Skip to main content

For information related to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit:

Graduate Student Leadership Award

Graduate Student Leadership Award

The Graduate Student Leadership Award celebrates graduate students who have engaged in outstanding service that has positively impacted the campus or wider community. How that leadership has been demonstrated can vary widely. See our Spring 2020 winners, winners from 2019, winners from 2018winners from 2017, winners from 2016, and winners from 2015 for examples. A committee including faculty and students will review the submissions, and the winner will be announced during Graduate Student Appreciation Week in October.


The application form is open from August 30 to September 27, 2020.
The winner will be announced during Graduate Student Appreciation Week (October 26-30). Students receiving recognition will be featured in a special video to celebrate their accomplishments.


The winner will receive a $500 award. Awards to graduate students will be dispersed as professional development travel funds through the student’s university account. Awards may be subject to tax withholding.


As part of the submission form, you will be asked to attach the following:

  • CV or resume
  • Narrative response (maximum of two double-spaced pages; must be written by the nominee) to the prompt:
    • Describe specific contributions you have made to either the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s campus or to wider communities, and showcase how your efforts provided a positive impact. Make sure to explain how your contributions exemplifies leadership qualities you have gained and/or developed through your experience as a graduate student.
  • Two letters of reference (these may be submitted in the application form or emailed separately; see the application form for more information)
    • One letter should speak to the nominee’s general leadership abilities, ideally coming from someone who can best evaluate their specific leadership qualities.
    • The second letter should articulate the specific impact of the nominee’s efforts within the campus or community. This letter will ideally come from a fellow team member or someone who can give a first-hand account of the nominee’s leadership.

To be eligible to participate, entrants must be a graduate student in good academic standing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and be registered during the Fall 2020 term. (Students in J.D. or M.D. programs are not eligible. Students in an M.D./Ph.D. program are eligible if they are registered in their Ph.D. program in Fall 2020.)

Application Submission

Nomination Form

Nominations are due by 11:59PM CST on September 27, 2020.

You may nominate yourself or someone else for this award. Please collect the required information and documents (the nominee must write the narrative portion) and submit using the application form.


Please contact the Graduate College at