Promising Scholar Award

The purpose of the Promising Scholar Award is to recruit highly qualified incoming graduate students who add to the diversity of the university.  Students are nominated by the admitting program and selected by the Graduate School.  The award is administered by the Graduate School in partnership with departments, schools and colleges, the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation (VPRI), the Division of Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and the Office of the Provost (OtP) to leverage our collective resources in support of our shared goals to increase the number of outstanding UO graduate students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.  
Student Eligibility and Preferred Criteria
The following criteria will be considered as part of the evaluation process: underrepresented populations, women pursuing degrees in STEM fields, economically disadvantaged students and first generation students.  The academic promise of the student will also be taken into account in the review process.  Priority will be given to students pursuing doctoral degrees, but students seeking admittance into master’s programs in fields in which the UO does not offer a doctoral degree will also be considered.  Students who have already accepted an offer of admission or who are currently enrolled in a UO graduate degree program are not eligible.
Benefits to Students
  • $6,000 top off stipend
  • GE support for 2 years of study
  • Invitation to participate in the Graduate School’s fall awards reception
  • Quarterly socials and professional development opportunities
Finances of Award
Top Off Stipend
$6,000 stipend from the Graduate School, distributed to the student in one of several options detailed on the application.
  • In three installments (i.e., $2,000 in three consecutive terms) in the student’s first year in the program
  • Provided at once in a single term (e.g., the first fall term to defray the cost of relocating)
  • As a single summer research or travel award/supplement
  • Divided in half and provided during the summer after their first and second years as a research or travel award/supplement
GE Support
Two years of GE support is required at a minimum .40 FTE appointment, or the typical FTE in the department, if higher. Options for the first year are listed below. Regardless of option 1 or 2 in first year, the department is fully responsible for funding the GE in year 2.
  • Option 1 - GE position fully supported by department.  This could be a teaching, research or administrative GE appointment.
  • Option 2 – Research GE position. Salary paid by the department and GE remissions (tuition, fee subsidy, insurance) provided by the Graduate School/VPRI.  Note that the Graduate School can only support a limited number of awards with this option. 
Nomination Deadline:
Notification by:
Round 1
1:00 pm, Friday, February 8, 2019
Friday, February 15, 2019
Round 2
2:00 pm, Friday, March 8, 2019
Friday, March 15, 2019
Consideration of Multiple Nominations and Number of Awards
Departments can nominate up to six admitted applicants per round, who must be ranked in order of preferred consideration.  Any nominee not selected for funding in the first round may be resubmitted again for consideration in the second round.  We encourage programs to keep their recruit apprised of their award status via a notification such as “You’ve been nominated for a prestigious Graduate School award.  We will alert you as soon as a decision about that nomination has been communicated to us.”  Awards are not transferable to other admitted students to same program.
If, after April 15 (the earliest date by which prospective students may be required to decide upon funded offers- see CGS Resolution), awards remain uncommitted as a result of students’ declining the award, a new deadline will be set and additional nominations will be reviewed with as quick a turnaround as possible.
Nomination Instructions and Materials:
Department Responsibility
Once the Graduate School has approved the award, it is the department’s responsibility to:  
  1. Notify the student, department head, faculty mentor/assigned advisory of the Promising Scholar Award via email, using the template provided by the Graduate School.  The notification must clearly identify all aspects of support and note that subsequent years/terms of support are contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the degree as published by the department and the Graduate School.
  2. Once the student has accepted admission and the Promising Scholar Award, the department must submit a copy of the written acceptance to the Graduate School.  Please email this to Hannah Schneider-Lynch (
  3. If your department is receiving a GE remission package from the Graduate School under Option 2, you must provide Lisa Howard ( with a general fund index.
  4. Obtain specific written approval from the Dean of the Graduate School prior to implementation if circumstances arise where the department must alter the amount or schedule of matched support for stipend and GE remission package.  Note that if approval is unable to be granted, increased department obligations may result.
  5. Return any funding not awarded to the student as outlined in the approved financial summary to the Graduate School within one term of its non-use. 
Graduate School Responsibility
  1. The Graduate School will offer PSA training materials for all departments intending to put forth nominations.
  2. Prior to the term of approved GE remission package support and after receiving the student’s written acceptance and information, the Graduate School will work with the department’s budget/office manager and graduate coordinator on the process for allocating and distributing funds.
  3. If your department is receiving a GE remission package, a budget change will be done in Fall term for that student.
  4. Faculty Mentor/Assigned Advisor will receive notification via email with the name(s) of their Promising Scholar(s) and their obligations as a mentor.
  5. The Graduate School will provide a mentoring training for all Faculty Mentor/Assigned Advisors.
For questions about the submission process, contact Hannah Schneider-Lynch,
For questions about the Promising Scholar funding components, contact Lisa Howard,
Eligibility Criteria: 
Departments may nominate students admitted to either master’s or doctoral degree programs.
Department Nomination Required: 
Award Amount: 
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