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Supplemental Graduate Fellowship and Recruitment Funding Program

The Supplemental Graduate Fellowship and Recruitment Funding (SGFRF) Program is aimed at helping graduate programs recruit new students who show exceptional merit and promise.  


  • Funding is awarded to departments that demonstrate best practices in graduate education by recruiting, training and professionally placing outstanding students.
  • Funds can be used to design the recruitment strategy that best meets their needs and goals, whether that be increased student support through a one-year fellowship, visitation/recruiting events, early enrollment support, professional development funding or other innovative methods to improve graduate program recruiting efforts. Priority should be given to underrepresented students. 
  • If utilizing funds as a fellowship, each fellowship must be awarded as a supplement to a .50 departmental teaching or research assistantship. Fellowship recipients must be nominated by directors of graduate studies; students are not allowed to apply on their own. Students receiving the awards must be enrolled as full-time graduate students.


The Office of Graduate Studies seeks proposals for the Supplemental Graduate Fellowship and Recruitment Funding (SGFRF) Program to help academic units recruit outstanding graduate students to MU starting the following fall.

Programs requesting funds for recruitment activities other than fellowships should describe the program with sufficient detail to allow for review using the SGFRF Rubric. Funding will be awarded to departments that have demonstrated best practices in graduate education by recruiting, training, and professionally placing outstanding students. All programs funded through the SGFRF Program will be expected to demonstrate the successes of their students.


  • SGFRF Program funds are awarded to departments on a competitive basis; departments, not the Office of Graduate Studies, select the individual recipients.
  • Departments may submit proposals for supplemental fellowship awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. If used as a supplemental fellowship, funds must be spent on the student's behalf in a one-year period.

Application format

An application must consist of 1) a completed SGFRF application form, 2) a two-to-three-page narrative proposal, and the 3) the following student data:

  • Number of students in your program
  • Number of students presenting at national and international professional meetings
  • Number of students authoring or co-authoring a publication (journal article, monograph, book, or other appropriate terminal publication outlet) or other appropriate juried creative work
  • Number of students on external funding
  • Retention and completion rates for degree program for last 5 years, including time to degree and evidence of successful academic or professional placement
  • Other relevant metrics specific to your discipline that may not apply to one or more of the bullets above

All three documents should be submitted electronically as a single PDF document via e-mail attachment by 12 PM (CST) on the Friday immediately prior to the start of the November recess, to MU Grad Fellowship Nomination: The application form must include signatures of the chair and DGS.

The proposal narrative must include a justification of the supplemental award amount per fellowship plus the total number of fellowships sought. Supplemental funds must be spent on the student's behalf in a one-year period. The program seeks to reward and encourage department/program excellence; it does not seek to remediate low stipend levels. Therefore, the application should focus on program strengths. The narrative must include information related to the life cycle of graduate education in the department or program from recruitment to successful completion and professional placement. Please cover the following topics:

  • Use of Funds. Provide an overview of the use of funds and a brief rationale for the use of those funds.
  • Recruiting. Describe specific efforts or programs designed to attract exceptional students and underrepresented students to the program, with an acknowledgement that different disciplines define “underrepresented” differently. Describe any special efforts made to ensure a good fit between student and faculty/program.
  • Retention. Describe efforts at successful orientations, handbooks, and special programs of a social and/or academic nature that encourage faculty/student interaction; integration of students in the teaching and research missions of the department/program; procedures designed to help students find appropriate mentors; and program structures, including curricula and examinations that focus work and enable successful graduate education.
  • Outcomes. Describe current departmental/program efforts to aid student career development in job market preparation.


  • Supplemental Graduate Fellowship Competition Nominations due by 12 PM (CST) on the Friday immediately prior to the start of November recess
  • Send nominations via email to  All documents should be a single PDF file.
  • Notification of award: (estimated) Mid-December


Proposals will be evaluated by a panel drawn from graduate faculty members across campus. Faculty from the arts and humanities, social sciences, professional schools, and the sciences will evaluate the proposals. The amount of the dollar award will be determined based on the proposal ranking and the amount of available funding as determined by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate student full-time enrollment

  • 9-16 credit hours in fall semester
  • 9-16 credit hours in spring semester
  • 4-9 hours in summer session 


  • Competition call sent out the middle of the fall semester
  • Competition nominations due in November
  • Awards announced mid-December

Fellowship resources