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Graduate Student Leadership Award

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The Graduate Student Leadership Award celebrates graduate students who have engaged in outstanding service that has positively impacted the UIUC campus or wider communities. How that leadership has been demonstrated can vary widely. For examples, see the winners from Fall 2020, Spring 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. A committee comprised of faculty, staff, and a member of the Graduate College student advisory board will review the submissions, and the winner will be announced during Graduate Student Appreciation Week.

The 2021 winner will be announced during Graduate Student Appreciation Week (October 25-29). All 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.


To apply, each of the following must be submitted by the deadline:

  • Completed online nominee application form
  • CV or resume (attached in the application form)
  • Video Narrative responding to the following prompts: (must be recorded by the nominee; maximum of 3 minutes; nominees are not assessed on the quality of the video, save in either .mp4 or .wav file types; see form for instructions to submit)
    • Describe specific contributions you have made to either the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s campus or wider communities.
    • Explain how your efforts produced a positive impact on those communities.
    • Tell us how your contributions exemplify leadership qualities you have gained or developed through experiences as a graduate student.
  • Two (2) recommendations
    • Recommendations should come directly from two separate individuals who can speak to the nominee's leadership qualities and/or give a first-hand account of the nominee's leadership.
    • Recommendations are submitted online using this additional Graduate Student Leadership Award Recommendation Form.

To be eligible to participate, entrants must be a graduate student in good academic standing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and be registered during the Fall 2021 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 2021.)


Please contact the Graduate College at with any questions about the application process. If you require any disability-related accommodations to submit your application, please let us know through email.