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Graduate College Fellowship & Grant Competitions

The Graduate College offers several fellowship and grant programs to support University of Illinois graduate students. Students do not apply directly for these awards. Instead, departments submit nominations according to the competition schedule shown below. Students wishing to be nominated should contact their department’s Director of Graduate Studies for details.  

Major Awards:

Illinois Distinguished Fellowships

Recruitment fellowships for the University’s top incoming graduate students.

Graduate College Fellowships for Underrepresented Students

Recruitment fellowships for the University’s top incoming URM students.

Travel Grants for Master’s Projects AND Dissertation Research

Grants for students who need to travel off-campus to complete a master’s project or conduct dissertation research.

Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Fellowships supporting doctoral students as they finalize their dissertations.

Specialized Awards: 

Conference Travel Awards

Small grants supporting students traveling to professional conferences to present papers, posters, or other creative work.

Sloan Scholarships

Professional-development awards for underrepresented students in select STEM fields.

Diffenbaugh Fellowships

Fellowships supporting students from Missouri.

Marion Morse Wood Fellowships

Fellowships supporting research in interpersonal communication.

Dewson Fellowships

Fellowships for underrepresented students facing acute and unexpected financial distress.

Emergency Grants

Small grants for students facing acute and unexpected financial distress.

Competition Schedule for 2017-2018



Anticipated Notification
of Results
Travel Grants - Dissertation / Master's (Fall) Sept. 29, 2017 Oct. 30, 2017
Aspire Dec. 15, 2017 Dec. 22, 2017
Illinois Distinguished (Round 1) Jan. 16, 2018 Feb. 13, 2018
Graduate College (Round 1) Jan. 18, 2018 Feb. 15, 2018
Diffenbaugh Jan. 23, 2018 Feb. 20, 2018
Sloan (Round 1) Jan. 24, 2018 Feb. 21, 2018
Marion Morse Wood Jan. 30, 2018 Feb. 22, 2018
Illinois Distinguished (Round 2) Feb. 16, 2018 Mar. 16, 2018
Graduate College (Round 2) Feb. 20, 2018 Mar. 16, 2018
Sloan (Round 2) Feb. 23, 2018 Mar. 12, 2018
Travel Grants - Dissertation / Master's (Spring) Mar. 12, 2018 Apr. 9, 2018
Dissertation Completion Apr. 11, 2018 May 9, 2018


Fellowship Board & the Selection Process

The Fellowship Board selects recipients of the Graduate College’s main grant and fellowship programs.  The Board consists of faculty members and graduate students from across campus.  See details on the selection process and the Board’s current membership.  

Contact Information