Supporting Graduate Diversity

Supporting Graduate Diversity

The Graduate School aims to increase access, inclusion and engagement for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the academy. We would like to partner with you to recruit and ensure the success of all students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. In addition, the Graduate School has a number of fellowships for which faculty can nominate outstanding students. See below for information on how to recommend one of your students for these prestigious awards.

Recruitment

The Graduate School has materials and supplies for recruitment. If you are interested in partnering with the Graduate School to recruit students from underrepresented groups, please contact Assistant Dean Funmi Adebayo for more information.

Spaulding-Smith Fellowship

The Spaulding-Smith Fellowship supports the recruitment, retention and success of outstanding STEM graduate students from historically underrepresented groups. Named for two UMass Amherst alumni — Major Franklin Spaulding (the first African American to receive a doctorate) and Elizabeth Hight Smith (the first woman to receive a graduate degree) — this fellowship includes financial support during the first and final year of graduate school, as well as mentoring, professional development, and community-building programs.

Eligibility

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

  • College of Engineering
  • College of Information and Computer Science
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • School of Public Health and Health Sciences

Funding is intended for students from groups that are underrepresented in the disciplines, the professoriate, or among recipients of doctoral degrees. There is no limit on either the number of nominations a program may submit or on the number of awards that can be made to any program.

Nominees should have a demonstrated record of academic excellence and potential for future success. This may be discerned from an applicant’s grades, research experience, work experience, publications, 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.

Nomination Process

  • Nominations must come from the Graduate Program Director or Graduate Admissions DirectorStudents are not permitted to apply directly for these fellowships.
  • The nominating doctoral program must commit to admitting the student and also commit to a plan for providing a funding package of at least 3 years of financial support. As in all cases, program funding commitments are contingent upon the student’s satisfactory progress in the program and the availability of sufficient funding resources.
  • The program must commit to assigning an advisor who will mentor the student during the academic year and summers if this is not already the program’s standard practice. Assigned mentors are strongly encouraged to participate in the Faculty Mentor Training Program.
  • Nominations will be accepted beginning on December 1, and reviewed in 3 cycles with the following deadlines: January 15 (priority deadline)February 15March 15
  • Nominated students will be notified and asked to submit a supplemental personal statement to complete their nomination.
  • The Selection Committee will notify departments as quickly as possible after each cycle to facilitate the program’s diversity recruitment efforts.

Additional Resources

The following resources may be useful for nominations:

Please contact Assistant Dean Funmi Adebayo with any further questions.

Research Enhancement And Leadership (REAL) Fellowship

The Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellowship aims to enhance the recruitment, retention, and success of outstanding graduate students from historically underrepresented groups. The fellowships are awarded to top graduate students seeking admission to UMass Amherst doctoral programs and include 2–4 years of summer support ($4,000 fellowship each summer), as well as mentoring, professional development, and community-building programs.

Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to new students entering campus-based doctoral 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

Nominees should have a demonstrated record of academic excellence and potential for future success. This may be discerned from an applicant’s grades, research experience, work experience, publications, 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.

Nomination Process

  • Nominations must come from the Graduate Program Director or Graduate Admissions DirectorStudents are not permitted to apply directly for these fellowships.
  • The program admitting the student must make a commitment of five years of academic year assistantship support (three years for students in MFA programs)
  • The program must commit to assigning an advisor who will mentor the student’s research during the summers when fellowship support will be provided. Assigned mentors are strongly encouraged to participate in the Faculty Mentor Training Program.
  • Nominations will be accepted beginning on January 1, and reviewed in 3 cycles with the following deadlines: February 15 (priority deadline)March 1March 15.
  • Nominated students will be notified and required to submit a supplemental personal statement to complete their nomination.
  • The Selection Committee will notify departments as quickly as possible after each cycle to facilitate department’s recruitment efforts.

Additional Resources

The following resources may be useful for nominations:

Please contact Assistant Dean Funmi Adebayo with any further questions.

UMass Amherst offers faculty training and other resources to become more effective mentors as an important part of building our campus community.