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Research Enhancement and Leadership Fellowship

Purpose

The goal of this program is to support the recruitment and retention of talented and promising graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in the disciplines, in the professoriate, and among other holders of doctoral degrees. This fellowship sustains the academic excellence and inclusiveness of the UMass graduate community and the entire campus by promoting greater diversity among our graduate students. This fellowship provides support to incoming, full-time graduate students. Recipients of this fellowship will receive four years of summer support in the form of a $4000 fellowship each summer (two years in the case of MFA students) to allow them to pursue their research year-round. They will also participate in a range of activities to support their professional development and build cohesion among members of the cohort. It is expected that this combination of financial and personal support will improve retention and reduce time to degree for participating students.

Eligibility Criteria

Nomination Process

Evaluation

Information for Current REAL Fellows

Questions

External Information and Resources

Documents

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility is limited to new students entering PhD or MFA programs in the following colleges:

  • College of Education 
  • College of Humanities and Fine Arts
  • College of Nursing 
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Isenberg School of Management

For an applicant to be eligible, the program admitting the student must make a commitment of five years of academic year assistantship support (three years for students in MFA programs), and the program must commit to assigning an advisor who will mentor the student’s research during the summers when fellowship support will be provided. (See the nomination form for details of the funding commitment.)

Nomination Process

  • Nominations must come from the Graduate Program Director or Graduate Admissions Director, using the REAL Fellowship Nomination Form at the bottom of this page. 
  • Students are not permitted to apply directly for these fellowships; they must be nominated.
  • Nominations should be submitted to the Office of Inclusion and Engagement, 524 Goodell. Nominations can be emailed to: realfellowships@grad.umass.edu
  • Nominations will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis beginning in mid-January and continuing until April 1 or until funding is exhausted. 
  • The Selection Committee will notify departments as quickly as possible to facilitate department’s recruitment efforts.

Evaluation

  • Nominees should have a demonstrated record of academic excellence and potential for future success. This may be discerned from an applicant’s grades, research projects, writing sample, scholarships and awards, participation in programs such as the McNair Scholars Program, letters of recommendation, and other appropriate factors, depending on the nominee’s discipline and background. We encourage admissions committees to look at a range of indicators when evaluating academic success and potential.
  • Applicants’ personal experiences and backgrounds may be discerned from transcripts, personal statements and resumes, letters of recommendation, and other relevant materials. We encourage committees to identify students who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribal Colleges and Universities; McNair Scholars Program; and Hispanic serving institutions.
  • This fellowship is intended primarily to support the recruitment and retention of outstanding students from traditionally underrepresented groups.  

Information for Current REAL Fellows

Program Guidelines as a REAL Fellow:

  • You are expected to maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student in your program and make satisfactory progress towards your degree
  • You are expected to serve as a peer mentor for incoming fellows in your discipline/field after your first year
  • You are expected to participate in community, mentoring and professional development programs hosted by the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Engagement throughout the academic year
  • For more information, please see the REAL Fellowship Guidelines

Graduate Fellows Training Grant Guidelines:

  • All REAL Fellows are eligible (but not guaranteed) to earn one Graduate Fellows Training Grant (up to $500) per academic year (July 1 through June 30; multiple applications may be submitted, but only one can be granted)
  • For more information, please see the Graduate Fellows Training Grant Application

Questions

Please contact Funmi Adebayo, Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Engagement, with any questions at oadebayo@grad.umass.edu

External Information and Resources

Survey of Earned Doctorates, data tables
https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsf16300/data-tables.cfm

Historically Black Colleges & Universities:
https://sites.ed.gov/whhbcu/files/2014/09/HBCU-Directory.pdf

Tribal Colleges:
https://sites.ed.gov/whiaiane/tribes-tcus/tribal-colleges-and-universities/

Hispanic Serving Institutions:
https://www.hacu.net/assnfe/

McNair Scholars Program:
https://mcnairscholars.com

Documents

REAL Fellowship Nomination Form

REAL Fellowship Guidelines

Graduate Fellows Training Grant Application