  • Cumulative/major undergraduate and graduate GPA (if relevant); reputation/difficulty of the undergraduate program/institution
  • Publications, scholarly works, abstracts, research laboratory outputs such as posters, presentations, etc.
  • Standardized test scores (optional)—GRE/GMAT/TOEFL and subject-specific standardized test scores, if included, can be considered to reflect academic quality. Scores/percentile ranks should be accompanied by discussion of how they relate to predicting graduate student success in the specific area proposed for graduate study. Previous track record of academic achievement, including but not limited to highschool, college major, college and/or university prizes, awards and honors, and major accolades (e.g. National Merit Scholarship; AP scholar, NSF pre-doctoral award, Fulbright).
  • Quantity and quality of scholarly activities, including but not limited to SROP/McNair research experience, shadowing, communications, volunteer efforts, performances, research activities, and internships.
  • Extracurricular and non-academic experiences (e.g. community service, other major activities, leadership experiences, travel/experience abroad, outreach activities, teaching or other work experience).
  • Qualities and attributes that are associated with success in graduate school (e.g. work-ethic, overcoming hardships, discipline, focus, grit, resilience, readiness, achievement orientation, motivation, organization, maturity).
Contributions to Diversity
  • Potential of the nominee to contribute to a diverse graduate student body in a manner that supports excellence in graduate education for their graduate program and/or the university. Nominees that successfully demonstrate diversity in thoughts and/or life experience and those that contribute to multiple aspects of program diversity goals typically receive higher priority.

Notification of Fellowship Winners

Graduate School award letters will be made available on the Nomination System for review by graduate programs to ensure accuracy on the date indicated in the Fellowship Calendar. Programs may contact Fellowship Services after the letters are available on the Nomination System to request that the award letters be sent to the nominees. The official awards notification date is indicated in the Fellowship Calendar. The Graduate School sends the official fellowship award letters to fellowship awardees by email.

Programs that wish to make fellowship offers at any time after the accuracy check is complete or that wish to make offers using college level fellowships (CAF) should notify Fellowship Services.

To avoid confusion on the part of awardees, graduate programs are strongly encouraged to reference and attach a copy of the Graduate School letter in their own offer letter to the student. Graduate programs must inform awardees at the time of the fellowship offer of their willingness to provide (or not provide) additional financial years of support and/or supplemental stipend and the conditions, if any, that need to be met for continued support.

Each graduate program is responsible for notifying its unsuccessful nominees.

Acceptance of Fellowship

Ohio State follows the Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) April 15 award resolution agreement. The CGS resolution states that fellowship recipients have complete freedom of choice in accepting their awards until April 15, with the last award accepted on or before that date being the one to which the student is obligated. Graduate programs may make offers in advance of this date, but cannot state or imply that these offers are contingent on acceptance prior to April 15. Contact the Fellowship Office for statements acceptable to the CGS.

Because Ohio State is a signatory to and supporter of this agreement, graduate programs must comply.

Information and Conditions for Fellowship


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.

Fellowship Offer Tied to Original Graduate Program

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.

Fellowship students must be in attendance on the Columbus or Wooster campus and be pursuing a graduate degree in the program specified in the fellowship award letter from the Dean of the Graduate School. Exceptions to the residency requirement might include language study or research at another institution; however, fellows must continue to enroll at Ohio State and follow the policy for attendance of their classes.

Fellows are expected to abide by the professional codes of ethics and responsibilities of the university and those commonly accepted in the fellow’s field of study. These codes include, but are not limited to, the Graduate Student Code of Research and Scholarly Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct and Codes of Academic Misconduct. Fellows must also maintain good academic standing​ in the Graduate School and make reasonable progress toward the graduate degree.

Minimum Credit Hour Requirements

Fellows have a minimum credit hour requirement. Pre-doctoral candidacy fellows must enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours during autumn and spring semesters and 6 hours during summer session when utilizing Graduate School fellowship support. Post-candidacy doctoral fellows must enroll for a minimum of 3 credit hours during each term of fellowship support.

Other Appointments

See Graduate Fellowship Eligibility in the Graduate School Handbook Section 10.2. Fellowships provide a competitive stipend and fee authorization for the full-time effort of the graduate student toward requirement for their degree. As stated in the Graduate School handbook,  Graduate School fellows must hold no other appointment or outside employment during the term of appointment. Supplemental pay to further increase the stipend support of Graduate School fellows is permitted. The Graduate School supports GTA and GRA experiences occurring during intervening years.


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 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 Misconduct and the Code of Student Conduct. Violations are determined through the formal disciplinary and/or grievance procedures established by recognized bodies of the university.

Dissertation Year Activation

A request for activation of the dissertation year or thesis year (DYF) portion of any multi-year fellowship 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 before the student’s seventh year of graduate study.

Requests to activate the dissertation year must be made in writing by the fellow’s Graduate Studies Committee Chair to the Office of Fellowship Services and must confirm the student has met the following criteria:

  • Completed all doctoral coursework.
  • Completed the candidacy exam successfully and is within the five-year candidacy time period.
  • Has a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.1.
  • Received continuous departmental support during non-Graduate School fellowship years.
  • Post-candidacy fellows may register for degree-related courses in excess of 3 credit hours with advisor approval. The DYF may not be used to support courses taken for another degree program.

Benefits for Graduate School Fellows


The yearly stipend will be made available to the student as outlined in the award letter.

Fellows are paid on the last working day of the month. For fellows who start their appointment during autumn semester, the first and last stipend payment is made on the last working day of August and is prorated according to the number of business days a fellow is appointed during that month.

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.

Expenses and Fees Not Covered by the Fellowship

Food and housing, 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.

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 will be charged to the student. 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.

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 Plan 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.

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).


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


Graduate fellows have staff library privileges.

Still have questions?